Jonathan Turley: Trump Had A Great Week As Cases Against Him Implode

Efforts to take Trump off the ballot and the former president’s alleged interference in Georgia’s election results are floundering

Fox News

(Fox News) While Woody Allen once said that  “80 percent of success is showing up,” former President Donald Trump proved this week that the same could be said about “just sticking around.” Trump had one of the best weeks as cases and critics seemed to implode, from the disqualification effort in Washington to the scandal in Georgia. Yet, Trump is not out of the woods and is facing significant threats in what is becoming a war of attrition.

In Washington, the Supreme Court gave a chilly reception to the disqualification effort that bordered on the glacial. While law professors like Harvard’s Laurence Tribe insisted that the basis for barring Trump from office under the 14th Amendment was “unassailable,” the justices seemed utterly unconvinced and there is now the possibility that the entire effort could now be defeated unanimously. Even liberal Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson appeared to imply that the effort was anti-democratic.


The case against Trump in Georgia is floundering, as allegations mount against Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis over her intimate relationship with her subordinate special prosecutor Nathan J. Wade. This week, a court filing alleged that Willis and Wade filed false claims in court on when their relationship began. The two prosecutors have insisted that they only became intimate after Willis hired Wade.  Wade’s former lawyer has reportedly come forward to contest that claim.

That allegation, if true, could make the continuation of Willis and Wade in the case untenable. Various defendants being prosecuted in Georgia are accused of false statements and filings in court. Of course, the removal of Willis and Wade will not necessarily end the case, but it will present logistical and optical problems for the office.

Donald Trump fist pumps for camera in New York City
Former President Donald Trump recently had a string of good fortune in cases against him. (GWR/Star Max/GC Images)

There are also calls for the removal of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, who is accused to being lax on crime overall despite his determined effort to convict Trump.

Trump has a curious fortune in critics who seem over time to combust in rather spectacular fashion. Michael Cohen, his former lawyer, went to jail and lost his law license.  At the Justice Department, various FBI officials from the Russia investigation were accused of wrongdoing and forced out of the DOJ. That included James Comey, who was found to have removed FBI material after Trump fired him and giving it to a friend who leaked it to the press. Another Justice official pleaded guilty to criminal conduct associated with the Russian investigation.

In politics, former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who attacked Trump for his treatment of women, was forced out of office for sexual harassment. Michael Avenatti was sentenced to a long prison term for fraud and other crimes. Senator Robert Menendez, D-N.J., who voted for Trump to be convicted in the Senate is now under indictment for corruption.

Even in the arts, Trump critics have fallen from great heights. Comedian Kathy Griffin has not only become persona non grata after her gory depiction of a beheaded Trump but she is now beseeching people to buy tickets for a languishing come-back tour. Alec Baldwin, who scathingly played Trump, has been criminally charged after shooting a movie crew member.

Of course, it is fair to note that some of Trump’s allies have fared equally badly, including those convicted or facing trial such as Paul Manafort, Michael Flynn, Roger Stone, Rudy Giuliani, Sidney Powell, and others.

donald trump
Former President Donald Trump speaks on Feb. 09, 2024, in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Trump had one of his best weeks as cases and critics against him appeared to combust, Jonathon Turley says. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Yet, there is no question that time has worked in Trump’s favor in fulfilling certain narratives. He has accused the Democrats of trying to rig elections. While debunking claims in 2020, Democrats like Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold bulldozed any high ground by trying to prevent citizens from voting for Trump as he leads in the polls.

Likewise, Trump long mocked President Biden over his age and mental deterioration. This week, Special Counsel Robert Hur justified his declination of criminal charges against Biden in part due to his “diminished faculties.” He said that his team was concerned that a jury would find him a “sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory.”

Biden then proceeded to hold a press conference to show that he was mentally sharp. It was a disaster. Biden not only came across as a cranky octogenarian telling reporters to get off his lawn, but he proceeded to confuse the presidents of Mexico and Egypt.

Now, 76% of Americans are concerned about Biden’s mental fitness to be president.

Even more important was what the report said about Biden’s underlying conduct. Despite false claims by Biden in the press conference, the report found that he had willfully retained classified material, mishandled such material for years and disclosed classified material.

If that sounds familiar, it should. The pictures and allegations are strikingly similar to those involving Trump at Mar-a-Lago. Indeed, the report showed that every element of the crime was evident, which is likely why Hur tried to use Biden’s memory and sympathetic demeanor to justify his decision. Yet, it suggested that a less sympathetic defendant with a better memory would have been charged.

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