Former President Donald J. Trump finds himself yet again in what will likely be another expensive defamation case with the journalist, E. Jean Carroll.
The journalist has already taken the forty-fifth president to the cleaners, what with the recent civil case in which it was determined by a New York jury that Trump was liable for sexual assault (battery) and defamation against Carroll.
Not more than a day after that ruling came down the pike against Trump, did the former president appear at CNN townhall in which he proceeded to refer to Carroll as a “nutjob.”
Thanks to those irresponsible comments, Trump is facing yet another defamation case from the New York journalist.
Donald Trump’s Avoidable Legal Crises
Yet, these legal flaps that Trump keeps getting himself into are often completely avoidable.
That Donald Trump found himself mired in a case almost identical—with the same woman, no less—to the case he had just lost, should show you just how irresponsible Trump can be.
This is a man who could have easily skated through the GOP primary and would have been well positioned to challenge President Joe Biden. Instead, we’ve spent an inordinate amount of time understanding the particulars about Trump’s never-ending string of (in many cases) self-inflicted legal problems rather than the specifics of his policies.
And while it certainly helps Trump’s cause to demonstrate that several of the investigations into him—notably the one with Stormy Daniels in Manhattan—is exaggerated for the benefit of Trump’s political rivals, Trump has often made his predicament worse.
It strains credulity to think that Trump would have found himself in such dire legal straits under any circumstance. In the specific case of E. Jean Carroll, he went out of his way to insult her—even after he lost to her in court.
He will likely lose to her again, being made to hand over another tranche of money. In 2016, I (and others), might have made the case that there was some method to Trump’s madness. Today, that does not seem to be the case.
It Really is About Judgement (and Sound Strategy)
Consider this: the former president is polling terribly among independents, women voters, and minorities. While he won a larger share of minority voters in 2020 than any previous Republican presidential candidate since Richard Nixon, the fact remains that he struggled to overcome Biden’s inherent advantages here.
Each time that the forty-fifth president gets more involved with these legal problems, he continues losing critical support among independents. Notably, independents are getting less supportive of Trump every time these legal problems come into the forefront of the media’s attention.
Trump insists that he’s the most persecuted president in modern American history. There’s some truth to that. The Russian collusion investigation that dogged his presidency in its first two, turbulent years, was entirely fabricated by Trump’s adversaries.
Thus, the former president can make the claim that he has been unfairly targeted. Plus, the impeachment trial into his “perfect” (kind of) phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in 2019 was a complete overreach by his desperate foes.
Donald Trump Never Misses Controversy
Beyond that, though, Trump has demonstrated a shocking inability to recognize that he’s in a presidential election in which neither he nor his opponent, Joe Biden (should Trump win the primary), are popular.
Every scandal, every issue that the former president fails to properly address or navigate through will lead to a diminishment of his potential to achieve victory in such a contest between two deeply unpopular men. Especially as the current Florida Governor Ron DeSantis enters the GOP Presidential Primary and mounts a serious challenge to the forty-fifth president’s chances at winning reelection.
Trump could have easily avoided yet another defamation lawsuit involving E. Jean Carroll. Like a child constantly placing his hand closer and closer to the stovetop, waiting to see when it will get burned, he continuously fails to learn his lesson: the hot stovetop will burn your hand.
It is best to keep yourself away from the stovetop and focus on accomplishing your objective: winning reelection. These legal problems are making such an objective impossible.
In fact, these woes may ensure that he becomes a twice defeated presidential candidate. The American voters are paying attention. Is Donald Trump?
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.