Donald Trump’s legal situation seemed to worsen on Wednesday. The country moves closer to a political and legal turning point that might result in the first-ever indictment of a former president every day,. The ex- commander-in-chief’s search for the president in 2024 would aggravate this historic twist, putting America’s legal and government institutions, as well as its frail unity, to the final test.
And Trump is not dealing with a single case of potential criminal vulnerability. New revelations on many fronts suggest that he may be indicted in several different investigations, all of which appear to be going ahead in a long-delayed crescendo of likely responsibility.
A historic moment is developing in the midst of Trump’s wild rhetoric and predictions of his own arrest, a political tempest drummed up by his loyalists, and excitement among those who have long chafed at his penchant for lawlessness.
An increasingly circus-like atmosphere in Washington, New York, and Florida, where Trump currently lives, is increasing the drama around the many lawsuits and, to some extent, deflecting focus away from what may be a questionable historical moment. Meanwhile, growing partisan chaos driven by House Republicans appears to be geared to obfuscate the facts, distract from the evidence, and strengthen Trump’s claim that he is the victim of an endless political vendetta.
Trump’s multiple avenues of legal peril
Trump, who has denied any wrongdoing, has yet to be prosecuted in any of the instances, and there is no certainty that he will be. However, the pattern of recent days appears to imply that the legal clouds over him are deepening.
On Wednesday, an appeals court decided that Trump’s defense attorney, Evan Corcoran, must appear before a grand jury in the case involving classified papers that Trump obtained at his Mar-a-Lago resort. The ruling was significant because the Justice Department had to convince the court that there was enough evidence to show Trump committed a crime in order to violate the convention of attorney-client privilege.
The destruction of this basic legal safeguard, according to Norm Eisen, a senior scholar at the Brookings Institution and CNN legal commentator, was highly uncommon and an omen for Trump, because Corcoran’s testimony may be used to claim he committed a crime. This might include not just improper handling of classified documents, but also possible obstruction of justice. “It considerably worsens what was probably Trump’s most federal legal peril,” Eisen told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on “The Situation Room” on Wednesday.