President Donald Trump faces an obstacle that no other president has ever met: an unprecedented series of investigations on almost all the organizations he has recently run.
In California, investigators are looking at more than $ 100 million donated to Trump's inauguration. In New Jersey, they study the treatment of employees working in a Trump complex. And in New York, they examine the now-defunct foundation of Trump.
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In total, Trump faces at least 15 criminal or civil investigations from nine federal, regional and municipal agencies regarding its business, charity, campaign, inaugural committee and personal finances.
While he is launching his campaign for a second term on Tuesday, Trump does not intend to avoid talking about investigations. Unlike most other candidates who face allegations of wrongdoing, he hopes to use them as part of a strategy that he hopes to help him get re-elected.
Trump plans to characterize the investigations conducted in these blue states – along with those of special advocate Robert Mueller and Congressional investigations – as attacks perpetrated by the same people: Democrats, media and critics. For his fans, it was already a winning strategy.
"He is really taking advantage of these investigations because he has made it a so-called witch hunt." He uses them to his advantage to show that the deep state of the institution, along with the media , is trying to derail his efforts to change the way things are going. " have finished, "Republican strategist Ron Bonjean, who advised the White House Trump. "It plays to his advantage."
While congressional investigations have been the subject of most headlines in recent months, these are external investigations that are more politically dangerous in many respects, even if they quietly go in camera. They may result in criminal charges or civil penalties, resulting in a wave of negative publicity that could unexpectedly drop in the months and weeks leading up to the 2020 elections.
"The risk is high," said Andy Wright, who worked to answer White House investigations by Obama and Clinton and for the House's oversight committee. "They could give rise to very important developments."
Although national and federal investigations have been reported, the scope has not been recorded before.
Trump's inauguration committee receives the most attention from investigators and five different investigations. Investigations are ongoing in the southern and eastern districts of New York, as well as in the central district of California. In addition, the Attorneys General of New Jersey and Washington, DC, are reviewing the inauguration. The investigations mainly consist of determining whether foreign donors illegally paid money to the inaugural committee and whether the organization spent money.
Four entities are investigating Trump's family business, the Trump organization. The company, which brings together more than 500 companies, has been charged with federal offenses with labor law, bank fraud and insurance fraud. Trump still owns his business, but has placed his assets in a trust to hold his assets. He can receive money from the trust at any time.
Specifically, the Attorney General of New York is examining allegations that undocumented workers were forced to work overtime without pay at Trump Golf Club in Briarcliff Manor, NY, while the Attorney General of New Jersey was considering accusations that fraudulent documents were given to fraudulent workers at Trump Bedminster, NJ, appeal. In New York, the Attorney General is also reviewing the large loans the company has received, while the state's financial services department is closely examining the company's insurance policies.
Trump's charitable organization, the Trump Foundation, has not escaped scrutiny either. Even though the foundation was forced to dissolve, it still remains being investigated for possibly spending money on Trump's company or campaign The New York Department of Taxation and the New York Attorney General are both present.
Even the Trump campaign, almost three years after the 2016 election, is still struggling with government problems. Federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York are investigating whether the campaign is being illegally coordinated with Rebuilding America Now, a super pro-Trump PAC, as well as the high-profile payments that the Trump team has paid to two women for alleged extramarital affairs with Trump.
Trump's personal finances also caught the attention of investigators. Regulators in the states of New York and New York City are investigating the potential for financial fraud, as well as potential tax and housing violations.
"There was never anything like this before," said Neil Eggleston, former US President Barack Obama's legal adviser to the White House.
Recent presidents of both parties, including Obama and George W. Bush, faced their own investigations as they campaigned for re-election. But most of these probes started and ended at Capitol Hill. Even President Bill Clinton – who has been indicted on his second term after an investigation started over a failure of the real estate transaction, has given rise to inaccuracies made by Clinton under oath about the fact. a thing – has not been confronted with so many external investigations.
Peter Zeidenberg, a former federal prosecutor who has dealt with cases against officials, including the chief of staff of former Vice President Dick Cheney, Scooter Libby, said Trump's situation stood out. Unlike previous administrations, he noted, these cases all concern the president and his personal activities, not those of his staff.
"We did not see anything like that," he said.
Criminal and civil investigations of Trump organizations exist in addition to a lot of exciting cases involving his associates, including former personal attorney Michael Cohen, former Trump campaign president Paul Manafort and Trump's first national security advisor, Michael Flynn.
Most of the investigations stemmed from Mueller's investigation, which had failed to establish a criminal plot between the Trump campaign and Russian middlemen who were trying to interfere in the elections. Mueller also presented evidence that Trump had attempted to obstruct justice, but declined to decide whether his actions were criminal. The other polls come from reports.
A Trump campaign official described Trump's response as a campaign strategy less like an "understandable response" to the accusations.
"Everyone knows that this president knows that he is fighting," said the official.
Other people close to the Trump campaign and the White House said the president had developed a winning strategy over the last two years that defused Mueller and House's investigations.
"It's an evolution to build one thing after another and see how people have reacted," said an informal advisor. "I do not think anyone was able to get attacked as he did."
In his public commentary, Trump groups all the investigations into a single line of attack, regularly addressing this theme at his campaign meetings, often with ad-libbed lines. The subject is also a recurring subject on his Twitter feed and in his exchanges with journalists.
"Even though we had artificial obstacles on our way, even though we had Russian hoaxes and witch hunts and people who hate Trump and hate you – angry democrats, all of us after all this, and they always have that burning, "he told the crowd at a rally on May 20 in Pennsylvania. "They go crazy."
Trump's campaign also includes fundraising during the survey, sending emails and texts to supporters and selling T-shirts with the words "collusion delusion" and "no collusion no obstruction".
Bryan Lanza, who worked on Trump's campaign and transition in 2016 and stays close to the White House, said Trump was not planning to give up talking about other demands as well.
"You must also group them together. They are all the same. These are all witch hunts, "he said. "It is comfortable to tell the American public that these are successful partisan jobs."
But Democrats – and even some Republicans – have said Trump's strategy only calls for its conservative base, not the suburban and independent voters who helped Democrats win back parliament in 2018.
Jason Miller, who was a senior advisor in Trump's 2016 campaign, reacted by saying that recent polls show that more Americans – not just Trump supporters – are opposed to the plethora of investigations against Trump.
But recent polls have been mixed. A May CBS News poll shows that 53% of Americans are fed up with surveys of Russia, but a June CNN survey shows that 54% of voters say Democrats are investigating Trump on the right amount or too little. Most polls do not question external investigations, which have largely flown under the radar.
"Most people are sick and do not understand why Democrats continue to be obsessed with the past," said Miller. "Everything is partisan politics."