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The Right Resistance: What might be the Donald Trump campaign’s Achilles Heel in ‘24

“On further review, the running back was down by contact, there was no fumble and the offense retains the ball with second down and six at the forty-yard line.”

This isn’t an exact quotation, though there were several instances in last weekend’s NFL preseason battles where the game’s referee uttered something similar to inform fans that a change of possession didn’t actually take place and everyone should all-but erase the miscue and ensuing thrilling return by the defense from their collective memories. It’s almost like saying “Oops, we admit we screwed up, but we have video evidence to back us, so, too bad!”

In that spirit, on further review, former president Donald Trump’s very public legal issues could make a big difference in his campaign and the outcome of the 2024 election.

It's safe to say no one really cares if the striped football officials get it wrong in the dog days of August – they’re busy trying to relearn their craft, just like the players on the field. But it’s also indicative of something you thought might not have mattered – a blown call – actually ending up making quite a difference in the outcome of a game.

The same logic could be applied regarding the legal entanglements encircling former president Donald Trump these days. For months (years?), observers of the burgeoning Republican party primary race have seen the indictments, the arraignments – and the polls – and marveled at the impression that the more trouble Trump appears to get into, the more his support seems to solidify. It’s almost like all of the legal mumbo jumbo and speeches by the Democrat prosecutors and the heavily corrupted Joe Biden in-Justice Department didn’t matter, that Trump is bullet-proof and the more the Biden people pile-on, the worse it could be for them.

Trump’s Republican rivals have witnessed the same phenomenon, and no doubt many of them can’t figure out solid angles to attack the former president to gain favor with the people who count – conservative GOP primary voters. Sure, the actual voting is still months away, but right now, what is there to indicate Trump is vulnerable? Nothing they do matters, right?

Well, there could be something working behind the scenes that matters quite a lot, and is one reason why the official beat-down of Trump in courtrooms and in big buildings with lots of government lawyers could be quite consequential. All of the money Trump has expended to defend himself – good lawyers ain’t cheap – must come from somewhere. And Trump is tapping, big time, into his campaign resources to pay the brains and mouths to try and get him through this legal witch hunt maze.

Will the legal storm make a difference to Trump? In a fascinating piece titled “Will Trump Donors Keep Funding His Legal Battles?”, the always thought-provoking David Catron wrote at The American Spectator earlier this week:

“Inaccurate reporting by the corporate media notwithstanding, Trump’s legal expenses constitute a very real problem for his campaign. … [T]he political committees that Mr. Trump directly controls plus an independent super PAC which supports him exclusively raised about $67 million during the first half of 2023 and spent $90 million during the same period. The excess expenses were primarily attributable to legal fees. Consequently, Trump’s Save America PAC has been reduced to requesting a refund on a $60 million contribution it made last year to the Make America Great Again super PAC. Thus far, he has declined to use his own money to pay for the legal expenses.

“All of which suggests that the lawfare campaign being waged against Trump by the Biden Justice Department and allied Democratic prosecutors is working. The question is this: Will his donors stick with him as the indictments pile up? NBC reports: ‘The former president’s legal woes are putting financial strain on his political operation. But he can call on the support of more donors than the rest of the GOP field combined.’ What about the big money donors? In the end, they will go for the best investment. They are all watching Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. If he defeats Trump in the early GOP primaries, that’s where they’ll place their bets.”

Or at least we surmise that DeSantis won’t need to hire lawyers himself – yet. Thus far the establishment media’s sleaze guns have been aimed primarily at slowing down Trump, just as the Democrats have attempted to do since the summer and fall of 2016. Let’s not forget that Barack Obama’s highly placed stooges dreamed up “Crossfire Hurricane” months before Americans voted.

Similarly, Trump on TV all the time with big captions reading “Trump to Appear in Court” could wear on folks. But it might not just be Trump alone with legal bills. Here's thinking that if Trump’s polling lead narrows considerably and it looks like Gov. Ron – or any of the other GOP hopefuls – actually has a legitimate shot at winning in Iowa and/or New Hampshire that the DOJ powers-that-be will be overturning every rock (and simply fabricating or concocting what they don’t discover) to find some justification for charging the man or woman… with something.

