Donald Trump’s failure to realize that loyalty is a two-way street could come back to haunt him.
This is proving true in the rash of legal actions against him.
In Georgia, for example, former Trump attorney Jenna Ellis pleaded guilty to a lesser charge in exchange for testifying against him in Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’s January 6th election interference case.
Ellis said in August she had been “reliably informed Trump isn’t funding any of us who are indicted,” and wondered “why isn’t [the pro-Trump Super Pac] MAGA, Inc. funding everyone’s defense?”
Sidney Powell was one of Trump’s stalwarts following the 2020 election. However, she too has not received any meaningful support from the former president, who has denied she was even his attorney. Powell also struck a plea deal.
Trump noted earlier this week that he has spent over $100 million on legal defense since the first indictment in the Stormy Daniels business fraud case came down in April.
At least $200,000 was raised for Ellis’ legal defense through crowdfunding sites. She learned the hard way that loyalty to Trump does not mean anything in the other direction, because he views people as expendable, and all relationships as transactional.
“If I knew then what I know now, I would have declined to represent Donald Trump in these post-election challenges,” Ellis said with tears in her eyes last week after she announced her plea deal.
Trump Attorney Worry About Chesebro
Trump’s attorneys worry about the impact of prosecutors turning Trump lawyer Kenneth Chesebro against him. Chesebro allegedly devised much of the alternate elector scheme that landed Trump and his co-defendants in legal hot water.
He accepted a deal to plead guilty to filing false documents. His attorney Scott Grubman denied that his legal situation had any impact on Trump.
“I don’t think he implicated anyone but himself,” Grubman told Rolling Stone in August. “Whether the campaign relied upon that advice as Mr. Chesebro intended … will have to remain a question to be resolved in court.”
He continued: “We hope that the Fulton DA and the special counsel fully recognize these issues before deciding who, if anyone, to charge.”
Trump’s Fall Guy List
Rolling Stone alleges that Trump’s associates put together a list of potential fall guys including John Eastman, Rudy Giuliani, and Mark Meadows, who have become codefendants. Meadows testified to the federal grand juries investigating Trump’s conduct in both the classified documents case and the January 6th case.
“This has fueled suspicions among Trump’s inner orbit this year, with some advisers now simply referring to Meadows in private communications by using the rat emoji,” Rolling Stone reported.
Meadows’ lawyer denied his client had been granted immunity last week. Trump held back against slamming Meadows and held out hope that he had not turned on him.
“Some people would make that deal, but they are weaklings and cowards, and so bad for the future [of] our Failing Nation,” Trump wrote on Truth Social. “I don’t think that Mark Meadows is one of them, but who really knows?”
Last week, ABC News reported that Meadows was “granted immunity” by the special counsel in order to spill potentially damaging details about Trump and the aftermath of the 2020 election. Meadows’ lawyer has since disputed much of the report as “inaccurate,” though he refused to say what in the story was not correct.
An unnamed Trump administration official who spoke to Rolling Stone summed up the attitude of many.
“If I went to jail for Donald Trump, if I did that, what would that do for me and my family?” says a former Trump administration official who has been interviewed by special counsel Jack Smith’s office. “I don’t think he would even give us lifetime Mar-a-Lago memberships if I did that for him.”
Trump’s failure to stand by his codefendants could result in their turning on him. His legal jeopardy could thus increase.
John Rossomando is a defense and counterterrorism analyst and served as Senior Analyst for Counterterrorism at The Investigative Project on Terrorism for eight years. His work has been featured in numerous publications such as The American Thinker, The National Interest, National Review Online, Daily Wire, Red Alert Politics, CNSNews.com, The Daily Caller, Human Events, Newsmax, The American Spectator, TownHall.com, and Crisis Magazine. He also served as senior managing editor of The Bulletin, a 100,000-circulation daily newspaper in Philadelphia, and received the Pennsylvania Associated Press Managing Editors first-place award for his reporting.
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