(CNN) The always-under-attack former president will no longer be the sole orchestrator of his destiny.
Trump has long used political storms, alternate realities, legal entanglements and media spectacles to blur the truth or discredit the institutions that have controlled his rule-breaking behavior. He loses that ability when he goes to court His trial In a case related to payment to an adult film actress.
There are growing signs that this new reality — which comes with greater financial obligations in terms of legal fees and locks on Trump’s calendar — could be amplified at a time when he already faces the intense demands of another White House effort.
That’s because the former president — the first person to face criminal charges — faces serious trouble in the highly dangerous case of alleged mishandling of classified documents being investigated by special counsel Jack Smith. The charges are likely to escalate as the Justice Department preserves evidence of Trump’s handling of classified documents after leaving the White House.
Smith’s lawyers have secured daily memos, texts, emails and photos and are focused on charting how Trump handled classified records surrounding Mar-a-Lago, along with former presidents CNN’s Katelyn Pollands and Evan Perez. reported Monday. The new details are consistent with indications that the Department of Justice is taking steps to adapt to the outcome of the investigation.
Trump’s former lawyer, Ty Cobb, told CNN’s Erin Burnett that the developments represent a radical turn in the case for the former president. “We know the investigation is ongoing, and we don’t know the outcome as of today,” Cobb said. “I think these are very consequential.”
Documents are not the end of the case. Smith is also investigating Trump’s behavior in the run-up to the U.S. Capitol riots. A lawsuit in Georgia led by the district attorney investigating the former president’s attempt to reverse the 2020 election results in the swing state is likely.
Trump denies any wrongdoing in all of these investigations. He described his behavior in Georgia as “perfect.” And he has denounced the indictment, which was sealed in New York Faces more than 30 counts An example of politicized justice is related to commercial fraud.
But at a critical moment for the country, with a former president and a current presidential candidate on the court, there is also a growing sense of inexorable pressure on Trump to compromise his ability to avoid accountability.
Trump is trying to run his own media circus
Trump made a big splash on Monday when he returned to New York ahead of his trial. The snaking motorcade of Black Secret Service SUVs and his personal Boeing 757 in a power play in its bright new livery send a message of strength to a presidential movement.
After court on Tuesday, he will return to his Mar-a-Lago resort to reclaim the media spotlight with a prime-time speech he can use to proclaim his innocence, attack the New York case, attack it as political harassment and distract from the reality of what he’s doing. Be a criminal defendant.
But despite his bravado and pundits’ talk that he would turn his legal woes into political gold, Monday was a dark day for Trump. He was returning under duress to his old stomping grounds in Manhattan, turning himself in against the first criminal charges ever brought against a former president on Tuesday. Trump has long been a force of nature who rebels against regulation and is always unable to be controlled by his staff. But now he will be subject to the dictates of a judge and the rules and conventions of the legal system, which will be more difficult for him than the institutions of political accountability he overturned.
In some cases, he may be forced to appear in court. The arduous pre-trial process, with its numerous legal argument deadlines and piles of evidence the defense must extract, places heavy demands on a legal team. Ahead of his appearance on Tuesday, Trump belatedly reshuffled his legal team, bringing in another attorney, Todd Blanche, as his lead counsel — a move some saw as sidelining another attorney, Joe Tacobina. However, the former president’s camp pushed back on this explanation.
A criminal case is sufficient. Trump has not been charged in any of the other cases, but multiple front-line defenses in several cases could represent an extraordinary storm. And it would further undermine the former president’s ability to dictate his political timetable and control his destiny. When he came under scrutiny in special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe, or during his two indictments, Trump used his huge popularity with Republican voters to play down the allegations against him. He pressured most GOP senators, who knew they would pay for their profession if they voted to convict him in an impeachment trial.
While public opinion will be important in shaping the political impact of the New York case, the trial itself will be isolated. Acts on the New York Supreme Court Judge Juan MersonPresiding over Trump’s investigation, he is free from his political pressure. Indeed, Trump’s attacks on lawyers or a judge could backfire in a legal arena. Even a former president cannot ignore the choreography of a court case and the rules of criminal procedure.
The situation is similar to the 2020 election because the will of the voters prevailed because of Trump’s efforts to expel the vote and the decisions were established in many courts because of fact-based evidence and law.
Trump’s lawyers sought to gain some control over the court proceedings on Monday, arguing against a request by news organizations including CNN to allow television cameras into Tuesday’s hearing. The media argued that the case should be aired in public interest. But Trump’s lawyers told the judge that it would “create a circus-like atmosphere at trial, raise unique security concerns, and contradict President Trump’s presumption of innocence.”
In the late night judgment, The dealer refused Request for broadcast cameras. However, five still photographers will be allowed to take pictures of Trump and the courtroom before the hearing begins.
But complaining that the former president is the object of a media circus is indeed rich. Without his salesman’s ability to whip up a media circus, he would never have been president. Trump built his “The Art of the Deal” legend in New York, constantly feeding the city’s greedy tabloids with his famous celebrity feuds, colorful personal life and business successes and failures. His entire 2016 campaign and his single-term presidency were fueled by his often disjointed Twitter posts of outrage, profanity and lawlessness.
If anyone knows how to get ahead of the media circus, it’s Trump. The difference in this case is that he fears being part of a media circus he can no longer control.
Katelyn Bollands contributed to this report.