It’s perhaps fitting that the biggest investigations into Donald Trump all seem to be coming to a head within the same timeframe. The January 6th Committee is getting to the heart of Trump’s insurrectionist election tampering. The Manhattan District Attorney appears to be close to bringing a grand jury indictment. And New York Attorney General Letitia James just subpoenaed Donald Trump to testify in her civil probe into the Trump Organization – a sign that her probe is complete, as deposing Trump would be the final step before leveling civil punishments against the Trump Organization.
Accordingly, Trump is panicking about all of the above investigations. Over the weekend he lashed out at the 1/6 committee, saying “all the Democrats want to do is put people in jail” – a sign that he seems to understand he’s in real trouble.
Now Trump is panicking even more about the New York Attorney General, filing suit today to try to stop her from continuing her civil probe. To be clear, this move has no chance of working, or of even buying him any meaningful amount of time. If Trump refuses to testify in the civil probe, James can use that as a basis for concluding that the Trump Organization is indeed guilty, and she can begin seizing its assets.
It’s clear that Donald Trump is scared of precisely this happening. Worse for him, if he were to testify in defense of the Trump Organization in the civil probe, his testimony could be used against him in the Manhattan DA’s criminal probe against him, with which the NY Attorney General is partnered. Trump appears to understand that he’s cornered, and he’s wishing he had a magic wand to make it all go away. He doesn’t.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report