Could Donald Trump’s revenge fantasies come back to bite him?

To be Donald Trump root for Hunter Biden acquitted of illegal gun possession, even after years of chanting that the “Biden crime family” should go to jail? It will create a certain distorted feeling: “See, there is a way to fix everything!” The former president could ask for Hunter to be exonerated. “It’s like my trial was rigged! Joe Biden corrupted the justice system!”

Maybe the MAGA establishment will buy it. Of course, the truth makes the argument ridiculous. There is no evidence that the president attempted to influence the Manhattan district attorney’s prosecution of Trump. Quite the opposite: Joe Biden’s Justice Department declined to pursue related charges Daniels storms concealed the extortion charges, while it indicted the New Jersey Democratic senator Robert Menendez (on bribery and other charges) and Texas Democratic congressman Henry Cuellar (on charges of bribery, money laundering and acting as a foreign agent), and just finished presenting the case against Biden’s youngest son in a Wilmington, Delaware courtroom. “The Merrick Garland The Justice Department will not go after our enemies,” said a top Democratic strategist. “They go after people they think have broken the law.”

Several prominent Democrats, including the Maryland congressman Jamie Raskin, have shown hypocrite Republicans criticized Trump’s prosecution as partisan while Hunter Biden stood trial. However, you won’t hear that point made by the Biden campaign itself. The quickest way to shorten a conversation with someone in Bidenworld is always to bring up Hunter’s troubles. He remains a sensitive subject, for both political and personal reasons. When I asked Ted Kaufman, Joe Biden’s longtime friend and his successor as Delaware senator, on the complicated line between being president and raising children, responded quickly and bluntly. “I won’t get into that,” Kauffman said. “Let me make this clear: He has proven time and time again how much he cares about Hunter. He is one of the best dads.”

Joe Biden’s decency and empathy would actually help his cause, especially in contrast to Trump’s lack of both qualities. Yet, understandably, voters are most interested in what the White House can do for them. That’s why the economy, immigration, abortion and democracy are often ranked among the top priorities in presidential campaigns. So Biden’s team would be fine if the Trump campaign spent more time and energy on issues that only promote MAGA. “How many people do you think will go to the ballot box and vote based on Hunter? Like zero-point-zero,” one Biden insider said. “Voters vote on what is better for them and their lives.”

In the weeks since Trump was convicted on 34 counts, another theory has been floated inside Bidenworld: In a race that will likely be decided by a handful of votes in a handful of swing states, Trump and allies like Steve Bannon And Megyn Kelly angry about punishment—or about using the federal government to go after not just the Bidens but perhaps Hillary Clinton And Barack Obama—the American judicial system itself may become even more of a contributing, indirect problem for voters who say they remain undecided.

Trump’s authoritarian rhetoric, fueled by anger over the Manhattan verdict, could help the Biden campaign amplify two important existing themes: that the Republican nominee only cares about himself and his re-election would bring chaos to the most powerful office in government. . The key to successfully conveying that message, however, will be to connect Trump’s norm-destroying rage with its potential to damage the daily lives of Americans, in areas ranging from reduced job growth jobs and access to affordable health care to worsening climate change and the tax gap among the wealthy. and everyone else. “Yes, I want Democrats to talk about Trump’s conviction,” said Jim Messina, who managed Obama’s successful 2012 re-election bid and is an outside adviser to Biden’s 2024 re-election effort. “I also think you can walk and chew gum at the same time. We are still losing the economic debate. Hillary’s biggest failure in 2016 was not her failure to articulate Trump’s behavior but her failure to make people understand why it hurt them economically. And we have to do it.”

What the jury decides about Hunter Biden is unlikely to affect that campaign equation. But Trump’s bold threat to weaponize the justice system could come to fruition.


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