The reconquest of political power that haunts the president will have to overcome the harassment of the Prosecutor’s Office and the veto of social networks
As legal challenges pile up, Donald Trump seems to descend further and further into public irrelevance, something that the former president has tried to avoid all his life. His future is more judicial than political and, although he has extensive experience in legal problems, this situation is very different, more complicated than those he has dealt with previously, because New York prosecutors have an ace up their sleeve: Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg, who are pressured to collaborate and testify against their boss.
The ever closer possibility that Weisselberg, who knows where all the ‘corpses’ are buried, may collaborate in exchange for more favorable treatment towards the former president and his son Barry, both investigated for tax evasion, tightens the legal fence to the former president. As responsible for authorizing each and every one of the Trump conglomerate’s financial movements, the advisor also faces, as a co-author, charges of tax, banking and insurance fraud, in addition to others of tax evasion for receiving compensation in the form of benefits.
To make matters worse, Allen Weisselberg, eyes and ears of Trump in the company, has been linked a few days ago to another investigation, this time by the Washington DC Prosecutor’s Office, which for now implicates him in the diversion of 107 million Inaugural Committee donations to the Trump family. This non-profit organization received tax-exempt contributions in terms of payment for luxury rooms in hotels and tickets for the President’s inaugural party at the Trump Hotel in the federal capital in 2016.
The link was made by the head of ‘Mother Jones’ magazine in Washington, journalist David Corn, who discovered Weisselberg’s name in one of the administrative record emails in the course of an audit on the Committee. With this new subpoena, pressure mounts on Trump’s finance chief, now the centerpiece of the legal framework against the billionaire. An investigation more real than ever because it has concrete numbers and details instead of subjective arguments or fictitious circumstances.
And it is precisely that clarity that has people in Trump’s orbit nervous and, according to people close to the team, “a little scared.” It is not for less. Such an investigation imposes a great cost on the Trump Organization. In fact, now every time you apply for a loan from a bank you are obliged to reveal to the entity everything you know about these alleged irregularities to avoid a potential demand for concealment of facts that could affect the determination of the concession.
Likewise, the corporation must present the same information to investors, clients and other entities and associated parties, accurately and completely, something that can intimidate lenders and business partners.
Preparing a defense strategy to litigate multiple investigations with abundant criminal and civil charges, also attending to different laws in states and districts, requires enormous resources and an immense capital of legal ingenuity.. Teams of onerous attorneys specializing in bank, tax and insurance fraud charges. Still, Donald Trump seems more obsessed with regaining the attention of online audiences and dominating public opinion as he has always bragged to do.
But the media reinvention to capitalize on the immense following of the fall that, despite losing the elections, earned him a record of votes and a national audience that managed to mobilize the assault on the Capitol on January 6, it simply has not occurred. His attempt through the new digital platform has even disappointed his own advisers.
Last week, both Trump’s website and his new blog, fundraising page and online merchandise page barely attracted visitors. Online conversations about the ex-president have plummeted to five-year-old numbers., has fallen in popularity and its following seems to have faded.
No media echo
Since his digital platform on Facebook and Twitter was blocked on January 8, Trump has complained that his statements do not receive as much attention. The former president is banned and has been ignored on almost all major social media. According to digital meters, social engagement around Trump, including likes, reactions, comments, and shared content about him social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Reddit and Pinterest have plummeted 95% since January.
His blog ‘Donald Trump’s Office’, which he and his team have endlessly promoted on social media and in television interviews, has been shared on Facebook less than 2,000 times a day and this week his internet server blocked some content that disclosed falsehoods.
Now secluded in Mar-a-Lago, Palm Beach, Trump is now obsessed with plotting his own return to power for which he has teamed up with somewhat marginal figures like Newt Gingrich, his former chief of staff Mark Meadows and Senator Lindsay Graham, and former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy. Meeting in Mar-a-Lago, the group is working on the elaboration of a political agenda that describes the MAGA [Make America Great Again] doctrine for the party, a document that would allow it to enter the arena of the 2022 electoral cycle to recover the House and Senate.
Donald Trump, Twitter, Facebook, New York, US Elections 2020