Amid lawsuits, Trump continues to exert disproportionate influence | Voice of America
MAISON BLANCHE – Even as Donald Trump faces the threat of legal action for his company’s business relationships and continues to be banned from social media platforms, the former president wields disproportionate influence over the Republican Party.
Unlike most former presidents who stay out of the political spotlight, Trump still holds rallies, attacking President Joe Biden and amplifying what his critics call the “big lie” – the claim that Biden stole them. 2020 elections.
“We won the election twice,” is a refrain Trump often utters at his rallies and events.
While the Gallup poll shows 62% of Americans disapproved of Trump in the last month he was in office, his base of support has remained largely intact. This strong Republican base gives him power within the party, said Thomas Schwartz, who teaches politics at Vanderbilt University.
That power was in full display when House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy met with Trump at the former president’s Bedminster resort in New Jersey this week. The meeting took place as McCarthy was considering which members of the Republican House to appoint to a special committee to investigate the January 6 storming of the United States Capitol by Trump supporters which left five dead and injured 140 policemen.
In May, Republican senators blocked a bill to create an independent commission to investigate the bloody siege. Only six Republicans voted with Democrats for the bill, short of the 10 Republican votes needed.
Another presidential race
In an informal poll at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Texas last week, Trump was the top pick for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination by 70 percent of attendees.
Trump first hinted at another presidential bid at the CPAC rally in February in Florida.
“A Republican President will make a triumphant return to the White House. And I wonder who it will be? he teased.
Support from Trump’s base may not be enough to win an election against a Democratic candidate, but it could be enough for him to secure the Republican nomination, Schwartz said.
“And that’s one of the reasons I think Republican officials are approaching him very cautiously, and you only have a few who are really willing to challenge him directly,” he added. .
Those who cross paths with the former president and real estate mogul often pay the price. In May, House Republicans ousted Liz Cheney from her post as Speaker of the House Republican Conference after repudiating Trump for baselessly claiming that Biden won the election by fraud.
“We cannot be pulled back by the very dangerous lies of a former president,” Cheney, a conservative from Wyoming and daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, said after her ousting.
Cheney was quickly replaced by New York Rep. Elise Stefanik, a Trump loyalist. Stefanik thanked Trump in front of reporters and called him “an essential part of our Republican team.”
My statement as the newly elected House GOP conference chair. pic.twitter.com/emb6lNxPRm
– Élise Stefanik (@EliseStefanik) May 14, 2021
Investigations and prosecutions
Trump’s presidential ambitions could be complicated by a probe into the Jan.6 siege, which Democrats have called an insurgency.
Earlier this month, Cheney was appointed by Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to serve on a committee that will investigate the attack, including Trump’s role in preparing for the violent assault on Capitol Hill by his supporters.
In a future book, Only I can fix it: the catastrophic last year of Donald J. Trump through Washington post reporters Philip Rucker and Carol Leonnig, the authors write that Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley feared Trump would attempt to mount a coup after losing the 2020 election.
According to the book, Milley spoke to his deputies and vowed to arrest him. “They can try” but will not succeed, he said. “You can’t do this without the military. You can’t do it without the CIA and the FBI. We’re the guys with the guns.
Trump denied the allegation.
“So ridiculous! Sorry to inform you, but an election is my form of ‘hit’, and if I had to do a hit, one of the last people I’d want to do it with is General Mark Milley,” Trump said. . in a report.
In June, authorities in New York placed the Trump Organization, the holding company of Trump entities including hotels, buildings and golf courses, under investigation for tax evasion, fraud and other illegal transactions.
New York Attorney General Letitia James said his office was “actively investigating the Trump organization in a criminal capacity,” with Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., who conducted a separate criminal investigation into the Trump’s business practices.
Earlier this month, the company’s longtime CFO Allen Weisselberg was charged with 15 counts, including conspiracy to fraud, conspiracy and robbery.
Trump’s lawyer Alan Futerfas said the prosecution was politically motivated.
“I think in 244 years we haven’t had a local prosecutor who has attacked a former president of the United States or his employees or his company,” Futerfas said.