Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Trump verdict expected this week--look for anger, vengeance and revenge

The verdict in former President Donald J. Trump’s criminal trial remains a mystery, at least for a few more days. Less of a mystery is what Mr. Trump will say and do after it is announced — whatever the outcome might be, reported The New York Times.

If the past is any guide, even with a full acquittal, Mr. Trump will be angry and vengeful, and will direct attacks against everyone he perceives to be responsible for the Manhattan district attorney’s prosecution. He will continue to level the attacks publicly, at rallies and on Truth Social, and privately encourage his House Republican allies to subpoena his Democratic enemies.

The pattern is firmly established: After Mr. Trump escaped impeachment convictions twice and survived a special counsel investigation led by Robert S. Mueller III into ties between his 2016 campaign and Russia, he immediately went into revenge mode — complaining about the injustices he was forced to endure and urging his allies to investigate the investigators.

“Regardless of the outcome, the playbook is the same,” said Alyssa Farah Griffin, Mr. Trump’s former White House communications director, who began working for him shortly after his first impeachment trial but has since become a sharp critic of her former boss.

Mr. Trump’s team is still determining his plans for the period after the trial’s conclusion, timing that remains at the mercy of the jury.

It is unclear how much the public cares about his trial over allegations that he falsified business records to conceal hush money payments to a porn star during the 2016 election. Mr. Trump’s advisers have been running a private poll tracking public opinion throughout the trial, according to a person briefed on the data, and have not seen a significant downturn in his support, even during some of the more bruising days of testimony. Public polling also suggests a relatively stable race.

But that may change, depending on the verdict. A conviction could turn some voters against him, polling suggests, but even his staunchest opponents feel little confidence about that. And any other outcome could boost him at a time when he is already leading President Biden in most polls of the states that will decide the election.

“An acquittal or a hung jury is just absolute gold for Trump. And it will resonate with a lot of people,” Ms. Griffin said. “He doesn’t want to be convicted for a variety of reasons, but I do think he realizes there’s a way to turn this into political jet fuel.”

Some of Mr. Trump’s former staff members who spent time with him after his previous investigations said that he was in no mood to celebrate after these purported victories but instead sought retribution.

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