Trump has (again) a bad legal day

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Trump has (again) a bad legal day
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Trump has not been convicted of any crime and professes his innocence and victimhood on all counts. But as he mounts his third bid for president, pressure on him from prosecutors and legal opponents is casting an increasingly ominous shadow. Among them:

  • Attorney General Merrick Garland has appointed a special counsel – public corruption prosecutor Jack Smith – to oversee the Mar-a-Lago investigation, as well as issues arising from Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election and prevent the transfer. of power to Joe BIden.
  • The Jan. 6 select committee is preparing to offload a massive report and 1,000 witness transcripts that could provide more explosive evidence on Trump’s attempt to overturn the 2020 election and fuel the DOJ’s ongoing criminal investigation into the matter. .
  • Trump’s business empire has been placed under surveillance by Barbara Jones, a result of New York Attorney General Tish James’ lawsuit alleging widespread fraud by Trump, his businesses and family members.
  • An Atlanta-area district attorney has reached deep into Trump’s inner circle to obtain testimony about Trump’s efforts to nullify the 2020 election in Georgia. Sen. Lindsey Graham (RS.C.) on Tuesday became the latest witness to provide substantial testimony to the special grand jury.

This week’s growing legal headaches come as Trump continues to fend off his political foes and carve out his place in an evolving social media landscape. For now, Trump has decided to stay on his own media platform, despite an invitation from Twitter owner Elon Musk to allow Trump to return to the site. But even that was complicated by problems. The delayed merger between Trump’s own social media company and a blank check company that would take it public has sparked fresh concerns about possible securities violations that would give political opponents additional fodder and pave the way for more of surveys.

Trump is no stranger to legal ties and predictions of impending doom. His political obituary was written amid investigations launched by Special Counsel Robert Mueller in 2017, as well as an impeachment inquiry that followed his efforts to pressure Ukraine to investigate its political rivals. This has led to a perverse mentality – the more beleaguered Trump seems, the more heated his base becomes and the more he dominates the political conversation, crowding out potential rivals.

He’s a dynamic Trump his team is well aware of, and who served as a rallying cry during Trump’s 2024 presidential announcement at Mar-a-Lago last week.

“It’s unbelievable that Democrats have been trying to get his tax records since he announced it in 2016,” a person close to Trump said. “If they can do that to him, imagine what 87,000 new tax officials can do to ordinary Americans.”

But Trump is now deprived of his most powerful defense: the office of the presidency itself, which has provided protections and procedural hurdles to investigators no longer available to him. Instead, the courts rejected his efforts to assert executive privilege in a way he was able to do while in office and shot down his and his allies’ repeated efforts to thwart criminal and government investigators. Congress.

And the limits of Trump’s post-presidential pull were apparent in this month’s midterm elections, when predictions of a ‘red tsunami’ clashed with Democratic resilience in a number of seats. once considered within reach of Republicans.

Despite the disappointing results, the ex-president went ahead with his presidential announcement, in part to protect him from the legal investigations he faces. Several people familiar with his announcement plans said he was adamant about sending a message of strength by not delaying it, even though senior party officials asked him to wait until after the Georgia Senate election runoff. in December. There was a belief that he would effectively freeze the field and potentially protect himself legally.

There were also political advantages. Trump’s team saw a spike in fundraising and popularity after the Mar-a-lago raid in August, and the former president has found sympathy with some voters who view him as a political casualty.

As the legal dominoes fell on Tuesday, people close to Trump touted his strength in early 2024 primary polls and his campaign promoted stories questioning the special counsel’s integrity.

“It makes him look like a political fighter. He’s the master of framing,” said a Republican strategist close to Trump’s team. “And he wants to be a political martyr.”

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