As former President Donald Trump is leading in the polls for the 2024 presidential race, it is "impossible" to think about the possibility of charges being filed against him in New York without thinking about politics being at play, Conservative Political Action Conference Chair Matt Schlapp told Newsmax on Wednesday.
"Donald Trump is not just an announced candidate to run for the presidency," Schlapp told "John Bachman Now." "He's leading all the polls. Matter of fact, he had a pretty big CPAC bounce after his big speech there, and all the polls that are coming out showing with a commanding lead, so it just looks like politics on behalf of the Democrats who now view that it's a real threat that he could regain the presidency."
As a result, the Democrats are using allies in major positions, like Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, to put Trump in harm's way, according to Schlapp.
At the end of the day, Schlapp added, the American people are "pretty fair" and wonder why claims made about Trump and adult film actor Stormy Daniels are being made "after everything else that was disproved and special counsels and all the phony charges" that "this is what they're going to stop the president, United States from running on?"
His comments come after the New York grand jury hearing evidence about Trump's alleged involvement with a scheme to pay hush money to Daniels was given a break Wednesday, meaning that even if they reconvene Thursday, a vote to indict Trump will not come before this weekend, sources told Business Insider.
Schlapp said he thinks former Trump attorney Michael Cohen, who is Bragg's star witness and who paid Daniels the $130,000 during the 2016 campaign, is the "big problem" for the grand jury.
"How can you put as your star witness somebody who went to jail for perjury?" Schlapp said. "How could you put as your star witness somebody who wrote a book called 'Revenge,' meaning revenge on Donald Trump?"
Trump's former attorney has also testified Cohen would "say and do anything to not spend any time in jail," Schlapp continued. "So, this is a thoroughly discredited witness, and he's the star witness to say that Donald Trump did something wrong.
"This only helps Donald Trump — by saying they fear him so much that they're willing to use any step to try to stop them."
Schlapp on Wednesday also discussed a new interview given by Florida GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis to Piers Morgan and appearing in the New York Post.
In it, DeSantis criticized Trump's style of leadership, and said the way he runs his office in Florida is by focusing on "the big picture" rather than dealing in "daily drama."
"I thought the 'drama' piece is interesting because I think that's appealing to a lot of voters," Schlapp said. "They don't like politics that much. Americans don't tend to like politics, and they don't necessarily like the drama associated with politics."
However, he added, DeSantis "better not have any drama. He better not have anybody coming out over the next weeks and months, saying actually inside the DeSantis camp there's a ton of drama, a ton of acrimony."
Schlapp also said it was a "big mistake" for DeSantis to attend a donor event rather than the recent CPAC event.
"The grassroots conservatives and Republicans are going to pick who our nominee is, not rich people," he said. "It's going to be grassroots Republicans and conservatives across this country. One thing, Donald Trump, even though he's a billionaire, even though he has a 747, even though he lives in a gold condo in the sky and has this amazing lifestyle, he's always kind of had this affinity to the average man and woman in America, and he appeals to them."
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Sandy Fitzgerald ✉
Sandy Fitzgerald has more than three decades in journalism and serves as a general assignment writer for Newsmax covering news, media, and politics.
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