This week Donald Trump filed a massive, and fatally flawed, lawsuit against his niece Mary Trump and the New York Times over the publication of details about his tax returns. In addition to being a suit that will go nowhere, the timing also makes very little sense on the surface. These details were published years ago, and by now New York prosecutors have independently obtained his tax returns anyway.
So what’s the deal? Former New York Assistant Attorney General Tristan Snell floated this plausible scenario on Twitter: “What if Donald Trump’s lawsuit against Mary Trump and the New York Times is nothing but a publicity stunt — to look like he’s going on offense, so he can raise money to pay for his criminal defense lawyers?”
Snell is probably onto something. Former federal prosecutor Glenn Kirschner has also spelled out why Mary Trump is not in any legal jeopardy from this suit, which may explain why her initial response was to simply call Donald Trump a “f—ing loser” instead of playing things carefully.
This does all seem to be about pure desperation. Mary Trump said this week that the “walls are closing in” on Donald Trump. She’s right. Just this week, Allen Weisselberg’s lawyers revealed in court that they expect more people to be indicted in the New York criminal probe into the Trump Organization. And now suddenly Trump is making this weird desperation move that even he has to know makes him look silly. But since he’s a blob on a Florida couch waiting to be finished off by New York prosecutors, he does have to give the false impression that he’s doing something to fight back, so his base will keep him financially afloat a bit longer.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report