Former President Donald J. Trump is running for reelection in 2024. Controversial, brash, and full of rage—as well as grievance—Trump believes that he alone can fix the failing United States.
Swarming Donald Trump, though, are a series of legal troubles that would have taken down a different politician in another time very early on.
Fortunately for Trump, we are living through one of the most dynamic and unique political moments in this country’s history. Things that were once considered unacceptable are now strangely tolerable. Indeed, in the case of Trump and the various lawsuits and investigations surrounding him, they are bizarrely encouraged.
For those thinking that the lawsuits and investigations will reach a critical mass that not even “Teflon” Don could survive, don’t hold your breath.
This is the guy who infamously got major banks that he owed money to bail him out in the 1990s.
Donald Trump defeated two political dynasties—the Bush and Clintons—on a shoestring budget in 2016.
He weathered controversy upon controversy as president (some real, most were cooked up by his political rivals).
Twice impeached, Trump lived to fight another day.
Nothing about Trump is ordinary in terms of restraints that most American politicians, regardless of party, respected.
Donald Trump Can Turn Success Into Failure
Just look at what happened to Trump after he was indicted a few weeks ago by what most believe was an overzealous, politically motivated district attorney in Manhattan about purported hush money payments that Trump paid out to the pornographic actress, Stormy Daniels.
The accusation and indictment did little to damage Trump’s standing with Republican Party voters going into the 2024 GOP Presidential Primary.
In fact, the politically motivated and unfair indictment of Trump boosted Trump’s standing with likely Republican voters and helped to stunt what was at that time a seemingly inexorable surge in the polls by Florida’s Republican Governor Ron DeSantis. The constant drumbeat of greater legal woes has only served to further empower Trump rather than deter his political return.
We are rapidly entering into an absurd age where the increasingly insane or ridiculous are fast becoming the norm. Hence, the United States stands a very good chance of one of its two (or both given Joe Biden’s own legal issues) major political parties nominating a criminal as their standard bearer. In the case of Trump, he’s got a few other nasty legal woes facing him that outstrip the indictment he received last month in Manhattan.
There’s the ongoing Washington, D.C. grand jury investigation into Trump’s alleged mishandling of classified documents. Then there is the Atlanta grand jury investigation into claims that former President Trump attempted to steal the 2020 Presidential Election by demanding the Republican governor of Georgia at the time locate 11,000 votes for the Trump Campaign during the legal battles that President Trump had initiated against the Democrats in his quest to overturn the election.
Either of these investigations (or both) could do significant legal harm to Trump. Yet, that legal harm will not dissuade Trump from continuing his campaign. The combination of his sense of grievance, as well as the explosive support he’s receiving from the Republican Party base, along with the fact that Trump will need the presidency in order to give himself a pardon for all the crimes he stands accused of, means that Trump will campaign until the bitter end.
Even if that means he has to campaign from a prison cell (which is legal).
Take Donald Trump Seriously
Stop underestimating Donald Trump. Up-is-down with his gonzo American politico. Nothing will stop him from running because his lifestyle and freedom literally depend on him winning in 2024. If he can win, Trump can pardon himself and his pals of any wrongdoing in any of the legal cases he’s currently the subject of. As a private citizen, however, Trump will be under constant attack by political arsonists looking for retribution.
The only thing that can stop Trump from getting the GOP nomination in 2024 would be if a better candidate, such as Ron DeSantis, came along and really made Republican voters think twice about simply throwing in with an incredibly weak and chaotic Donald Trump. Ron DeSantis is the only Republican who can do that.
Trump won’t stop himself, though, from running. Nor will any indictment. Even if he’s indicted in all three major cases against him. It will only compel him to push harder. But Trump understands he’s fundamentally weak on his Right.
Trump is Worried About DeSantis
This is why he’s so gung-ho about lobbing the over-the-top attacks he’s directed against DeSantis. Trump knows if DeSantis bests him in the election then all the criminal investigations against Donald Trump will intensify, and his liberty will have been placed in permanent danger.
Trump isn’t going anywhere, and these investigations will not even faze the forty-fourth president as he struggles to overcome the odds stacked against him.
A 19FortyFive Senior Editor, Brandon J. Weichert is a former Congressional staffer and geopolitical analyst who is a contributor at The Washington Times, as well as at American Greatness and the Asia Times. He is the author of Winning Space: How America Remains a Superpower (Republic Book Publishers), Biohacked: China’s Race to Control Life (May 16), and The Shadow War: Iran’s Quest for Supremacy (July 23). Weichert can be followed via Twitter @WeTheBrandon.