Trump cementing his grip on the GOP

By Elizabeth Crisp and Kelsey Carolan

Just over a week since the FBI’s search of former President Trump’s estate in Florida, his grip on the Republican Party hasn’t weakened — in fact, it seems to be growing stronger.

As new details emerge about why the search was conducted, including how federal officers suspected Trump violated the Espionage Act and other laws, the path to another GOP presidential nomination is becoming easier, our colleague Brett Samuels writes.

“On the Republican side, with the exception of never-Trumpers… virtually everybody else assumes the FBI is corrupt,” former Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) said. “If they keep this up, he won’t have a major opponent for the primary.”

Painting federal investigations as politically charged has been a part of Trump’s playbook to rile up voters before: He repeatedly called the Department of Justice’s probe into his campaign’s ties with Russia a “witch hunt,” leading some Republicans to think it will work again as a strategy.

The GOP has employed this sort of rhetoric throughout the midterms, framing the Jan. 6 House select committee as a partisan attack.

And Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) lost her reelection primary on Tuesday, ostracized from the party because of her role as vice chair on the Jan. 6 panel.

Our colleague Max Greenwood writes that her loss “dashed any lingering hope among Trump’s critics that the party’s rank-and-file voters might be ready to buck the former president and chart their own path forward.”

Despite the victories of several of Trump’s endorsed candidates during the Republican primaries, the real test will come when they face Democrats in November, especially in purple states including Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Arizona and Nevada.

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