No matter the charge, the defense is the same: Donald Trump is the victim of a vicious political vendetta.
By a quirk of fate, two of the most troublesome threats to the ex-President’s political viability and business legend unfolded almost simultaneously Thursday in two cities he once dominated. And he responded the way he always does, by going on the attack.
In New York City, prosecutors arraigned Trump’s financial right-hand man, Allen Weisselberg, on charges including grand larceny and tax fraud. And the Trump Organization itself was accused of a fraudulent multi-year scheme to avoid due taxes.
Back in Washington, meanwhile, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi named those who will serve on a select committee on the January 6 US Capitol insurrection, which was incited by Trump in a bid to overturn his election defeat. In a poke in the eye to the former President, they include one of his mortal enemies, Wyoming’s Rep. Liz Cheney, one of the few Republicans to speak truth to his abuses of power surrounding last year’s election.
No recent former President has faced the kind of threat to his legacy, reputation and potentially even his fortune now being encountered by Trump. And the ferocity of his defense — faithful to his mantra of never giving an inch to his adversaries — suggests he plans to respond with the kind of all-consuming assault on America’s psyche that unfolded during his presidency.