- Donald Trump and his allies have claimed that an indictment will only help his election prospects.
- Chris Christie, a former district attorney, said Trump thrives on “chaos and turmoil.”
- But an indictment “never helps anybody,” Christie said on ABC’s “This Week.”
Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said on Sunday that an indictment won’t help Donald Trump, countering the former president’s claims that it’ll only make him more popular.
While discussing Trump’s possible indictment for hush-money payments to adult actress Stormy Daniels, Christie said on ABC’s “This Week” that Trump thrives on conflict but only when he’s behind the narrative reins.
“The circus continues. I mean, look, he only profits and does well in chaos and turmoil. And so he wants to create the chaos and turmoil on his terms,” Christie said. “He doesn’t want anybody else’s terms … He wants it on his terms.”
However, Christie, who is also a former district attorney, added: “But look at the end, being indicted never helps anybody. It’s not a help.”
—This Week (@ThisWeekABC) March 19, 2023
A few weeks before the possibility of an indictment further materialized, Trump said he “wouldn’t even think about” dropping out of the 2024 race even if he was charged with a crime.
“Probably it will enhance my numbers,” he said, per an ABC News report.
Some of his closest allies echoed that sentiment.
“If the Manhattan DA indicts President Trump, he will ultimately win even bigger than he is already going to win,” Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene wrote on Twitter on Saturday.
Twitter CEO Elon Musk also claimed Trump will be “re-elected in a landslide victory.”
If Manhattan prosecutors deliver an indictment, Trump would be the first former president in US history to be formally charged with a crime — let alone a former president who is also running a third election campaign.
The closest a former president came to being charged with a crime was Nixon before he was granted a pardon by Gerald Ford in September 1974. The last time a presidential candidate was indicted was in 2011, when John Edwards, John Kerry’s 2004 vice presidential running mate, was charged with campaign finance violations.
“I don’t think that the American people will probably see this as a huge crime,” Christie said. “But the vision of a former president of the United States being processed, fingerprinted, mug shotted … What else do you expect Trump to say … than to say that it helps his campaign?”