Standing defiantly on a tarmac, on his way to a campaign rally, former President Donald J. Trump was asked by a journalist (who he ultimately referred to as a “wise guy”) if he’d accept a plea deal, if it were ever offered to him by Fani Willis and the special grand jury in Atlanta, Georgia, she was leading against Trump. “We won’t take plea deals because I did nothing wrong,” he huffed.
While Donald Trump may believe he did nothing wrong, he faces severe legal jeopardy. And it looks like he created the entire mess himself.
Donald Trump: A History of Indictments
The Georgia grand jury investigation into whether he attempted to influence the 2020 Election count in Georgia unduly isn’t his only legal woe.
It’s one of four cases that he’s been indicted in; two cases are federal, while two others are state-level.
That’s not even mentioning the recent civil suit in New York that he lost to E. Jean Carroll, in which a New York jury found Trump defamation for battery (sexual assault) and libel against Carroll.
To say that 2023 hasn’t been a good year for the former president legally is an understatement.
Of course, in the specific instance of the Georgia case against Trump, the night is still young and the former president (and the 17 other people who were indicted along with him in that ongoing case) are entitled to a robust legal defense.
It will be interesting to see what the former president has planned.
What’s more, Trump announced that a very large document that purportedly contains “irrefutable” evidence that totally “exonerates” him in the Georgia case will be presented by he and his legal team at his golf course in Bedminster, New Jersey soon.
Rule Number One: Don’t Talk
Donald Trump will then give a speech outlining the extent and nature of his legal defense strategy in that case.
Retired Judge Andrew Napolitano, a onetime Trump legal adviser in 2016, as well as a former Fox News personality, has argued that Trump is being foolish for sharing publicly his legal defense strategy.
In Napolitano’s estimation, anything that Trump says publicly on this matter can—and most assuredly will—be used against the former president and his alleged co-conspirators in the case. In fact, that’s how we got to this point in the first place. Trump’s big mouth.
Every Republican voter in 2016, including me, was attracted to Trump’s unconventional candidacy largely because he was an unapologetic fighter. The same elements, though, that made him an appealing insurgent candidate are precisely the factors that made him such an uneven president.
Now, these are the aspects of Trump’s personality that have gotten him into legal hot water. If he’s not more careful (which he is preternaturally incapable of being), Trump could very well go to jail based on whatever he’s planning on blabbing to the press.
Just think about it: at the height of his challenge to the results of the 2020 Election, Trump got on a phone to the already twitchy election officials in Georgia and proceeded to berate them about the need for them to “find” over 11,000 votes for him.
He did this without any expectation that they would be recording him (which, of course, they were).
Without that absurd recording, by the way, there’d have been no legal pretext for Georgia prosecutor Fani Willis to launch her grand jury investigation into the former president. Trump wouldn’t, therefore, be enduring yet another costly indictment (this time, with 17 colleagues).
If his mouth got him into trouble in the first place with prosecutors (who are partisan and want nothing more than convict Trump for political reasons), then it stands to reason that his big mouth is going to get him into deeper trouble as the investigation continues.
This isn’t the only case where Trump has exacerbated his problems with his bad behavior.
In the E. Jean Carroll case, he was found liable for defamation because he insulted the looks of Carroll on his widely followed social media account. He then again doubled-down on his remarks after he had been ordered to pay $5 million to Carroll by the court for defaming her. Because of the additional defamatory remarks Trump had made during a recent CNN townhall, the forty-fifth president got into deeper legal hot water.
Keep Politics in the Campaign and Legal Defense in Court
Trump should be focused on his political campaign not on waging a legal fight in the political domain. That’s not because he shouldn’t defend himself. It’s because the prosecution is so clearly gung-ho about getting him that they are prepared to use anything and everything he says about these ongoing cases in public against him.
Donald Trump’s inability to control himself is both obnoxious and deeply disturbing, considering that he very well may end up being the only thing standing between this country and another disastrous term for President Joe Biden.
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 (Encounter Books), and The Shadow War: Iran’s Quest for Supremacy (July 23). Weichert can be followed via Twitter @WeTheBrandon.
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