Donald Trump’s bottom-line perspective is looking increasingly pathetic

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The historic speakership disaster finally ended after Kevin McCarthy eked out a win after 15 rounds of voting, after negotiating away most of his soul. The horror show also featured everything from Mike Rodgers nearly tackling Matt Gaetz in the 14th ballot to George Santos displaying a white power symbol while voting for McCarthy in the 10th ballot.

With the dysfunction and disgrace of House Republicans on full display, the press has barely had time to mention Donald Trump. However, it should be known that the former guy has managed to amass his own share of woes this week. Thanks to a pair of developments, Trump now finds himself in greater legal peril than when the ball dropped in Times Square.

On Thursday, the two-year anniversary of the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, Sandra Garza filed a lawsuit against three men, seeking justice for the loss of her partner, Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick. Two of the men, Julian Khater and George Tanios, were charged with assaulting Sicknick with chemical spray and ultimately pleaded guilty to crimes. The third named defendant is Trump.

Unlike Khater, Trump didn’t attack Sicknick with a dangerous weapon, and unlike Tanios, Trump didn’t buy the harmful spray. However, as the complaint alleges, “The horrific events of January 6, 2021, including Officer Sicknick’s tragic, wrongful death, were a direct and foreseeable consequence” of all three defendants’ actions.

Alleging wrongful death and conspiracy, Garza seeks $10 million each from Khater, Tanios, and Trump. Sicknick died the day after the attack for what a medical examiner identified as “natural causes” while noting that “all that transpired on [January 6] played a role.” Indeed, Garza argues that Trump’s “campaign of lies and incendiary rhetoric” incited the attack and that Trump played a “significant role in the medical condition” that ended Sicknick’s life.

On Friday, in an unrelated development, New York state judge Arthur Engoron denied motions from Trump, Don Jr., Eric, and Ivanka to dismiss Attorney General Letitia James’ $250 million fraud lawsuit. The Trumps apparently used the same arguments that Engoron rejected as “frivolous” in a late-2022 proceeding. “Sophisticated defense counsel should have known better,” Engoron scolded, as reported by CNN, nearly imposing sanctions.

   

In The Art of the Deal, Trump wrote that “good publicity is preferable to bad, but from a bottom-line perspective, bad publicity is sometimes better than no publicity at all. Controversy, in short, sells.” These days, Trump seems to be attracting a depressing mix of bad publicity and no publicity. As he sits on the political sidelines watching his legal troubles mount, Trump’s bottom-line perspective is looking increasingly pathetic.

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