Ninety-one felony charges. That’s what Donald Trump faces. Multiple top advisers—some of them former attorneys of his from the 2020 election challenge—have made plea deals.
Trump’s former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, the gatekeeper in Trump’s White House, has apparently made an immunity deal for himself with the Georgia state prosecutors who are pursuing Trump (and eighteen other Trump Campaign officials for allegedly attempting to unduly influence the outcome of the 2020 election in Georgia).
The former president is in a hole that he cannot possibly dig himself out of. Yet, the forty-fifth president continues to push beyond his legal woes and make what appears to be a successful bid for the White House in the 2024 Presidential Election.
Or, at least, he seems to be making a dominant showing in the Republican Primary.
But where will The Donald be in March 2024, as the Republican Primary comes to its final months and the General Election slowly starts to get underway?
The former president will be sitting in courtroom after courtroom as the four separate major trials he is indicted in are underway, and he’s made to be present for them.
Donald Trump Can’t Win
At a time when most candidates would be marshalling their limited campaign cash and resources to waging a final battle for their party’s nomination, traveling to key states in the primary to make their final pitches for why they should be the nominee, Trump will be shuttling himself between various trials across the fruited plain.
Rather than focus like a laser—the best laser—on systematically winning his court cases (and avoiding decades of jail time in the process) by working with his attorneys to craft a sound legal defense strategy, Trump has spent his time impugning the process (which has absolutely been politicized by pro-Democrat partisans in the Administrative State).
Trump has alienated the judges of his various cases. He has behaved as a boor at every turn, even going so far as to appear to be threatening possible witnesses for the prosecution in his ongoing trials on social media.
Trump has not really argued in any effective way for why he’s innocent of the charges. Instead, he’s turned the court proceedings into the very show trials he insists that they’ve always been (in this way, we cannot be certain which side in these sordid affairs have made them political, the Biden-loving prosecutors or The Donald himself).
Nevertheless, Trump has made a dangerous (for him) calculation that, since these trials are political in nature, he can simply ignore them; he can abandon any pretense of waging an effective legal defense while fighting only the political fight in the court of public opinion.
Even if Trump were to wage an effective political campaign—which he has done thus far in the GOP Primary—the fact remains that there are simply too many indictments he’s being inundated with at once. And at least some of them, notably the mishandling of classified documents case, has real heft behind it.
Trump’s People Are Turning On Him to Save Themselves
Now that his former White House chief of staff has apparently flipped and become a cooperator with the Georgia state prosecution against Trump, along with the plea deals that Trump attorneys Sydney Powell and Kenneth Chesebro have crafted with the Georgia prosecutors, the likelihood increases that Trump will be convicted in that case as well.
That case, of course, will feed directly into federal prosecutor Jack Smith’s case against Trump for allegedly having incited an insurrection on January 6. Whatever evidence the Georgia state prosecutors uncover for proving their case against Trump in the Peach State will be used by federal prosecutors in their cases against Trump.
And if Trump were to be convicted for either the Georgia case or the Jack Smith federal case about January 6, Trump very well may be disqualified from even being allowed to hold political office under the “Insurrection Clause” of the Fourteenth Amendment.
In the meanwhile, Trump will have wasted key Republican resources fighting his improbable bid to become president again. He will have ensured that the GOP loses in 2024, because by the time he were to be convicted and prevented from running for office under the Fourteenth Amendment, Trump would likely have secured his place as the GOP nominee.
His convictions and subsequent likely disqualification under the Fourteenth Amendment would throw the GOP into chaos and hand the Democrats an easy win in 2024.
Donald Trump is Running for the Wrong Reasons
Plus, it becomes all too obvious why the former president is running again for the White House. The first is to soothe his own wounded ego. He lost to “Sleepy” Joe, by hook-or-by-crook.
And it grates his obvious inflated sense of himself.
The other reason he’s running to be president again is clearly because, if elected in 2024, Trump believes he’ll be able to pardon himself for the federal crimes he’s accused (and likely to be convicted) of.
And whatever state crimes he’s convicted of, Trump thinks he’ll be able to delay the punishment the longer he stays in the White House. Then, of course, there’s the urge by Trump to enact his revenge upon the Faceless Men of the Deep State.
At no point in his calculations, however, has he attempted to figure out what is actually good for the country or what is right for the party. If it were pardons he wanted, the next Republican president would happily grant them. If it were strong legal defenses Trump needed to stay out of jail, while a Trump ally ran for president, the Republican Party would have provided them to the forty-fifth president.
No, what we are experiencing is Trump’s need for self-gratification and enhancement. It will destroy the political order in the country and likely ensure the Republicans never hold office again.
A 19FortyFive Senior Editor and an energy analyst at the The-Pipeline, Brandon J. Weichert is a former Congressional staffer and geopolitical analyst who is a contributor at The Washington Times, as well as at 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 occasionally serves as a Subject Matter Expert for various organizations, including the Department of Defense. He can be followed via Twitter @WeTheBrandon. He writes opinion pieces for this publication.
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