top of page

If Trump Is Found Guilty, Will He Call On His Supporters To Accept It Peacefully? Or Something Else?

The new Marist poll, released yesterday just as the trial was starting, is another in a series showing Biden steadily inching past Trump. In a basically meaningless one-on-one, Biden beats him 51-48% but with the third-party candidates in the race, Biden is ahead 43-38% (5 points). And it’s even better among voters who say they will “definitely” be voting— Biden 53%, Señor T 47%.

Before opening arguments yesterday, Timothy O’Brien, author of TrumpNation: The Art of Being The Donald reported that Trump’s delay tactics— at least to begin this trial— are over. “He continuously savaged Juan Merchan, the judge presiding over the trial, and belittled the charges he faces. He mocked the jury selection process that consumed the case’s first week, and, when awake, appeared so determined to rattle prospective jurors that Merchan was forced to remind Trump that he wouldn’t ‘have any jurors intimidated in this courtroom.’ Trump’s allies at Fox News and on right-wing social media platforms put the court and jurors in their crosshairs as well. ‘This isn’t the pursuit of justice, it’s a political persecution that is tearing our country apart,’ noted Vivek Ramaswamy, floating atop the flotsam of his failed presidential bid. Elon Musk, fashioning himself as a legal scholar, concurred. He told the 181.5 million people who follow him on Twitter… that ‘this case is obviously a corruption of the law.’”

Some [jurors] dropped out, saying they feared for their well-being. That’s a phenomenon usually confined in the US to mob or terrorism prosecutions, but in an era when a former president glowingly compares himself to “the great gangster” Al Capone, here we are.
…Trump is veering from rage to petulance, and from slumber to intimidation, in the courtroom because he’s the star of a lurid Manhattan reality show he isn’t producing or directing. He doesn’t control the narrative and others are writing the scripts. And some of the scripts say nasty things about him, his sex life, his bookkeeping and his attempts to bury stories that might have derailed his 2016 presidential campaign.
The setting, by Trump’s standards, is all wrong, too. Few courtrooms are more endowed with raw Bonfire of the Vanities mojo than those populating New York State Supreme Court, where Trump’s trial is being held. It’s a beaten-up, old-school nexus for judges, cops, reporters and a steady stream of Manhattan legal dramas. Trump, as a younger man, used to deploy lawyers there to try to secure tax abatements and other goodies for projects he was developing. He also eagerly gobbled up tabloid coverage of celebrated clashes litigated there.
The State Supreme Court building is imposing and stolid. It isn’t glamorous and it’s about as far away from Trump Tower and Mar-a-Lago as Trump could get. It’s home to disappointments and comeuppances. It’s a place where justice is meted out, for better or for worse. And the Trump spectacle has already engulfed it in the uncomfortable and the macabre. A man peddling anti-government conspiracy theories set himself on fire in a nearby park on Friday and later died.
Trump, in his younger days, probably never imagined he’d be in the State Supreme Court dock as a former president accused of falsifying business records to mask payments to paramours who might have otherwise upended his political career. Yet here he sits, forced to observe the law.
Money seems to be getting tight, too. Apart from multimillion-dollar court judgments he’s juggling in other cases he’s either lost or is appealing in New York, his legal bills are mounting. He’s been using political donations to help defray lawyers’ fees, but recent financial disclosures indicate that the $86 million or so spent on legal costs since his presidential campaign began is straining his coffers.
Trump is also haunted by remembrances of things past. Hope Hicks, his former spokeswoman, Michael Cohen, his former lawyer and enforcer, and Stormy Daniels, a porn star, are all set to testify in the case. What they have to say may not sit well with the former president. 
…And because Trump can’t control the narrative, he’s going to continue lashing out— testing the courts and the American experiment.

As for the politics behind this, David Axelrod told Atlantic readers yesterday that Trump might finally get the reckoning he’s eluded for decades: What Trump Fears Most. Señor Trumpanzee’s father didn’t give him much love but, wrote Axelrod, “what Fred Trump did impart to his son was an indelible lesson: There are two kinds of people in the world—killers and losers—and like his father, Donald had to be a killer. In Fred Trump’s dark [KKK, neo-Nazi] vision, all of life was a jungle in which the strong survive and prosper and the weak fall away. The killers take what they want, however they need to take it. Rules? Norms? Laws? Institutions? They’re for suckers. The only unpardonable sin in Trumpworld is the failure to act in your own self-interest. The son learned these lessons well. He has charmed and conned, schemed and marauded his way through life on a scale his old man could hardly have imagined. From New York real estate to the White House, Trump has flagrantly breached the guardrails that contain most of us, and has largely been rewarded for it. Until now. You could see that realization etched in the former president’s drawn and gloomy face captured in photos that emerged last week from Manhattan’s fabled Criminal Courts Building. You could sense it in his frenetic comments to reporters in the hallway outside Judge Juan Merchan’s courtroom, where Trump robotically recited the now-familiar word salad— ‘scam,’ ‘witch hunt,’ ‘hoax’— but did so with a trace of desperation, even fear.”

