Trump on campaign trail: Will arraignment affect what happens at events?

By WVUA 23 News Student Reporter Nick Balenger

Even before President Donald Trump announced his reelection bid in November, he was juggling his potential future as the Republican nominee with the navigation of multiple state and federal legal issues.

On Tuesday, Trump was arraigned on 37 federal charges including willful retention of national defense information and conspiracy to obstruct justice. It’s the first time federal charges have been filed against a former president, and marks a unique field for a presidential campaign.

You can check out a summary of the charges along with the full indictment right here.

“With Trump’s current situation there’s no doubt questions about his arraignment will arise,” said University of Alabama political science professor Allen Linken. “It will be difficult for Trump to tiptoe around them for a long period of time.”

Linken said it’s likely Trump will say something public regarding the charges. But how will these charges and Trump’s response to them affect voters?

“The Republican party for decades has been the party of national security, the party of the military, the party of trust with regards to our national defense,” Allen said. “Former President Trump himself has made dozens of statements in regards to classified documents, usually regarding former Secretary of State (Hilary) Clinton. I think it would turn off some middle of the road voters who are maybe tired of a lot of the extracurricular noise of Trump.”

Linken said the next few weeks will be crucial in determining what Trump’s campaign will look like.

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