Donald Trump has a little bit of a tightrope to walk. He’s still trying to publicly maintain his innocence and portray himself as having been framed, so he can continue fundraising from his supporters and pretend he’s still somehow viable for the 2024 election. But like a lot of criminals who know they’re going to end up on trial, he’s also trying to carve out some kind of reasonable doubt defense that he hopes might get him acquitted.
The trouble for Trump is that reasonable doubt defenses in a court of law are usually a de facto confession in the court of public opinion. You’re reduced to offering up a ridiculously convoluted interpretation of events, in the hope that a jury will say hey, maybe there is a 1% chance that things went down that way. But by making such asinine claims, you’re signaling to the public that, yeah, you did it.
Trump is a one dimensional bully who would have a difficult time walking this kind of tightrope on a good day. Since leaving office he’s increasingly come across as someone who doesn’t have any good cognitive days. And his latest attorneys are so inept, they keep getting into legal trouble of their own. So what genius legal mind is coming up with Trump’s current defense strategy? From the look of things, no one.
In his latest unhinged social media rant, Donald Trump is now trying to claim that he only had empty classified document folders in his possession because they were a “cool keepsake.” No really, he said this. But in the same rant, Trump is also claiming that “Marxist thugs” at the FBI planted classified documents in his home. Who’s going to be the one to let him know that those two things can’t both be true?
And yet that’s the conundrum that Donald Trump now faces. He should be setting aside the public performance art entirely, and focusing solely on trying to come up with the kind of strategy that might give him some small chance of getting off at trial. But if he does that, he’s giving up on any hope of a future for himself anyway. Trump is backed into a no-win corner, and he deserves it.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report