“Crossfire Hurricane” didn’t end up mattering within the big scheme of the crucial 2016 election. Voters were so turned off by Hillary Clinton that they decided to take a chance that the bombastic Trump would carry through with his campaign promises to appoint originalist judges and get down to business enforcing immigration laws. And that Trump would put Americans first over the globalist influences that were ruining the greatest nation the mind of man ever created.

But this time, the government’s accumulated criminal onslaught could matter, only because Trump has to devote so much time, energy and resources to defending against the baseless charges. Many a conservative “Just win, baby!” Republican supporter has counseled that Trump should just ignore the Democrats’ extra-judicial behavior, but let’s stipulate that the side with the power of the government behind it will get its way one way or another.

Trump himself has basically admitted that he could be sent to prison – be it in New York (the bogus Stormy Daniels payoff charges), federal (for the Mar-a-Lago records or January 6 “conspiracy” allegations) or Georgia (completely bogus claims of election tampering). Juries from those places aren’t likely to be sympathetic to Trump’s arguments, much less the applicable law. If there are convictions, there will be appeal after appeal after appeal, keeping Trump’s lawyers employed – and well-paid – for a long, long time.

This is what Catron and others have referred to as “lawfare”. The totality of the get-Trump effort might not make a difference to the Republican voters during the lead-up to the primaries – but it could rear its ugly head in other ways, such as donors’ impressions on where their money is being dedicated. Not everyone is put off by it, but would a certain percentage be angered that their contribution wasn’t employed to battle the Democrats – but that it was used by Trump himself in his personal struggles?

Will Biden’s honks and the Democrats win in the end?

The gist of Catron’s assertion is that voters, when they get down to it, could opt for DeSantis over Trump because he’s a “clean” candidate as opposed to Trump who ensnared himself in deeds that invited prosecutors to go after him. Or so it would appear. Everyone understands that Trump is no boy scout, and his combative nature invites retribution from the Democrats, who don’t need much of a reason to pursue charges against anyone at all.

But Catron is right. The average voter won’t mind that their donation is going to help Trump, be it in his legal war or for his campaign. But big donors are a different animal – they don’t want their coin to go towards fruitless causes, and if Trump lands in jail, all the money in the world wouldn’t have changed the calculus.

This isn’t the first time that someone suggested donors could intervene and potentially make a substantive difference in what happens. Last month, Utah senator – and Never Trump antagonist – Mitt Romney, penned an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal pleading the case that donors to non-Trump candidates should consolidate behind one Trump competitor so as to not split not-Trump votes. Basically, Mitt was asserting that money talks and the candidates will listen.

Even someone as well-known, loved (by his backers) and wealthy as Donald Trump can’t go on forever paying for representation against his accusers. Something has to give, and if the polling leaders exhibits signs of weakness, the money could conceivably dry up. I don’t believe this scenario is likely to happen, but we’ve got a long way to go until the 2024 caucuses and primaries start.

Those who’ve predicted that Trump’s legal war against the deep state and Justice Department wouldn’t do much to derail his Make America Great Again effort might be wrong. As the prosecutors make progress, it could mean the difference on Trump’s campaign bottom line.

In football, if this were the regular season, last weekend’s officials’ errors would be replayed over and over on the evening sports recap shows and lots of fans would complain that the game was tainted by an interpretation that could’ve gone either way. Years and years of video replay have demonstrated that even with moving pictures in slow motion, the correct call isn’t always crystal clear. That’s why we argue over such things. Just don’t throw your beer mug at the folks who disagree with you.

We’re yet to discover how the cases against Donald Trump will result, though the odds are stacked greatly against the former president. The jury pools in New York City, Alanta and Washington DC will be packed full of “impartial” citizens who will be tasked with putting their political leanings aside to sit in judgment of Donald Trump. And Trump will need lawyers to defend him. Could it lead to his undoing in the minds of all-important donors?

  • Joe Biden economy

  • inflation

  • Biden cognitive decline

  • gas prices,

  • Nancy Pelosi

  • Biden senile

  • January 6 Committee

  • Liz Cheney

  • Build Back Better

  • Joe Manchin

  • RINOs

  • Marjorie Taylor Green

  • Kevin McCarthy

  • Mitch McConnell

  • 2022 elections

  • Donald Trump

  • 2024 presidential election

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