Despite his legal woes, or perhaps because of them, Trump seems to be more popular than ever.

“We Will Not Be Silent TRUMP IS A TRAITOR Rally at the US Supreme Court along 1st Street at Maryland Avenue, NE, Washington DC on Thursday morning, 8 February 2024 by Elvert Barnes Protest Photography.” (Photo: Elvert Barnes)

Why it’s hard to muster even a ‘meh’ over Trump’s New York criminal trial,” explained Richard L. Hasen for the Los Angeles Times on April 14, 2024.

“In watching some of the breathless coverage of Donald Trump’s ‘hush money’ trial, I’m reminded of the 2004 quote from former U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld that, ‘You go to war with the Army you have, not the Army you might want,’” began Hasen.

“People want the hush money case to be the big case that can take down Trump because it may be the only one that goes to trial before the election,” Hasen complained. “But the hush money case that opens Monday in New York? I have a hard time even mustering a ‘meh.’ Trump may not be convicted of a felony in the case, and if he is, there’s a reasonable chance of an eventual reversal on appeal. Besides, the charges are so minor I don’t expect they will shake up the presidential race. They may actually make that situation worse.”

“In a nutshell, the allegations are that Trump falsified his business records, using corporate funds funneled through his former lawyer Michael Cohen to pay off adult film star Stormy Daniels to keep her quiet about having had sex with Trump,” he sketched. “These falsified business records are almost certainly a misdemeanor, and Trump as a first-time offender would be very unlikely to face jail time for them if this was all that there was to it. But New York Dist. Atty. Alvin Bragg is trying to prove that Trump committed a felony by falsifying the records to further or conceal another crime — in this case a violation of election law or tax law.”

“Although the New York case gets packaged as election interference, failing to report a campaign payment is a small potatoes campaign-finance crime,” he mused. “I certainly understand the impulse of Trump opponents to label this case as one of election interference — that could resonate with voters and make them less likely to vote for Trump. But any voters who look beneath the surface are sure to be underwhelmed. Calling it election interference actually cheapens the term and undermines the deadly serious charges in the real election interference cases.”

“Trump also may have serious grounds for appeal in the New York case,” fretted Hasen. “It is far from clear that appellate courts would treat the hush money payments as legitimate campaign expenses that needed to be reported, as opposed to personal expenses. And it is uncertain that failing to report a campaign expenditure required by federal law can be a violation of New York state election law against promoting ‘the election of any person to a public office by unlawful means.’ These issues may well have to be sorted out by higher courts.”

Not everyone agrees with Richard Hasen, despite his credentials as a UCLA professor of law.

Why you should take Trump’s hush money trial seriously,” begged former deputy chief of the Criminal Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York Kristy Greenburg for MSNBC on Monday. “The deception practically leaps off the pages of the documents at the core of the Trump hush money trial.”

“Based on my years of experience prosecuting complex fraud cases, the New York County District Attorney’s Office case against former President Donald Trump has all the hallmarks of a major fraud case, with tremendous jury appeal,” she admonished. “For starters, the alleged cover-up of a presidential candidate’s hush money payments to a porn star to try to win an election is captivating and easily comprehensible — in stark contrast, for example, to the financial statements and property valuations from Trump’s civil fraud trial.”

“The deception practically leaps off the pages of the documents,” she presented. “First, there’s the fake ‘settlement agreement’ to release ‘Peggy Peterson’s’ claims against ‘David Dennison.’ But there are no claims; this was just a cover-up for Trump’s agreement to pay hush money to Stormy Daniels. And there are no Peggy Peterson or David Dennison; those are aliases for Daniels and Trump. That is shady (and amusing). Then-Trump lawyer Michael Cohen created a shell company to make the hush money payments to Daniels and keep Trump’s fingerprints off the transaction.”

“Finally, there were false monthly invoices to disguise Trump’s reimbursement to Cohen as ‘legal expenses’ pursuant to a retainer agreement that didn’t exist,” she went on. “The documents will clearly outline the criminal scheme to falsify business records to cover up hush money payments.”

“But hush money payments alone aren’t illegal,” admitted Greenburg. “And falsifying business records is only a misdemeanor. Here, the charges go further; Trump is charged with falsifying business records to conceal an agreement with others to unlawfully influence the 2016 presidential election. Trump’s alleged criminal intent to influence the outcome of the election would make the hush money payments illegal campaign contributions and elevate the misdemeanor to a felony — 34 felonies, to be exact.”

Still, whether or not Trump’s New York troubles are a legal moonshot or not, it may not be enough to convince the voters President Joe Biden needs to win back to his cause before Election Day.

Polling shows that while far-left progressives are happy and relieved to see Trump’s legal woes mounting many moderate and independent voters are less than impressed.

While Biden Worries About the Left, the Voters He Needs Are in the Center,” explained Molly Ball for the Wall Street Journal on April 16, 2024. “President falls behind with independents; ‘they don’t see the White House for what it’s actually doing.’”

Biden Has to Win Back His 2020 Voters,” predicted William A. Galston for the WSJ on the same day. “He has lost support in key voting blocs that helped him secure the White House last time.”

“We seem to be headed for our third straight closely divided election. Recent polls indicate that Messrs. Trump and Biden are about tied in the national popular vote, although Mr. Trump leads in most of the swing states,” wrote Galston. “This isn’t surprising, as Democratic presidential candidates tend to trail their national performance in battleground states by between 2 and 4 points. According to the latest RealClearPolitics poll average, Messrs. Biden and Trump are tied in Pennsylvania, while Mr. Trump leads in five other swing states by margins ranging from 0.6 point in Wisconsin to 4 points or more in Georgia and Arizona.”

“Since leaving the White House, Mr. Trump has fired up his base but done little to expand it,” continued Galston. “This explains why national surveys show him with roughly the level of support he received in November 2020. By contrast, if polls are correct, Mr. Biden’s share of the popular vote has dropped by 5 to 6 points since 2020.”

Will Trump’s legal troubles help President Biden?

Not everyone is convinced.

Deranged ‘Get Trump’ Democrats only boost ex-president with their constant attacks, insults,” jeered the New York Post’s Miranda Devine on April 17, 2024. “It must infuriate Biden that all the lawfare that his DOJ and other Democratic prosecutors have flung at Trump has succeeded so far only in turning public sympathy toward the former president and given him a constant ­media presence.”

“Trump seems to have a knack for turning legal lemons into polling lemonade,” she joked. “Of all the cases to go to trial first, Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg’s hush-money case is the feeblest and most embarrassing — for Trump’s Democratic persecutors, as well as for Trump himself as it involves allegations, which he denies, that he had an adulterous affair with a porn star and then had his then-lawyer Michael Cohen pay her off before the 2016 election to stop her spilling the beans.”

“Bragg has been doing his best to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear by trying to recast the case as being about election interference, in which Trump sought to keep voters in the dark about damaging information — the Daniels payoff — that could have cost him victory in 2016,” Devine mused.

Will these legal troubles cost former President Donald Trump the election in 2024?

Or will they help him?

(contributing writer, Brooke Bell)