Donald Trump’s riches, power, and renown attracted eager new friends and business partners. Key persons who formerly supported him because they wanted a piece of his reflected glory are now turning against him.
Three separate judicial blows were dealt to the former president on Tuesday, increasing the severity of his precarious legal situation and highlighting the importance of the court system to the outcome of the 2024 race, in which he is the leading candidate for the Republican nomination.
The most important new detail is that Mark Meadows, Trump’s ex-chief of staff, has met with federal prosecutors many times, completely undermining Trump’s claim about a stolen election, as revealed by ABC News. After voters rejected Trump’s ambition for a second term, Meadows served as the only person with access to the Oval Office during those crucial days when Trump allegedly plotted to steal the 2020 election. AWN has contacted Meadows’s lawyer for comment.
To add insult to injury, former Trump attorney Jenna Ellis, who falsely claimed President Joe Biden was elected because of fraud following his election, has reached a plea deal with Georgia prosecutors. On Tuesday, Ellis sadly admitted to the crime of aiding and abetting false statements she and other lawyers had made to lawmakers in the Peach State. Her decision to testify against the ex-president and others makes her the third former Trump supporter to do so this week. Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’s prosecution of election subversion is now following the standard script for a racketeering case, in which lesser defendants are offered lower terms in exchange for testifying against the case’s putative kingpin.
What I know now would have caused me to decline representing Donald Trump in these post-election issues, but back then I didn’t know any better. When I think back on this, I feel a lot of regret,” Ellis admitted.
Although Ellis played a relatively minor role in Trump’s plots to subvert the election, there is evidence to suggest that she participated in key meetings that are of interest to prosecutors. Her guilty plea also appears to be bad news for Rudy Giuliani, the former mayor of New York who worked closely with Trump as an attorney after the election.
This is a bad sign for Trump because it demonstrates that the truth matters in court, even though myths about election fraud are still a potent political force in the GOP and conservative media. The political system in the United States is still shaky from the former president’s power, but the legal system may be able to hold him more accountable.
On Tuesday, a former Trump associate showed up in a New York courtroom without remorse, intent on undermining yet another of Trump’s legal defences. In a civil trial where prosecutors are attempting to limit Trump’s capacity to do business in the state, the former president’s longtime fixer, Michael Cohen, faced his former boss for the first time in five years. Cohen has already served time in prison for crimes including tax evasion, lying to Congress, and breaking campaign finance laws, all of which have ties to his time spent working for Trump before he entered politics. Cohen once said he would take a bullet for his former employer, but his longing to testify against Trump in court has been clear. Cohen accused Trump on Tuesday, alleging his former employer told him to inflate his net worth on financial statements, despite the fact that his own conviction raises credibility difficulties about his testimony.
“Heck of a reunion,” Cohen said to reporters after testifying in front of Trump.
The legal pressure on Trump is increasing.
The legal theatrics of Tuesday highlighted how the Republican frontrunner’s criminal responsibility will overshadow his effort to retake the White House and threatened to weaken his position in separate cases to which he has pleaded not guilty.
And for someone with Trump’s inflated sense of loyalty, even if it only goes one way, seeing three former associates turn against him must be particularly galling.
A former president who has made an art form of avoiding accountability in a lifetime of business, personal, and political scrapes is showing signs that the courtroom pressure is beginning to grate on him despite his continued dominance in the GOP presidential race.
Trump responded angrily to the ABC news about Meadows in a series of tweets published Tuesday night on his Truth Social network.
Former President Obama wrote, “I don’t think Mark Meadows would lie about the Rigged and Stollen 2020 Presidential Election merely for getting IMMUNITY against Prosecution (PERSECUTION!).”
That bargain would be catastrophic for the future of our failing nation, but some people are weak and cowardly enough to make it. Mark Meadows is not one of them, in my opinion, but who knows? Restore America’s Greatness!
The day before, Trump had made the ridiculous comparison that he was in some way similar to Nelson Mandela, who spent 27 years in jail, including 18 of those years in solitary confinement on Robben Island, and a year of forced labour in a quarry for opposing the racist apartheid government in South Africa. The Nobel Peace Prize laureate, after being released, unified his country as president and became a symbol of humility, racial healing, and forgiveness. These are all virtues that Trump rarely displays.
The former president told his fans in New Hampshire, “I don’t mind being Nelson Mandela, because I’m doing it for a reason.”
However, Trump’s obsession with feeling persecuted is instructive. The ex-president is positioning himself as a fortress, protecting his supporters from a hostile government. Despite 91 accusations throughout his four criminal indictments, the idea that he is a political martyr who is being unfairly pursued by the Biden administration may be his sole realistic campaign technique. After all, in less than 13 months from now, on Election Day, he may be a convicted felon. Republican primary voters don’t seem to be worried about that possibility, but it might be a major weakness among the general electorate.
What these new discoveries in the Meadows mean
Former North Carolina congressman and Trump’s final chief of staff has been the subject of months of speculation from Washington’s legal observers.
According to earlier reports by AWN, during his testimony before a federal grand jury, Meadows was also questioned about Trump’s handling of confidential data and efforts to overturn the election.
According to ABC News’s reporting, he has met with federal prosecutors many times and has been granted immunity by special counsel Jack Smith. If true, this would be a shocking development that deserves the overused word “bombshell.”
Meadows is also a major player in the investigation taking place in Fulton County, Georgia, where he tried and failed to have his case transferred to federal court on the grounds that the actions he took at the direction of Trump’s election interference campaign were within the scope of his official duties.
At least three times this year, Meadows met with Smith’s team and told investigators that he did not think the election was stolen and that Trump was being “dishonest” in declaring victory so soon after the polls closed in 2020. This is according to ABC.
This is the first settlement reached in the special counsel’s inquiry into the events of January 6, 2021, to be made public. Meadows may have received immunity from prosecution in exchange for his complete cooperation with prosecutors, while the specifics of their agreement remain unclear.
Due to the centrality of Trump’s claim that he honestly believed the election was stolen and that his actions were not criminal because they were an exercise of his right to free speech, the reported details of Meadows’ testimony could be enormously damaging for the ex-president.
Trump’s business and political associates have a lengthy history of getting into serious legal trouble while he himself avoids it. The actions of Meadows, Ellis, and Cohen, along with the avalanche of legal threats now facing the ex-president, indicate that his privileged existence is going to be put through its toughest test to date.