Friday, May 13, 2022

Will any of Trump legal troubles actually rule him out of rhe 2024 election?

Well, I've not written the word "Trump" in this blog for quite some time now, so there you go, now I've done it.

More specifically, though, I was idly wondering whether all the various law suits Trump is facing - a more or less normal situation for him, and one he even seems to thrive on - are actually likely to have any concrete effect on his nomination as Republican presidential candidate in 2024, and his ultimate chances of becoming President again.

Trump is under investigation for any number of possible illegal activites, including: tax fraud and tax avoidance schemes in the Trump real estate organization; another fraud claim by his errant nice Mary Trump; an actual rape accusation by journalist E. Jean Carroll, and another sexual assault accusation by "Apprentice" contestant Summer Zervos; a criminal incitement case for Trump's activities in relation to the Capitol storming of January 6th 2021, in an attempt to overthrow the 2020 election results, which is still ongoing; his possible destruction of classified documents when he left office; possible criminal interference in the 2020 election through his actions and incitement in Fulton County, Georgia; and probably others. This "litigation tracker" lists at least 22 current cases, for what it's worth.

While all that would probably be more than enough to sink the presidential ambitions of most people, Trump supporters and Trump himself seem to see it almost as a badge of honour, an example of Trump's ability to "stick it to the man", however illogical and perverse that might me (if anyone IS "the man", it's Donald Trump). And, while the threat of criminal prosecution "certainly makes it more difficult" for Trump to claim the Republican mantle again, as Great America PAC chairman Ed Rollins says, it probably does not rule him out completely, especially given the glacial pace at which these legal cases proceed. 

Trump certainly seems to have an enviable ability to shrug off legal cases (or at least continue regardless), and he has an army of top lawyers constantly working to keep him afloat. Some commentators have certainly concluded that the chances of any of Trump's legal troubles actually succeeding are slim to none. None of the cases are easy ones to definitively prove (as this article explains), despite the apparent mounds of evidence of criminal activity stacked up against him, and a highly politicized jury pool will not help.

Plus, it's not even clear that a criminal indictment would disallow him from standing for President. Convicted felons have run for President in the past. There is nothing specifically in the Constitution that would preclude it (and the existing rule against felons standing for state offices does not apply federally), short of proof that he "engaged in insurrection of rebellion" which, although true, is a very long shot, legally speaking.

So, don't expect any of this to actually rule Trump out of the 2024 election. And what doesn't kill him may even make him - and his perverse supporters - stronger.

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