Jacksonville residents question if Trump’s indictment is political ploy to damage 2024 presidential run

Manhattan grand jury indicted Trump Thursday on charges that stem from 2016 presidential campaign

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jacksonville residents have mixed responses about former President Donald Trump’s indictment.

Some questioned if this was a political tactic to hurt his presidential run in 2024. Others asked if the charges would actually stick.

A president has been criminally charged for the first time in United States history. Trump will be arraigned Tuesday.

The charges in the indictment are sealed, but reports said it stems from hush money allegedly used during the 2016 presidential campaign to silence claims of an affair.

Prosecutors didn’t say if they’ll seek prison time. Even that wouldn’t prevent Trump from getting back into the White House.

One person we talked to called the indictment a “witch-hunt.”

“It doesn’t matter. I’m still going to vote for him,” he said.

Trump said the investigation is a scam, persecution and a low blow aimed at damaging his 2024 presidential run.

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Other Republican leaders agreed, saying this is a politically motivated attack by the Democratic Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg.

Local residents said they see the situation from both sides.

“I think it’s all about the show. I think it’s really just to keep him from running, but I don’t think the charges will stick,” one person said.

“I think that everybody no matter who they are and who their jobs were should be subject to the same laws and same treatment as everybody else,” another person told News4JAX.

Another question that looms is whether will this help or hurt his chances for the White House.

“There is no way they would bring 30 charges on anyone and not have any evidence on it. I think it can help him to a certain extent and it can hurt him depending on the outcome of the case,” someone said.

News4JAX reached out to long-time Jacksonville political operative Susie Wiles, who ran Trump’s campaign in Florida in 2020. She’s also involved in his current campaign on a national level.

Wiles declined to comment on the indictment.

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A Florida-born, Emmy Award winning journalist and proud NC A&T SU grad