Trump may try to run for president to escape prosecution -- but he's too weak to win: columnist
Donald Trump (AFP)

A political analyst wrote Donald Trump's political epitaph after a week of shocking and credible revelations about his "demented" actions in the final days of his presidency, as well as the deeply unpopular decisions issued by the Supreme Court he shaped.

Former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson told the House select committee that Trump knew his supporters were armed on Jan. 6, 2021, but wanted to join them in a march on the Capitol, and former allies began to distance themselves from the former president and Republicans cheered Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) when she denounced him at a speech at the Reagan Library, wrote Daily Beast columnist David Rothkopf.

"The first time he ran for president, he did it because he thought it would boost his brand," Rothkopf wrote. "This time he is likely to do it because he thinks it may make him more difficult to prosecute. And because he can use it to mount one last big attempt to fleece his supporters."

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Trump was already looking politically weak in polls against Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who seems to have Fox News on his side, and numerous legal experts have said Hutchinson's testimony advanced the Jan. 6 investigation work much closer to criminal liability for the former president.

"That is precisely why Trump may announce his campaign soon," Rothkopf wrote. "That, and of course, the ability to raise more money from supporters. The fact that he has a track record of not actually using the money he raises for the purposes he claims and that nonetheless his donors keep on giving seem like reason enough to do so given the irresistible allure scams hold for Trump. That these scams also might place him in legal jeopardy have not deterred him in the past… but may, again, contribute in the future to his lasting political demise."

Trump faces possible prosecutions in Georgia and by the Department of Justice, and Rothkopf said the challenges may be piling up too high and too fast for the twice-impeached former president to dig himself out.

"It is fair to conclude that as bad as this week was for Trump, when the dust settles, he and we will find matters have only gotten worse for him, that, as of this week, he has once and for all plummeted to Earth and that finally and forever more, all the former president’s Fox friends and all of his men will not be able to put the brief shimmering political career of Donald Trump back together again," Rothkopf wrote.