He reminded his readers that “Trump has defied seemingly career-ending controversies before, pulling off miraculous escapes. But these are more perilous straits. While he and his supporters dismiss the hush-money trial under way as a politically motivated sham, the potential consequences for the embattled former president are very real. And he seems to know it. A conviction could carry jail time or, at the very least, chip away at his support in a precariously tight race with President Joe Biden. And defeat in the election would likely mean that the two pending federal trials Trump has so far managed to delay would move forward— one on charges of plotting to overturn the 2020 election; the other for allegedly snatching a trove of highly classified documents from the White House and obstructing repeated attempts by the government to retrieve them. Those charges pose even greater risks to the former president’s reputation and freedom than Trump’s New York indictment for allegedly paying off a porn star to hide an affair from voters before the 2016 election and then burying the payment on his company’s books as normal legal expenses.”

All of this appears to weigh on Trump as he sits in a courtroom for the first time as a criminal defendant, away from the campaign trail and cameras, in a setting and scenario he cannot control. A man who was bred to believe that the rules don’t apply to him— and who presents himself as peerless— is left to sit silently, by edict of the court, as a jury of his peers decides his fate.
All it would take, of course, is a decision by one of those jurors to spare Trump, and he, in his own, inimitable fashion, would brand a hung jury as complete vindication, using it to paint all the indictments against him as unfounded and political.
Trump would spin a potential conviction as well. He has already begun to do so: To Trump, the district attorney who brought the charges, Alvin Bragg— who is Black— is a craven politician, trying the former president on contrived charges for his own glory while he allows violent criminals to go free. Merchan, the judge— who is Hispanic— is biased and conflicted because he appears to have donated $15 to Joe Biden’s campaign in 2020, and his daughter is a Democratic consultant. Manhattan— and, by extension, the jury— is filled with Democrats and Trump-hating liberals. President Biden orchestrated the whole production.
If the jury returns a guilty verdict, we will hear it all.
Yet, as Trump sits and watches the criminal trial he hoped to avoid unfold, he must know that a potential reckoning he has spent a lifetime eluding could be coming. He has been reduced to a criminal defendant in a courtroom where someone else has absolute power and the rules very definitely apply. The weariness and vulnerability captured in those courtroom images betray a growing recognition that he could wind up as the thing his old man most reviled.
A convicted criminal?
No, worse. A loser.

Trump blatantly violated his gag order again (below). As Norm Eisen and crew explained in great detail “There was a lawful court order in effect (i.e., that the court had jurisdiction); The court order expressed a clear and unequivocal mandate; Trump had actual knowledge of the order’s terms; Trump violated the order; and Trump’s violation was knowing and willful.” 

Just writing about the previous violations, Eisen, et al wrote that “The judge would be on firm legal footing to sanction Trump for all of the statements, but in an abundance of caution, may distinguish some of the repostings for the sake of taking a balanced approach and an incremental one… We expect the court to impose fines against Trump for a substantial number of the violations and to warn him that future violations will result in additional fines and potentially jail time. The most difficult question to answer, however, is whether any finding of contempt and resulting punishment will deter this particular defendant from future violations. Prior history suggests it may. As noted above, as the fines increased together with the risk of incarceration in the civil fraud matter, Trump finally stopped. On the other hand, he may view a short confinement as politically beneficial. Referencing Justice Merchan, Trump wrote on social media, ‘If this Partisan Hack wants to put me in the clink for speaking the open and obvious TRUTH… I will gladly become a Modern Day Nelson Mandela— It will be my GREAT HONOR.’ He had previously stated in October 2023 that ‘I don’t mind being Nelson Mandela, because I’m doing it for a reason.’ And the amounts of the fines here at issue will not give him pause if he is determined to continue his extrajudicial statements. In the interest of protecting the administration of justice, we must hope for a firm response by the judge on Tuesday morning, and then wait to see what follows from the former president.”


1 Comment

Apr 23

Asked and answered. The "bloodbath" quote? He's said it a few times.

The real question is not when but IF your pussy democraps have the chops and will to prosecute that pos and get a conviction. So far, based on the trials so far, no. And time is running out. Unless they get a guilty verdict in the only active trial so far, there won't be any reason. None of the others will ever get finished before he's elected fuhrer.

But even if he is exonerated or there is a mistrial, he's still likely to stir up another insurrection just out of spite.

bottom of page