West News Wire: As investigations deepen, the former president will find it more difficult to paint his problems as the result of liberal elites persecuting him.
If the verdict in Donald Trump’s sexual assault case wasn’t a given, his reaction to the jury’s ruling that he assaulted writer E Jean Carroll was all too foreordained.
After the jury accepted Carroll’s testimony of the rich businessman assaulting her in a department store changing room in the mid-1990s, the former president slammed the judge as biassed and the jurors as being “from an anti-Trump area,” i.e. liberal New York. For “sexual abuse” and for defaming Carroll by calling her “a made-up SCAM” for political reasons, the jury awarded him $5 million in damages.
After pleading not guilty last month to 34 criminal counts related to the payment of hush money to the porn star Stormy Daniels before the 2016 presidential election, Trump has adopted a similar strategy against the Manhattan district attorney, Alvin Bragg. Trump described the prosecution of Bragg, a Black man, as simply political and referred to him as a “animal” and a “psychopath.”
There are parts of America where all of this is well received.
Republican voters in the crowd laughed when Trump referred to his attack on Carroll as “playing hanky-panky in a dressing room” and branded her a “whack job” on Wednesday during a CNN town hall.
But in the coming months it’s going to get a lot harder for the former, and possibly future, American president to spin his legal problems as political persecution by Democratic elitists. Investigations against him are mounting, and even more troubled legal waters lie ahead for Trump and some of his acolytes.
There will soon be indictments in conservative Georgia, and many of the key witnesses against Trump will be other Republicans, including some who assisted him in his attempt to rig the 2020 election.
Similar to this, investigations by a justice department special counsel into Trump’s actions leading up to the storming of the Capitol on January 6, 2021, and the hiding of classified documents at his Florida mansion are based on the accounts of aides and political associates who could testify against him.
Trump’s legal issues, according to Norman Eisen, a former White House special counsel for ethics and government reform, have only just begun.
“He’s running into a buzzsaw and it’s called the rule of law. So he can go on and rant and rave up to a point but the legal authorities are in the process of holding him accountable,” he said.
An Atlanta prosecutor who is gathering evidence against the former president almost exclusively from Republicans over his alleged plot to rig the Georgia 2020 presidential election is leading the charge. They include individuals who attempted to assist Trump in stealing the election but were convinced to testify against him in order to protect their own skins.
Two criminal investigations involving Trump are currently being conducted by Jack Smith, the special counsel that the US justice department appointed. These investigations once again involve Republicans, whose testimony could be used against the former president.
An employee of Trump at his Florida estate Mar-a-Lago has agreed to help authorities looking into his handling of sensitive papers, according to a New York Times report from earlier this month.
Like Willis, the justice department is using subpoenas to force grand jury testimony from those who witnessed Trump’s actions including whether he had classified documents moved in order to hide them once it because known they were illegally stored in Florida.
Again, Trump’s team has dismissed the investigation as a “politically motivated witch-hunt” aimed at keeping him from returning to the White House. But the former president didn’t help himself at the CNN town hall when he undercut his own lawyers by claiming that he had “every right” to take the documents from the White House.