Who does Trump's indictment really help?

Will the latest indictment energize Trump's campaign or derail it?

(Image credit: Al Drago / Getty Images)

Special counsel Jack Smith this week charged former President Donald Trump with alleged crimes connected to his attempt to overturn his loss in the 2020 election. Smith accused Trump of fueling the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol by radicalizing a mob of his supporters with "lies" about election fraud "targeted at obstructing a bedrock function of the U.S. government: the nation's process of collecting, counting and certifying the results of the presidential election."

This is the third criminal case against Trump, who, despite mounting legal troubles, is the overwhelming favorite to win the Republican presidential nomination to challenge President Biden in 2024. As it did after his earlier indictments, Trump's side immediately responded to the charges by launching an appeal for donations. The Trump Save America Joint Action Committee offered "I Stand with Trump" tee-shirts for every $47 dollar contribution. His campaign said the case was like a state attack on enemies in Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union. Trump said he did nothing wrong, warning: "If they're allowed to set fire to the law, then it will not stop with me."

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Harold Maass, The Week US

Harold Maass is a contributing editor at The Week. He has been writing for The Week since the 2001 debut of the U.S. print edition and served as editor of TheWeek.com when it launched in 2008. Harold started his career as a newspaper reporter in South Florida and Haiti. He has previously worked for a variety of news outlets, including The Miami Herald, ABC News and Fox News, and for several years wrote a daily roundup of financial news for The Week and Yahoo Finance.