“Trump in growing legal and political peril ahead of 2024”


Yet for Trump — who since entering politics in 2015 has proved to have more lives than even the luckiest of felines — the latest developments could also prove little more than distractions that don’t fundamentally undermine his support among much of the Republican base.

“The theory that Trump defined and validated throughout his political career has been the 5th Avenue Republican theory, which is that he could do anything — he could shoot anybody on 5th Avenue and they would stick with him,” said Kevin Madden, a senior adviser on Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign. “That’s going to be put to the test, but so far it has proven to be an enduring principle.”

As Trump enters yet another period of peak vulnerability in a career full of them, Madden added, the real question is whether one of his potential 2024 Republican rivals will use the opportunity to deliver a knockout blow.

“It remains to be seen whether or not they seize this moment and decide they want to wrestle the leadership mantle of the party away from him,” Madden said.

Ryan Williams, a Republican strategist, was more blunt: “If the primary and caucuses were held today, Donald Trump is still going to be the nominee of the party,” he said.

Documents show that Trump’s PAC has spent more than $10 million on lawyers on various probes, which stretch from Georgia to Washington to New York. Some of his top advisers are still expected to appear in front of a grand jury in the federal investigation into the possible mishandling of classified documents and obstruction of justice. And prosecutors probing Trump’s role in the deadly Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol have quizzed witnesses about a number of Trump’s lawyers, along with Trump’s own actions, The Washington Post has reported.

Two Trump advisers, who like others spoke on the condition of anonymity to reveal internal details, said his lawyers regularly brief him on the various cases, and Trump also keeps tabs on which of his advisers are appearing before the two grand juries in Washington. From his Mar-a-Lago Club, Trump regularly complains about Justice Department special counsel Jack Smith, who is leading the federal probes into Trump’s mishandling of classified documents, as well as the run-up to Jan. 6.

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