Attempts to drag Nancy Pelosi into court to berate her on the stand and, hopefully, on live TV. Claims that the Jan. 6 Capitol attack was an FBI frame job, with an assist from Antifa. Conspiracy theories that the 2020 election was indeed “stolen,” supposedly backed up by still-classified documents. Unhinged assertions that President Joe Biden is now secretly, personally orchestrating an unprecedented act of political persecution. Calls to publicly unmask the federal officials and lawyers investigating the former (and perhaps future) president of the United States. Efforts to blame any illegality on some of the ex-president’s closest confidants and former legal allies. Insinuations of election meddling by the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah.
These are just some of the items that former President Donald Trump and his lawyers have been discussing and planning to deploy when he goes on trial for his efforts to steal the 2020 election. The brewing defense strategy is outlandish and feral, even by Trumpland standards, to the point that it’s baffling some of the ex-president’s former lawyers and senior administration officials. One person with knowledge of these strategic and legal discussions bluntly describes the plans as a blueprint for staging a “MAGA freak show” at Trump’s federal election subversion trial.
Despite launching delay tactic after delay tactic, the former president, his attorneys, and various close allies have been preparing for a trial they expect to begin in 2024 — possibly in the summer. What they are mapping out so far, according to four legal and political advisers to Trump and two other sources familiar with the situation, is a courtroom and pretrial strategy laced with conspiracy theories, Fox News-style talking points, and raging innuendo — just as the spectacle-obsessed former president craves. [Continue reading…]