By: Donald V. Watkins
Copyrighted and Published on August 31, 2022
An Editorial Opinion
In my August 9, 2022 article titled, "Donald Trump's Hold on GOP Politics," I predicted that Donald Trump will become the Republican nominee for president in 2024. I also reprinted my August 2, 2015 article titled, "Donald Trump's Newest Art of the Deal -- Winning the American Presidency," in which I became the first American journalist to openly predict Trump's 2016 election success. My prediction was made a mere three weeks after Trump announced his candidacy.
I was also the first journalist to predict Trump's defeat in 2020. Trump's mishandling of the COVID-19 pandemic caused his defeat. The election was not stolen from Trump. He lost by more than 7 million legally cast votes.
Wyoming Congressional Representative Lez Cheney's defeat earlier this month ended the era of conservative Republican politics and ushered in the era of Donald Trump's authoritarian rule of the GOP. Trump has ascended to "deity" status within the Republican Party. The GOP is no longer a political party; it is a personality cult that worships Trump.
As evidenced by the annual CPAC convention in July in Dallas, the GOP has taken an extreme turn to the far-right. The Party has even aligned itself with Hungarian strongman Viktor Orban, who rails against legal abortion, illegal immigration, the free press, and race-mixing societies.
Orban, Trump, FOX talk show hosts Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, and their sycophants turned the CPAC convention into a political orgy of right-wing ideology.
In June, five Trump cult worshippers on the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, thereby ending a woman's recognized constitutional right to reproductive freedom in the United States.
Decades before, right-wing extremists in the Republican Party defeated the ratification of Equal Rights Amendment for women in state legislatures. This defeat effectively denied women equal rights under the U.S. Constitution.
In January, GOP members of the U.S. Senate succeeded in killing legislation that would have restored vitality to the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Trump and his cult members perpetually rail against non-white migrants seeking to enter the United States at the U.S.-Mexican border, while enthusiastically welcoming immigrants from European countries. During his presidency, Trump resurrected the Dwight Eisenhower's 1954 "Operation Wetback" program at the southern border.
Abroad, Donald Trump has strengthened his ties with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, whose record on human rights is abysmal. This is the same regime that murdered and dismembered Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018.
Before leaving office in January 2021, Trump's son-in-law, Jarret Kushner, was dispatched to Saudi Arabia to snag $2 billion for the Trump family businesses from a Saudi investment fund controlled by the Royal Family. In 2022, Trump partnered with the Royal Family to host the Royal Family's LIV professional golf tournaments at his golf resorts in New Jersey and Florida.
As a measure of his respect and admiration for leaders with authoritarian tendencies, Donald Trump avoided condemning his friend Vladimir Putin for Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. Likewise, Trump never chastised President Xi Pinping for China's harassment of Taiwan in the aftermath of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to the island nation last month.
The Department of Justice's Criminal Investigation Poses No Threat to Trump
On August 8, 2022, FBI agents in Florida raided Trump's home at Mar-a-Lago and seized 11 sets of highly-classified national security and defense documents from the home. The raid signaled that Trump is the "subject" or "target" of a U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) criminal investigation.
After the raid, federal law enforcement officials around the nation were subjected to increasing threats of bodily harm and/or death. Those who were threatened included: (a) the FBI agents and the magistrate judge involved in the issuance of the search warrant for Donald Trump's home at Mar-a-Lago, (b) Attorney General Merrick Garland, who personally approved the search warrant, (c) FBI Director Christopher Wray, and (d) FBI field offices across America.
The only national GOP leader who publicly condemned these threats of violence in clear and unequivocal language is former Vice President Mike Pence. Of course, Pence is the man Trump's "patriots" wanted to hang at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021.
Republican members of Congress and aspiring GOP candidates across the country continue to fan the flames of extreme hostility towards the federal law enforcement establishment with their non-stop incendiary rhetoric. U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham has promised "riots in the streets" if Trump is charged with any crime.
Trump is Implementing the Strategy of "Trial by Media"
To defeat Merrick Garland and any criminal charges contemplated by him, Donald Trump has borrowed my playbook from the indictment and trial of former HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy in his $2.7 billion Sarbanes-Oxley accounting fraud case. This playbook, which was deployed from 2003 to 2005, outlines a practical guide to what is now called, "Trial by Media."
Flawless implementation of this strategy allowed my defense team to defeat all 85 federal felony charges against Scrushy, who was facing up to 650 years in prison. Defeating 85 felony charges in a single-defendant case is a record in American jurisprudence that stands today.
This innovative strategy is featured in a May 2020 Netflix documentary titled, "Trial by Media:" Episode 4, "King Richard."
Trump should fair well with this playbook because he has a hundred times the media firepower that was available to me in winning the Scrushy case. Trump also enjoys the solid backing of global media icon Keith Rupert Murdock, FOX News, every major FOX channel talk show host, the New York Post, the Wall Street Journal, and thousands of Republican-oriented podcasts and social media sites.
Trump's media surrogates are bashing the FBI and DOJ all day, every day. Trump and his media allies are effectively "poisoning the well" from which potential trial jurors may be drawn.
