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July 19, 2024

balancing act Trump’s scrapped testimony and busy week of campaigning preview he faces in 2024

balancing act

A balancing act and a last-minute announcement are scrapping plans to testify at his New York civil fraud trial. A “Commit to Caucus” event in Iowa on Wednesday. There will be a rally in New Hampshire next weekend.

Donald Trump’s schedule just weeks before the Iowa caucuses offers a preview of the balancing act the former president and his team will face over the next several months when a series of other trials centred on Trump are slated to begin during the height of the primary election season.

He’d sat in on the trial last week.

Trump’s decision to back out of his planned testimony presents fresh questions over how the front-runner for the GOP presidential nomination will handle future legal obligations next year – when a series of his other trials, some of which may require him to take the stand, are scheduled to begin during the height of the campaign.

Trump was slated to be called Monday as the final witness:

 for the defence and testify against allegations that he fraudulently inflated the value of his properties after he was questioned by prosecutors last month. The former president, who continues to argue the charges against him have no merit and are a political hit job, had planned to treat the court appearance like another stop on the campaign trail, sources familiar with his preparations told CNN.

Trump attorney Alina Habba told reporters last week that his legal team had advised him against taking the stand. Still, she said he was adamant about testifying because he felt so strongly about the case. He “is not afraid… President Trump does not cower,” Habba said.

Trump’s scrapped testimony and busy week of campaigning preview balancing act he faces in 2024

However, on Sunday, Trump posted to Truth Social that he “WILL NOT BE TESTIFYING ON MONDAY,” arguing that he “ALREADY TESTIFIED TO EVERYTHING & HAVE NOTHING MORE TO SAY,” before going on to attack the case as a witch hunt.

On Wednesday, two days after Trump was set to appear in court, he will hold a campaign event in Iowa before heading to New Hampshire for a political rally Saturday. The former president, who holds a commanding polling lead over the rest of the GOP field in Iowa, is expected to maintain an aggressive campaign schedule there leading up to the caucuses in January. But his appearances are unlikely to outpace those of his opponents, many of whom have crisscrossed the Hawkeye State more relentlessly ahead of the first-in-the-nation contest.

What’s at stake in New York balancing act:

The civil trial in New York strikes at the heart of Trump’s brand and has become an increasingly personal case for the former president, who has staked both his real estate and political career on being a savvy and successful business mogul.

At times, Trump has appeared more invested in his New York civil trial than he has with the criminal cases he faces in Georgia and at the federal level. He has repeatedly pushed the 2024 campaign to the back burner to sit in on the Manhattan court proceedings, even when his attendance has not been required and has created conflicts with his political schedule.

balancing act

The strategy has resonated with Trump’s loyal base and has helped boost his candidacy in the aftermath of the indictments brought against him. Aside from the civil case in New York, Trump faces 91 criminal charges across four cases. He’s pleaded not guilty and maintained no wrongdoing in all cases against him.

Trump’s team has continued to campaign and fundraise for his legal battles. While there was preliminary concern that the initial spike in polling and donations following his first indictment would be felt only in the short term—and only among primary voters—the consistent cash influx over the multiple arrests and indictments that followed has given some of Trump’s team and close allies a renewed sense of confidence, with some believing that his legal battles may even help him in a general election.

Trump’s scrapped testimony and busy week of campaigning preview balancing act he faces in 2024

But many people close to Trump also acknowledge the unpredictability of how his future trials could impact his campaign and how more moderate and independent voters will respond to his criminal charges and any potential convictions.

The effectiveness of the messaging around his legal troubles has led Trump’s campaign to make his trials a core part of his political platform, something his advisers see as offering him an edge over his primary challengers. Part of that strategy, they say, is to capitalize on the media coverage it offers him and the oxygen it steals from his rivals.

That dynamic will become even more pervasive in the early months of 2024, when Trump’s trial schedule ramps up.

On January 15, the same day as the Iowa caucuses balancing act :

Then, on March 4, Trump’s federal election interference trial is slated to begin in Washington, DC. The following day is Super Tuesday, when Texas, California, and a dozen other states hold their presidential primaries in the largest delegate prize of the year.

Trump’s scrapped testimony and busy week of campaigning preview balancing act he faces in 2024

Later that month, on March 25, Trump’s criminal trial in New York related to hush-money payments made in 2016 is set to begin. On May 20, the criminal trial in the special counsel’s case regarding the former president’s possession of classified documents is slated to start.

The former president’s advisers are still hopeful that Trump’s legal team will file successful motions that will delay the trials beyond some of the critical dates on the political calendar. But it’s likely Trump will face a jury at some point before the November election.

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