The entire Trump Campaign is being waged in a bizarre—dare I say, Trumpian—way. As the forty-fifth president, who stands indicted on 91 charges, ranging from the absurd – alleged hush money payments to an adult film star – to the serious – such as claims that the former president mishandled classified documents – he is also running for reelection.
And while Trump continues busting all norms in the campaign cycle, he now finds himself in the midst of a terrible familial crisis: his grown children are being compelled by New York Attorney General Letitia James to testify against their father in an ongoing fraud case.
Trump’s two adult sons have already testified. More recently, Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, appeared in the New York State court. It was your typical Trump disaster, full of conflation, deflection, and capped by a sudden case of selective amnesia. To be sure, Trump’s defense team will get its turn questioning Ivanka today in the New York court case that the forty-fifth president has described as “fraudulent.”
It’s not as if former President Donald Trump is the only rich person – especially in the high-end real estate development business – who routinely inflated the value of his assets to gain favorable loan conditions and then, as a matter of course, devalued his assets to avoid higher taxes.
In New York City, the unofficial capital of the world economy, many wealthy elites do this. In Trump’s defense, none of the banks he allegedly defrauded wanted the New York attorney general’s office to pursue the former president … because everyone involved in the banking industry understands that most of their wealthy clients engage in such shenanigans.
What’s more, Trump repaid his loans in full – with the help of some weird banks in San Diego. Technically, though, Trump was a great client. The best! As Trump might say.
Was It a Catwalk or a Courthouse?
Anyway, Ivanka proved herself to again be a spitting image of her father. It has been said that Rep. Marjorie Taylor-Greene (R-GA) or former Arizona governor contestant Kari Lake is “Trump in high heels.” Ideologically speaking, that may be true. But there is only one Donald Trump in heels: Ivanka Trump. She entered the courtroom in a professional navy pantsuit, reminiscent of one of her former family friends, Hillary Clinton.
But it was Hillary Clinton-meets-young Farrah Fawcett—replete with wind-blown hair as she entered the courthouse.
Was it a catwalk or a courthouse? Given Ivanka’s poise and outfit, she must’ve thought to herself, “Why not both?”
The former First Daughter’s testimony was classic Trump, too. Praising her family firm’s “herculean” efforts to rebuild the Doral golf course. Or describing the Trump Organization’s beautiful renovations of the Old Post Office Building in Washington, D.C., as a “labor of love.”
Had it not been for the presence of a hostile prosecution as well as an obviously biased presiding judge, one would have thought Ivanka’s testimony was yet another Trump infomercial hocking whatever new product they’d thought of the night before.
Alas, the love affair could only last so long.
Ivanka’s Case of Selective Amnesia
The prosecution soon turned to asking Ivanka Trump about her role in the Trump Organization’s alleged fabrication of financial statements and inflation of the Trump Organization’s financial assets for favorable loan conditions, that aforementioned case of amnesia suddenly set in. Ivanka Trump simply couldn’t remember.
Bear in mind, that in many respects, Ivanka Trump is said to be the most corrupt member of the Trump Family. She and her husband, Jared Kushner, were unabashed Manhattan Democrats who rarely—if ever—aligned with her father’s politics or Donald Trump’s “MAGA” coalition.
Yet, because Ivanka Trump was rumored to be the forty-fifth president’s favorite offspring, she and her Liberal husband were given a large seat at the presidential table. Kushner did everything from helping to run the campaign to managing the financial side of the Trump political operation to solving the border crisis to solving Mideast peace.
In the process, she and her husband—the so-called “secretary of everything”—were given access to classified information. They regularly received classified updates on regions of the world in which they wanted to do business, attempting to use state resources to gain advantages over their corporate competitors. Neither she nor her husband ever divested themselves totally from their various business endeavors.
Meanwhile, the Saudis paid Kushner a cartoonish amount of money for undisclosed services. Ivanka and her husband greatly benefited from their family’s time in national politics a lá Hunter Biden – the only difference was that Kushner actually delivered real results, such as stability in the Mideast, that helped America while Hunter Biden just used his money and power to compromise the U.S. federal government and buy illicit narcotics.
Ivanka Trump did not want to testify against her father. She was compelled to do so by a subpoena. Once she was before the court, Ivanka Trump attempted to do the classic Trump move of inflation and deflection. It didn’t work. Because everyone could see that when it came down to it, Ivanka Trump didn’t want to answer any questions about inflating the value of Trump assets for favorable loan conditions.
In all probability, the former president likely did engage in these actions and Ivanka didn’t want to fall into a perjury trap set by the New York prosecutors.
It’s Still a Politicized Trial
Of course, left unasked by those leading the charge against Trump is whether or not their witch hunt is worth the cost.
At least half the country is not going to believe the outcome of this case (or any of the cases against Trump). They will insist that he is their president.
And, if these cases do end up damaging Trump so badly that he either cannot or will not complete his unorthodox bid for reelection in 2024, it just might spark another round of violence—the likes of which would make January 6 pale in comparison.
In a saner, fairer world, Trump would be left alone by the justice system. The American people would be his ultimate judge in 2024. After they had their say, only then would the courts get involved in prosecuting Trump for his various alleged crimes.
But right now, this smacks of a politicized ordeal that only empowers Trump and weakens his potential challengers.
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 (Republic Book Publishers). Weichert occasionally serves as a Subject Matter Expert for various organizations, including the Department of Defense. He can be followed via Twitter @WeTheBrandon. The views expressed in this opinion piece are the author’s own.