In a biting piece for the LA Times, longtime columnist Doyle McManus pointed out that Donald Trump has only one overriding reason to become president again and it has nothing to do with revenge or the trappings of power.
Re-election for Trump may be the only way he avoids jail time and forestalls a panoply of lawsuits he is currently facing.
While Trump has been accused of only hinting at running again as a scam to continue to bring in donations since his businesses are faltering and he is facing some major financial difficulties in the near future, McManus suggests staying out of courtrooms is at the front of the former president's mind.
Writing Trump, "...spent almost three years under investigation for what looked like collusion with Russia, only to walk away scot-free," the columnist stated the one-termer may not be so lucky now that he is out of office and not protected by being the leader of the free world.
"But Trump remains under the gun. He's still in search of escape routes. A House committee is examining his attempts to overturn last year's presidential election, including his actions when a mob of his supporters stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6," he wrote. "A prosecutor in Georgia is investigating whether he violated state law against soliciting election fraud when he demanded that officials 'find 11,780 votes' — the number he needed to undo Joe Biden's victory in that state. And prosecutors in New York are looking into allegations that Trump, or at least the closely held family business he runs, committed tax and bank fraud."
As Trump impeachment attorney Norm Eisen put it, "His life has been a series of lessons showing that with aggressive lawyering and a lot of chutzpah, you can achieve almost total immunity."
According to McManus, not only are presidents shielded from most criminal investigations but, if Trump can keep stalling the Democrats from keeping his personal papers and re-tellings of his conversations with aides away from investigators, he can reassert the executive privilege protections President Joe Biden won't allow him.
"No matter how the legal wrangles turn out, lies the answer to a persistent question about Trump: What makes him run?" McManus asked. "Ego, surely, in part. A desire to take revenge on his adversaries, too. But two practical reasons, as well. One is money. Political contributions may be the most reliable revenue stream the Trump family enterprise has at the moment. The other, equally important, is to bolster his legal defense. As long as he's running (or even sort of running), Trump can denounce every inquest and subpoena as just another part of a political vendetta. It's a way to hold his troops together — and to make every prosecutor think twice."
"He's notching up another presidential first: He's running for reelection to stay out of jail," he concluded.
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