Who knows what Trump really thinks or plans? Probably not even Trump. But Politico published a report by Meredith McGraw and Gabby Orr yesterday asserting that he's "planning" for reemergence and retribution after an impeachment trial that is further shredding his damaged reputation. (In fact Trump himself was furious about his legal teams horribly incompetent performance yesterday.) As we saw earlier, the NRCC is planning to win back the House by hoping people forget Trump, his pandemic failings and the violent coup attempt. "Reemergence and retribution" won't help with that.
McGraw and Orr wrote that he and his team are confident that "he’ll come out of the trial with his influence over the Republican party all but cemented... 'He’s Teflon, right. It’s been a month since the Capitol riot and I would say, for the most part, the GOP has coalesced back behind him,' said a former Trump campaign official. The confidence from Trump allies heading into the former president’s second impeachment trial-- this time over the deadly riots by Trump supporters on Capitol Hill-- may seem premature, given the lingering political and legal hurdles he still must confront. But it provides a road map of sorts for how they view his path ahead. Already, Trump aides contend, the impeachment process has proved beneficial to the ex-president-- exposing disloyalty within the party’s ranks and igniting grassroots backlash against Republicans who have attempted to nudge the GOP base away from Trump. Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse spent last week fending off constituent criticisms and censures from state party officials after he compared Trumpism to 'a civic cancer for the nation.' And Trump’s allies believe the ex-president’s impending impeachment trial will further illuminate who the turncoats are. 'It’s going to help expose more bad apples that he can primary if any senators vote to convict,' added the former campaign official."
"Reemergence and retribution" is a slogan that probably sends chills of joy up DCCC legs. They certainly prefer it to Trump's self-imposed low profile. The idea of Trump "seeking revenge against Republicans who, he believes, crossed him after he left office" is a dream for Democrats. And for Never Trump Republicans too. Bill Kristol's new Republican Accountability Project, is "pledging to raise $50 million for Republicans supporting Trump’s impeachment and is spending half a million dollars on ads targeting 22 Senators the group believes could convict Trump." Here's one of the ads (there are 27 in the series):
Here's another one that emphasizes far right extremists and their very unpopular rhetoric that many Americans understand encourages divisiveness and violence. It features Matt Gaetz (R-FL), Mad Cawthorn (Nazi-GA), Gym Jordan (R-OH), Josh Hawley (R-MO), Louie Gohmert (R-TX)-- "You gotta go to the streets and be violent"-- Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and Marjorie Taylor Greene (Q-GA), basically what we've dubbed the GOP's Gang-Greene
A great deal of all the retribution talk is to scare any wavering Republican senators who are considering voting to convict. I doubt there are any. Trump is eager to help extremists defeat the House Republicans who voted for impeachment, especially Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger-- who has shelved his plans to run for Illinois governor-- but also John Katko (NY), Fred Upton (MI), Anthony Gonzalez (OH), Tom Rice (SC), Peter Meijer (MI), Jaime Herrera Buetler (WA), Dan Newhouse (WA) and David Valadao (CA).
Obviously he would also like to damage the half dozen Republican senators who voted with the Democrats yesterday declaring that this specific impeachment trial is constitutional: Mitt Romney (UT), Susan Collins (ME), Lisa Murkowski (AK), Ben Sasse (NE), Pat Toomey (PA) and Bill Cassidy (LA), who has already been officially rebuked by the Louisiana Republican Party.
Meanwhile, in Georgia, Fulton County prosecutors have initiated a criminal investigation into Trump’s attempts to overturn the state's election results. Relevant state officials have been ordered to "preserve documents related to Trump's numerous "attempts to influence the administration of the 2020 Georgia General Election." The letter to state officials-- including Governor Brian Kemp, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan and Attorney General Chris Carr, all Republicans-- states that "This investigation includes, but is not limited to, potential violations of Georgia law prohibiting the solicitation of election fraud, the making of false statements to state and local governmental bodies, conspiracy, racketeering, violation of oath of office and any involvement in violence or threats related to the election’s administration."