In the weeks leading up to the start of his $250 million civil fraud trial in New York, Donald Trump and his attorneys privately discussed how they believed defeat in this trial was preordained. Their best chance — and it wasn’t much, according to two sources familiar with the matter and another two people briefed on internal deliberations — would be to fight the case on appeal.
This belief led to the development of an approach to the case that centers around chaos and cacophony, rather than any attempt to win it on the merits. One person close to Trump describes it as the “Fyre Festival strategies.”
That approach — “let’s just do it and be legends,” in the words of the festival’s founder — famously turned Fyre Fest into a scandal-riddled disaster. But Trump and his lawyers are hoping that their legal strategy in their ongoing courtroom “suicide mission” will score some political and public-relations points for Trump, kick up as much dirt as possible, enrage the judge, gratuitously trash some of the witnesses, and turn the process into a media circus.
The aggressive approach is likely to appeal to the former president’s notable taste for the jugular. But the client-pleasing strategy also risks undermining the longer term legal work of defending the Trump business empire that propelled him to fame and the presidency as its future hangs in doubt. [Continue reading…]