Letters & Opinion

Are Donald Trump’s Court Cases ‘Gifts from God’?

Earl Bousquet
Chronicles Of A Chronic Caribbean Chronicler By Earl Bousquet

Ex-US President Donald Trump has again played the press to stay in the headlines — and raise millions — ahead of his third presidential election campaign.

With 90 million online supporters ahead of the 2020 poll in which he won 75 million votes – the most by any US President — Trump emerged earlier this week from a brief period of relative quiet following recent legal cases about elections interference and classified ‘Top Secret’ documents found at his Florida home, to weave another web of woes around himself as America’s Victim-in-Chief.

Since losing office on November 4, 2020, the ex-president has kept his wide base believing The Big Lie that his victory was “stolen” for the actual winner, President Joe Biden.

Now he wants it back, but his legal woes have only grown in the two years since he left the White House, including this week’s case stemming from payment of US $130,000 “hush-money” to an “adult film” star who’d threatened to spill the beans — ahead of his 2016 presidential run — about their off-camera relationship while his wife was pregnant.

The latest charges from the seven-year-old ‘Stormy’ Daniels (Stephanie Clifford) case were sealed, but the ex-president’s lawyers let it be known, in advance, their client would plead ‘Not Guilty’ – and on all counts.

Unsealed in Trump’s presence, the 34 charges were related to “falsifying business records” to hide the hush-money payment.

Manhattan District Attorney (DA) Alvin Bragg described “34 lies to cover other crimes” and insisted his department “will not allow anyone to normalize criminal behavior” in its district.

But Trump’s team said their client was “Ready to fight!”

A 13-page court filing outlining the criminal case described a years-long “catch-and-kill scheme” in which Trump and his associates were accused of tracing and burying negative press stories about him by doling-out hundreds-of-thousands in hush-money.

Any such case, even with less charges, will sink any other politician hoping to swim in votes ahead of an election — but Trump isn’t any other politician.

Instead, the author of ‘The Art of the Deal’ has used his latest clash with the law to start adding another chapter to his unfinished epic ‘How To Take And Keep The White House!’

Trump still says the Congressional Hearings into his supporters’ January 6, 2021 Capitol assault is a “witch-hunt”.

Eager reporters wrongly claimed Trump was “the first US president to face a criminal charge…”, but in fact, President Ulysses Grant was slapped with a police traffic fine in 1872 for speeding his two-horse carriage along a Washington Street.

President Nixon resigned a century later (1974) after a House Judiciary Committee approved three articles of impeachment against him for Obstruction of Justice, Abuse of Power and Contempt of Congress.

And President Bill Clinton was impeached in 1998 for Perjury to Grand Jury and Obstruction of Justice, over his affair with Monica Lewinsky.

But be all that as it may, Trump was the only President impeached twice while in office.

The first was after a formal House inquiry found he had solicited foreign interference (from Ukraine) in the 2020 US presidential election to help his re-election bid and then obstructed the inquiry itself by telling his administration officials to ignore subpoenas for documents and testimony.

The second was on January 13, 2021 — just one week before his term expired — for “incitement of insurrection”.

On Tuesday, The Donald was reported as having easily squeezed over $10 million in campaign support pledges from supporters across America; and as soon as the two-hour hearing ended, Trump jetted back to a glittering 2024 election fundraising event at his Mar-a-Lago home, hotel and casino.

The Don normally persistently denies any and every charge, never mind any evidence — and he’s also getting more out of the media than the headlines he assures them.

His lawyers successfully argued against allowing press cameras in court, resulting in only four photographers allowed inside.

Besides, the arrest and indictment not only brought Trump more votes and dollars, but also placed him way-ahead of – and silenced — his two rivals for the presidential candidacy for 2024, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley.

Trump’s lawyers are again employing his usual Attack-and-Delay tactics to (try to) ensure the scores of legal cases against him all last beyond the November 4, 2024 presidential poll.

This week’s case resumes in December — at the start of the Republican Primaries season, when, whatever happens, it will provide enough cannon fodder to keep spurring his ever-highly-motivated base on.

But if you thought this was a major headache for the 45th president of the USA, legal brains say it’s actually the least-worrying of the scores lined-up against him – which is probably why the ex-Commander-in-Chief is saying “I never thought something like this would happen in America,” when “The only crime I have committed is to have fearlessly defended our country against those who try to destroy it…”

Trump is therefore demanding that case “should be dismissed, immediately…”

In another related case – also on Tuesday — a California Court of Appeals ruled that Daniels must pay about $122,000 of the fees that Trump’s attorneys accrued in connection with the failed defamation suit filed by her.

A Trump commissioner stressed that Daniels must grant money to the former President’s lawyers since they “invested reasonably” over 183 hours in the case appeal.

Besides the $122,000 in fees that the California Court established that Daniels must pay, the porn actress will also have to pay $300,000 in other legal expenses.

But Daniel has responded saying, “I’ll go to jail before paying a penny!”

Meanwhile, authoritative Trump author Michael Wolff (who wrote ‘Fire and Fury’ and three other books on him) on Tuesday warned against anyone thinking Trump will be “ashamed”.

Wolff advises (on the eve of the 2023 Holy Easter weekend) that instead, Trump “will see it as a Gift from God for his campaign…”

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