Because if a jury has already told you they’re going to let you off no matter what, why not just turn it into a marketing opportunity?
Why bother to mount a law-based defense, when you can instead use it as an opportunity to grandstand and spread lies and you’ll still get off?
So in that context, is the fact that over the weekend, a whole handful of the key lawyers Trump had lined up have now backed out, going to make much of a difference?
That’s because, as first reported by CNN, and confirmed by many other news outlets:
“Trump wanted the attorneys to argue there was mass election fraud and that the election was stolen from him rather than focus on the legality of convicting a president after he’s left office.”
And I don’t get all the expressions of glee and joy I’m seeing in social media from Trump opponents about that happening.
Because though it’s “typical Trump”, does some lawyers leaving because Trump wants to pursue an extreme and ugly strategy really hurt Trump at all? Not if he still walks. And there’s still next to no chance Republicans in the Senate won’t facilitate that.
Even though as I’ve said repeatedly, the impeachment charge of “incitement of insurrection” is about as clear cut as can be. Because Trump’s inflammatory speech on January 6th, within shouting distance of the Capitol, just minutes before his supporters violently stormed the Capitol, is about the clearest point A to point B line ever between Trump and a naked attempt to undermine the U.S. Constitution and overthrow the U.S. government.
And if that’s still not clear enough for you, Trump’s not-at-all-veiled threats on then Vice President Mike Pence’s life, which continued on Twitter after the original incitement, should be enough for anybody. Should be…
Yes, most of Trump’s set of lawyers for his impeachment trial, who mostly came from South Carolina, meaning his buddy Republican Senator Lindsey Graham was putting together this team for him, unless that’s sheer coincidence, have all now backed out.
Except Trump already has new lawyers anyway.
And haven’t y’all learned when something like this happens what comes next is worse?
Because, as I said, Trump’s jury has already all but guaranteed to acquit, and told everyone as much, so why should Trump be constrained by a defense that’s centered on legal theories and putting together whatever defense he can make, when way more than a sufficient number of members of the jury—U.S. Senators— have already told him they’re going to let him off no matter what?
So Trump doesn’t really, actually have to defend himself. So I can understand why he might think he can more profitably use his time—with new lawyers—to further spread all kinds lies, and foment more divisiveness, if not unrest. Because why not? The jury already told him there’d be no consequences.
Even if Trump comes perilously close to ending up arguing the January 6th insurrection and violence was justified, which is what’ll be happening if he insists his lawyers insist during his Senate trial that the election actually was stolen from him. Even though it wasn’t.
And those Senators who vote to acquit can still hide behind their original contortions about how Presidents can’t be impeached after they leave office to cover their own behinds, if they want, even if Trump just comes and argues something completely different.
So here it comes. Trump’s first real opportunity to thrust himself back in somewhere since he left the White House as the sorest sore loser in the history of America, the likes of which we’ve never seen before. So of course he’s going to use his time to lie and spread lies and further incite divisions. It’s a huge marketing opportunity for him and his “movement”. And a lot of free advertising, not just for his own glory and to try to boost his own boundless but wounded ego, but through which he can raise a lot more money.
Because a very limited number of still-angry Trump supporter are going to throw cash at the former President if he gets up an argues he shouldn’t be impeached because of some technicality in constitutional law.
But if he gets up and shouts and screams about he’s the victim, and he’s right, and everyone else is wrong, and everyone else is out to get him, that’s what’s going to get him the most coverage. And, well, also a potential bonanza for whatever future political aspirations he may have. Even if not as a candidate, as a king maker. Not to mention aspirations for his wallet.
Any there’s nothing funny about it.