Donald Trump is no stranger to courtroom dramas and legal battles.
The former president is currently facing 91 criminal charges across four indictments, all of which are likely to be heard in court next year. Moreover, Trump’s facing a civil fraud trial in New York next week, as well as a high-profile defamation case brought against him by writer E. Jean Carroll.
He’s often brushed off legal investigations against him as politically motivated stunts, brought on by his opponents to damage his third campaign to become President of the United States. Expressing the level of confidence, or arguably arrogance, that he holds, Trump has appeared unfazed for a man facing charges amounting to more than 500 years in prison.
However, Tuesday’s ruling against him hurt him more than any other of the more than 4000 he’s faced in his career. Not just financially, nor politically, but personally.
Decimation Of Donald Trump’s Reputation
These days, Trump is seen by many as a politician rather than a businessman. He relinquished control of his business operations to his sons upon assuming the presidency, and has focused his efforts on a re-election campaign ever since leaving the White House on January 20, 2021.
That said, it’s hard to imagine Trump ever rising to political prominence without his business empire. It wasn’t his appearances on The Apprentice that gave him an advantage, or even his charisma (although both certainly helped). Instead, one of the reasons Trump won the presidential election was because voters perceived him as a successful businessman best suited to handle the economy.
The latest ruling by New York Judge Arthur Engoron is a personal blow to Trump. His properties which bear his name could be revoked from him, along with other Trump Organization entities synonymous with the Republican frontrunner.
His self-preservation tactics have been exposed by the ruling. Trump’s insistence that he’s subject to a politically motivated criminal “witch hunt” has been no secret, nor has his refusal to believe he lost the 2020 presidential election. However, Judge Engoron’s ruling effectively labels the former president as a cheat who’s lied his way to the top in any battle he’s faced.
“In defendants’ world,” Justice Engoron wrote, “rent-regulated apartments are the same as unregulated apartments; restricted land is worth the same as unrestricted land; restrictions can evaporate into thin air.”
“That is a fantasy world, not the real world.”
Trump’s anger at the ruling, which he intends to appeal, was evident on Truth Social. He’s often voiced his displeasure at legal decisions against him, but the volume of posts following Tuesday’s “un-American” decision, featuring sentences in all capital letters, highlighted his discontent over the impact on his personal and professional reputation. Were it not for his visit to Detroit or the Republican debate the following day, he’d probably still be going now.
If the aftermath of 2020 didn’t show Trump’s Achilles Heel, Tuesday’s decision almost certainly did. Will it affect him in the polls? The trend of the year so far suggests it may not. However, it certainly proved that if you go after someone like Trump, who is seeking to shut down the government to protect his own interests, the chances are he won’t react well.
Shay Bottomley is a British journalist based in Canada. He has written for the Western Standard, Maidenhead Advertiser, Slough Express, Windsor Express, Berkshire Live and Southend Echo, and has covered notable events including the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
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