DOJ prosecutors will need 12 trial jurors to unanimously agree to convict Trump on any charge. Trump only needs one juror to stop a conviction. Without a felony conviction, Trump is qualified to run for president in 2024.
If Donald Trump is indicted on any federal charges in Florida, I predict a "jury nullification" of the charges because there is absolutely nothing federal prosecutors can do to counter the massive credibility damage that Trump, his political friends, and media allies have inflicted upon the FBI, DOJ, and Merrick Garland in this "Red"state.
Whoever is assigned to preside over the trial of Trump's case will likely experience non-stop death threats from violent extremists who are loyal to Trump. The threats will likely be directed to courthouse staff members and family members, as well.
In the event Trump is indicted by DOJ, the federal judge assigned his case will likely fold like cheap tent in a windstorm. The folding began this month when the judge who signed the search warrant broke with longstanding caselaw in criminal cases and ordered the DOJ to produce a redacted version of the search warrant to Trump.
This folding continued when Florida federal judge Aileen Cannon (a Trump appointee) informed the DOJ that she was inclined to appoint a special master to review the documents seized by the FBI from Mar-a-Lago on August 8, 2022. Judge Cannon never explained why she had jurisdiction to inject herself into the search warrant dispute, rather than referring Trump's request for a special master to the magistrate who authorized the FBI raid at Mar-a-Lago.
The last judge to preside over a criminal trial that implicated criminal conduct on the part of the president of the United States was Judge John Sirica in Washington, D.C. Sirica's bravery and firmness during the trial of the Watergate defendants forced a corrupt Richard Nixon to resign the presidency in 1973. There are no more judges like John Sirica on the federal bench today.
I cannot think of a single federal judge today who is willing to subject his/her life and the lives of his/her family members to a "Fatwa" issued by Trump's right-wing extremists for presiding over a trial in what Donald Trump claims is a "rigged" criminal justice system.
The trial, if it occurs, would be the biggest spectacle since the trial of Jesus Christ.
Trump's "patriots" are overwhelmingly white, male, frustrated, angry, radicalized, and well-armed. They have posted on social media that it is time to take matters into their own hands.
The January 6, 2021 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol in Washington showed us that Trump's "patriots" are capable of engaging in violence when they are incited by the former president and other Republican demagogues. From what we have seen to date, Trump's base of voters did not care about the violence on January 6th. Their only regret is that the insurrection did not succeed in keeping Trump in the presidency.
Trump Benefits from a Wave of GOP Voter Suppression Mechanisms for the 2024 Elections
Since his defeat in 2020, Donald Trump has been able to remake the Republican Party in his own image. He has succeeded in getting Republican-controlled states to install the mechanisms necessary to ensure GOP rule in 2024.
Today, a majority of the 50 states have enacted voter suppression laws. Furthermore, voter suppression laws are protected by Trump's Supreme Court.
Additionally, in a majority of the 6-8 swing states that decided the 2020 election, Trump-backed candidates are poised to become their state's next secretary of state and/or governor. These loyalists are empowered to establish state election rules, purge voter rolls, decide election contests, reject legally cast votes, and decertify election results they do not like. The GOP has also successfully placed activist election deniers in thousands of
poll worker positions across American.
All of the GOP's voter suppression mechanisms are tried and tested tools for imposing minority rule in America. They are modern-day adaptations of the proven voter suppression mechanisms that flourished in Confederate states from 1870 to 1965.
I am a longtime political Independent and student of history and political science. I do not support Donald Trump or Joe Biden for president. Both men are deeply flawed.
However, I am a realist who always measures the winds of political change in America. My predictions are based upon my objective measurement of these changes.
Barring divine intervention from God, Donald Trump will become the next president of the United States.
Trump will go down in history as the 45th and 47th President of the United States.
When he assumes office in January of 2025, Trump is going to mete out severe political and criminal justice to those who participated in the January 6th Congressional Committee hearings, the current DOJ criminal probe, the New York state attorney general's civil probe, and the Georgia criminal probe. Trump's ruthlessness will match that of his wannabe peers and chosen presidential role models, Vladimir Putin and Xi Pinping.
Trump will also pardon all of the individuals who were convicted of crimes arising from their organization of and participation in the January 6th insurrection.
Today, neither Joe Biden, nor Kamala Harris, can defeat Donald Trump in 2024. However, if I were advising the Democratic Party on its presidential nominee in 2024, I strongly would encourage the Party to get rid of Biden and choose someone else.
The American public has lost confidence in Biden and Harris. If the 2024 election is a rematch between Trump and Biden or a match between Trump and Harris, Trump will win by a landslide.
PHOTO: Former President Donald Trump will run for president again in 2024. Barring divine intervention, Trump will win the presidency again.
PHOTO: President Joe Biden. The American public has lost confidence in Biden's leadership abilities. Nearly 80% of the country thinks America is headed in the wrong direction on the economy and on international affairs. Biden is weak, tired, and lost in the presidency.
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