Jun 01, 2023

Eyes on 2024: Trump indictment watch continues

By Bridget Bowman and Ben Kamisar

Former President Donald Trump's attorneys were spotted at the Justice Department on Monday, when they met with special counsel Jack Smith amid the investigation into Trump's handling of classified documents, NBC News’ Ken Dilanian and Ryan J. Reilly report.

For his part, Trump pre-butted a potential indictment in the case, writing on his Truth Social platform in all caps, "How can DOJ possibly charge me, who did nothing wrong, when no other president's were charged."

It's not clear how a potential indictment could affect his race for the GOP presidential nomination, but past scandals have not significantly impacted Trump's overall poll numbers.

Trump is already facing charges of falsifying business records as part of an alleged hush-money scheme during his 2016 campaign (he has pleaded not guilty). After Trump was indicted in that case, most of his current and potential GOP rivals rallied around him, criticizing the indictment as politically motivated.

On top of the classified documents and hush money cases, Trump is also facing a federal and a state investigation into his efforts to overturn the 2020 election. The Washington Post reports that federal investigators and state investigators in Georgia are focusing on the Trump campaign's decision to commission studies of potential voter fraud in 2020.

In other campaign news…

Pence papers: Former Vice President Mike Pence filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission to run for president ahead of his expected announcement on Wednesday.

West is in: Cornel West, an activist and philosopher, announced Monday that he is running for president and will seek the People's Party nomination. (Getting ballot access will be a major challenge for West and his party.)

DeSantis’ pitch: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis focused on immigration during his first week as a presidential contender, using the issue to draw a contrast with Trump, NBC News’ Gabe Gutierrez and Bianca Seward report.

Ad-ing up: Biden's campaign and the Democratic National Committee are teaming up on a "six-figure ad campaign" to tout the bipartisan deal to raise the debt ceiling, per Politico.

Migrant flight drama: The Miami Herald reports that the Bexar County sheriff in Texas has recommended "both felony and misdemeanor charges" be filed related to DeSantis’ decision to fly migrants out of Texas and ultimately to Martha's Vineyard. The decision on charging is up to the district attorney. And California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom appeared to threaten DeSantis with kidnapping charges after South American migrants were sent from Florida to Sacramento, per Axios.

Not-so-near-neighbor lends a hand: DeSantis tweeted Monday night that at Iowa's "request," he's sending Florida emergency and transportation personnel to assist in the recovery efforts around the devastating building collapse in Davenport, Iowa.

Never Back Down stands up: Axios reports that the pro-DeSantis Never Back Down super PAC is about to launch a $5 million ad buy, and that internal polling shows Trump ahead of DeSantis in a multi-candidate field in Iowa at 39% to 29%, a narrower gap than in mid-May.

Haley doubles down on transgender criticism: Former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley reiterated her claim that transgender students playing in high school sports has led to suicidal ideation in teenage girls.

Scott stops by The View: NBC News’ Ali Vitali reports that South Carolina Republican Sen. Tim Scott pushed back on the idea of systemic racism Monday during an appearance on ABC's The View, arguing that it's a "dangerous, offensive, and disgusting message to send to our young people today" that they can only be successful as "exceptions" to the rule.

Roughrider State governor gears up for a tough ride: North Dakota Republican Gov. Doug Burgum teased what's expected to be a presidential announcement later this week with a new biographical video on social media.

Breonna Taylor's mother opposes Cameron: The mother of Breonna Taylor, the woman who was killed by police during a raid on her home in 2020, is supporting an effort to defeat Republican Attorney General Daniel Cameron for governor. Cameron brought the case involving her death to a grand jury, which charged one officer with endangerment who was later acquitted.

Call it a comeback: Former Rep. Mondaire Jones, D-N.Y., is readying another run for Congress, which would pit him in a competitive Democratic primary in the hopes of winning the nomination to take on Republican Rep. Michael Lawler, Politico is reporting.

A powerful ally: The Arizona Republic reports that Arizona Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly is endorsing former state Rep. Raquel Terán's House bid to replace Democratic Rep. Ruben Gallego, who is running for Senate.

Bridget Bowman is a deputy editor for NBC's Political Unit.

Ben Kamisar is a deputy political editor in NBC's Political Unit.

Pence papers: West is in: DeSantis’ pitch: Ad-ing up: Migrant flight drama: Not-so-near-neighbor lends a hand: Never Back Down stands up: Haley doubles down on transgender criticism: Scott stops by The View: Roughrider State governor gears up for a tough ride: Breonna Taylor's mother opposes Cameron: Call it a comeback: A powerful ally: