Trump’s Debate Absence Raises Questions About Legal Strategy
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Trump’s Debate Absence Raises Questions About Legal Strategy

Donald Trump’s choice to forgo the Wednesday Republican primary debate and instead participate in a pre-recorded interview with Tucker Carlson addresses the political aspect of undermining the 2024 field.

Additionally, it eases worries that his statements during the prominent event might intensify his legal liabilities.

The former president confirmed over the weekend that he would not attend the debate in Milwaukee, saying in a post on his Truth Social platform: “New CBS poll, just out, has me leading the field by ‘legendary’ numbers… I WILL THEREFORE NOT BE DOING THE DEBATES.”

Instead, Trump has decided to counter-program the debate by releasing the interview he conducted with the former Fox News host at the same time, to steal the spotlight from the other Republican presidential candidates and publicly humiliating Fox News, which is co-hosting the debate with the RNC. 

The move to upstage the debate tackles Trump’s political goals for his 2024 campaign. However, it also quietly solves worries that Trump could deepen his legal jeopardy if questioned about his four criminal cases by debate moderators or the other candidates.

Criminal defendants typically avoid discussing their cases publicly because prosecutors may use their words against them. Trump has developed a pattern of speaking about his indictments after becoming enraged by the framing of questions.

According to someone familiar with the situation, Carlson believes that questions about his retention of national security materials and Trump’s bid to block Biden’s nomination have been adequately litigated elsewhere.

The more pressing issue for Trump is his habit of lashing out at prosecutors and potential witnesses in the cases, prompting federal judges overseeing his cases to issue protective orders and, in one case, a warning that inflammatory remarks would accelerate the trial schedule.

That could cause problems for Trump during the debate, given that his former vice president, Mike Pence, is also scheduled to testify in the case involving Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election results.

Trump’s Statements on Allegedly Fabricated Claims: Legal Implications and Repercussions

Donald Trump’s choice to forgo the Wednesday Republican primary debate and instead participate in a pre-recorded interview with Tucker Carlson addresses the political aspect of undermining the 2024 field. (Photo by NBC News via YouTube)

During his last interview with Fox News host and debate moderator Bret Baier, Trump did not appear to have violated the protective order for the Mar-a-Lago classified documents case. However, he did make a series of admissions that undermined his defenses.

The admissions included that he personally sorted through some of the boxes containing classified documents brought from the White House to the Mar-a-Lago club after the National Archives requested their return at the end of his presidency.

Trump also appeared to admit that he delayed complying with a grand jury subpoena for classified documents issued by the justice department to separate any personal records that may have been contained in the boxes, indicating a higher level of personal knowledge regarding what he retained.

“Before I send boxes over, I have to take all of my things out,” Trump said. “These boxes were interspersed with all sorts of things.”

And when Trump participated in a live town hall event on CNN this year – before the classified documents indictment – he made a series of remarks that led to a court filing and gave ammunition to the prosecutors in the office of the special counsel Jack Smith.

E Jean Carroll filed a claim for additional damages against Trump after he insulted her at the town hall shortly after a New York jury found him liable for sexual abuse and defamation and awarded him $5 million in damages.

On CNN, Trump echoed his earlier denials and called Carroll’s account “fake” and “a made-up story”. And despite a photo showing them together, he claimed he had never met Carroll, calling her a “whack job” and adding that the civil trial was “a rigged deal.”

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Source: The Guardian

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