Trump had one of his best weeks as the cases against him mounted, Turley says
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While Woody Allen once said that “80 percent of success is showing up,” former President Donald Trump confirmed this week that the same could be said about “just keeping around.” Trump had one of his best weeks as issues and critics seemed to collide, from the impeachment attempt in Washington to the scandal in Georgia. However, Trump is not out of the woods and there have been great threats in a war that is coming to an end.
In Washington, the Supreme Court gave a cold reception to the attempt to disqualify the glacier. While law professors such as Harvard’s Laurence Tribe argued that the basis for impeaching Trump from office under the 14th Amendment was “inconceivable,” the justices seemed completely or -certain and it is now possible that the whole effort would be unanimously defeated. Even liberal Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson seemed to call the effort anti-democratic.
The case against Trump in Georgia continues, as allegations mount against Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis over her close relationship with the deputy prosecutor her special Nathan J. Wade. This week, a lawsuit alleges that Willis and Wade made false claims to the court about when their relationship began. The two prosecutors have maintained that they only became close after Willis hired Wade. Wade’s former attorney has reportedly come forward to dispute that claim.
That allegation, if true, could continue Willis and Wade’s improbable case. Various Georgia defendants are accused of making false statements and filings in court. Of course, the removal of Willis and Wade will not end the case, but it will bring logistical and optical problems to the office.
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There are also calls for the removal of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, who has been accused of turning a blind eye to crime despite his determined effort to convict Trump.
Trump has an unusual luck in critics who seem to fire time in rather surprising fashion. Michael Cohen, a former attorney, went to prison and lost his law license. At the Department of Justice, several FBI officials from the Russia investigation were accused of wrongdoing and removed from the DOJ. That included James Comey, who was found to have removed FBI material after Trump fired him and given it to a friend who leaked it to the media. Another Justice official pleaded guilty to criminal conduct related to the Russia investigation.
In politics, former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who attacked Trump for his treatment of women, was forced out of office for sexual harassment. Michael Avenatti was sentenced to a long prison term for fraud and other crimes. Senator Robert Menendez, DNJ, who voted for Trump’s impeachment in the Senate is now accused of corruption.
Even in the arts, Trump’s critics have fallen from great heights. Not only has actress Kathy Griffin become an unpopular figure after her ridiculous portrayal of deposed Trump, she’s now begging people to buy tickets for a crazy ride to return Alec Baldwin, who boldly played Trump, is facing criminal charges after shooting a film crew member.
Of course, it’s fair to note that some of Trump’s friends have been doing just as badly, including those who have been convicted or are facing trial like Paul Manafort, Michael Flynn, Roger Stone, Rudy Giuliani, Sidney Powell, and others.
However, there is no doubt that time has worked in Trump’s favor in fulfilling some statements. He has accused the Democrats of trying to fix elections. While scrapping bids in 2020, Democrats like Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold scrapped any high ground by trying to prevent citizens from voting for Trump while than he was leading in the polls.
Similarly, Trump has long mocked President Biden about his age and mental decline. This week, Special Counsel Robert Hur justified his dismissal of criminal charges against Mr. Biden in part because of his “diminished faculties.” He said his team was worried a jury would find him a “well-cared for, well-meaning old man with a bad memory”.
Biden then proceeded to a press conference to show that he was mentally sharp. It was an accident. Not only did Biden come across as a cranky octogenarian asking reporters to get off his lawn, but he proceeded to confuse the presidents of Mexico and Egypt.
Now, 76% of Americans are concerned about Biden’s mental fitness to be president.
Even more important was what the report said about Mr. Biden’s basic behavior. Despite false claims by Biden at the press conference, the report found that he had willingly preserved classified material, mishandled such material for years and he revealed classified material.
If that sounds familiar, it should. The photos and allegations are very similar to those involving Trump at Mar-a-Lago. In fact, the report showed that every element of the crime was obvious, which is probably why Hur tried to use Biden’s memory and sympathetic behavior to justify his decision. However, he suggested that a less sympathetic defendant with a better memory should be prosecuted.
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That unsympathetic figure sits in Mar-a-Lago facing 37 counts.
Hur tried to differentiate the issues by citing Trump’s failure to cooperate and his efforts to obstruct the investigation. However, that explains the blocking accounts. The problem is the other accounts for retention and mishandling. Some of these charges require a simple showing of gross negligence. Hur found intentional misconduct by Biden, but dismissed similar allegations.
For many, the two special counsel investigations have reaffirmed a two-tier legal system. In Florida, Jack Smith went after Trump with abandon while he was in Washington Hur showing an avoidance that was embarrassing to the president and the public.
Polls show that most Americans believe that the FBI has been politicized. Even in Georgia, a recent poll found that 77 percent believe politics played a large role (59%) or some role (18%) in impeaching Trump.
None of this means that Trump is out of the woods. It is possible that he could scuttle the federal investigation if elected or even pardon himself. However, cases in Georgia and New York may still move absent legal challenges forward. In addition, he has had a rough few weeks including a large award in a defamation lawsuit and a pending ruling that could prevent him from doing business in New York and which could cost him hundreds of millions in damages.
Timing is still the biggest concern. While polls indicate that the public sees a political motive in some of these issues, a majority of voters in swing states also indicate that they would be swayed by indictment against Trump.
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Perhaps for that reason, Smith continues to push the courts to allow him to try Trump before the election. However, with an appeal pending on immunity, he may be running out of space. The Justice Department has long been opposed to trials within a month or so of an election. Trump’s trial is likely to take months, making any date after the summer increasingly difficult. If Trump is elected, Smith knows there may be support to drop the issues from a weary public in 2025.
But, at this point, Trump may be counting less on proof than lies.