On Tuesday, former President Donald Trump was indicted on four federal felony counts in relation to Special Counsel Jack Smith’s probe into January 6 and 2020 election interference. It is now the second indictment against the 2024 GOP hopeful Smith has handed down this summer – the first came in June for the forty-fifth president’s alleged mishandling of classified documents.
In both instances, the news of the indictments was released amidst increased attention on the Biden family and the various investigations into Hunter Biden’s foreign business dealings and President Joe Biden’s involvement. That is leading some to question if it’s merely a coincidence or something more calculated.
On Wednesday’s show, Megyn was joined by Julie Kelly, the journalist behind Declassified on Substack, to discuss the seemingly parallel timelines and what it means for the Republican Party ahead of the 2024 election.
The Biden-Trump Timeline
In the wake of Smith announcing the latest indictment against Trump on Tuesday afternoon, a timeline started making its way around social media that suggested some connections between the special counsel’s schedule and Biden news dropping. It caught the attention of former First Son Donald Trump, Jr., who shared it with his Twitter followers with the message: “Anyone else noticing a pattern here?”
The calendar highlights three key sets of dates in June, July, and August. It points out that the FBI released documents to Congress on June 7 alleging the Bidens received a $10 million bribe from Burisma, the Ukrainian energy company Hunter served on the board of. The following day, Smith indicted Trump in the Mar-a-Lago documents case.
On July 26, a federal judge shockingly rejected Hunter’s sweetheart plea deal on tax and gun charges after it was revealed that the Department of Justice tried to give him blanket immunity from future prosecutions. Less than 24 hours later, Smith added additional charges to the classified documents indictment.
Most recently, Hunter’s one-time friend and business partner Devon Archer sat for a closed door interview with the House Oversight Committee on Monday. He testified that then-Vice President Biden participated in over 20 phone calls with his son’s business partners and was pressured by Burisma executives to help get Ukrainian prosecutor Viktor Shokin fired. On Tuesday, Smith announced the indictment of Trump on conspiracy and obstruction charges related to the 2020 election.
The timing certainly raises eyebrows. “I don’t know that Jack Smith was this reactionary; I think he’s been on course to bring these charges for a long time,” Megyn said. “[But] when you see it laid out like that, it’s pretty chilling.”
Kelly said it bolsters to a larger diversion theory. “This is the perfect foil for any bad news coming out of not just the Biden campaign but Democrats in general,” she said. As she explained, news about Trump and his legal woes can be “the squirrel” and “the pivot” for the left all the way up to the 2024 election, which may prove to be “a very useful tool.” She sees Smith as a “political figure” who understands what his “mission” is. “It is to use this as a foil, as a ruse, as a diversion for all of the bad news that will be coming out about the Biden family crime racket,” Kelly said.
The Impact on the Republican Primary
Trump’s poll numbers only seem to go up with the news of each indictment, but Megyn said it does impact both him and his fellow GOP candidates’ ability to campaign. “Realistically, this is going to dominate the news for the next year and a half at least,” she noted. “And Trump can’t really spend too much time getting his message out on how he’s going to ‘Make America Great Again’ – never mind the other Republican candidates.”
Case in point: Megyn’s own experience this week. She had a scheduled appearance on another show that was supposed to be about her interview with Gov. Ron DeSantis. Needless to say, the topic changed once the indictment was announced. “Of course that got all thrown out the window,” she said. “It’s just impossible for these other candidates to get airtime.”
This, she believes, is by design. “I think that’s also part of the Democrats’ plan,” Megyn noted. As she explained, they want Trump to be the GOP nominee because they think he is the most “beatable” in the general election. “They believe he’s the only one that they can beat, and they may or may not be right,” she said. “But I’m talking about what they think – they think, ‘Get him across the line with the GOP nomination process and then we’ll crush him in the general because all these trials are going to be happening.’”
In supporting Trump, Republican voters may be reacting to what they see as a two-tier system of justice. As Kelly pointed out, they may be also expressing their discontent with the GOP field. “For Republican voters, how the Republican presidential candidates respond [to the indictment] is going to be very important,” she explained. “You already see blowback from some of the tepid responses that we saw yesterday from Gov. DeSantis and Mike Pence basically endorsing this indictment.”
She believes this could become the “clarifying issue” between the former president and his challengers. “It won’t just be, you know, sucking the air out of other candidates trying to get their message across,” she concluded. “How they respond, what their plan is, how they react to all of this news… will be very illuminating to Republican voters.”
You can check out Megyn’s full conversation with Kelly by tuning in to episode 600 on YouTube, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you like to listen. And don’t forget that you can catch The Megyn Kelly Show live on SiriusXM’s Triumph (channel 111) weekdays from 12pm to 2pm ET.