Politico Magazine runs down the 50 years or so of the effort’s by the New York Real Estate and ex-President to bend, get around, or just plain disregard the law to do things his way and make money and get away with it….
How he does business….
He HAS been brought up to sit in judgement for his sins….
His BIGGEST efforts on Jan. 6 2021 has come back to haunt him as the ‘system’ begins to bite him back in differant places….He is NOT happy….
But he continues his campaign to marginalize the very ‘system’ he swore on a bible to defend when he got his first and only government job as President…..
And the media adoration is helping the man gain and hold support…..
Trump and his allies say he is the victim of the weaponization of the justice system, but the reality is exactly the opposite. For literally more than 50 years, according to thousands of pages of court records and hundreds of interviews with lawyers and legal experts, people who have worked for Trump, against Trump or both, and many of the myriad litigants who’ve been caught in the crossfire, Trump has taught himself how to use and abuse the legal system for his own advantage and aims. Many might view the legal system as a place to try to avoid, or as perhaps a necessary evil, or maybe even as a noble arbiter of equality and fairness. Not Trump. He spent most of his adult life molding it into an arena in which he could stake claims and hunt leverage. It has not been for him a place of last resort so much as a place of constant quarrel. Conflict in courts is not for him the cost of doing business — it is how he does business. Throughout his vast record of (mostly civil) lawsuits, whether on offense, defense or frequently a mix of the two, Trump has become a sort of layman’s master in the law and lawfare.
“He doesn’t see the legal system as a means of obtaining justice for all,” Jim Zirin, the author of Plaintiff in Chief: A Portrait of Donald Trump in 3,500 Lawsuits, told me. He sees it rather as a “tool,” said Ian Bassin, a former White House lawyer in the administration of Barack Obama and the current executive director of Protect Democracy, “in his quest to command attention and ultimately power.” But it’s not merely any tool. It’s his most potent tactic and fundamental to any and all successes he’s had. “There’s probably no single person in America,” said Eric Swalwell, the Democratic member of Congress from California and a former prosecutor and Trump impeachment manager, “who is more, I would say, knowledgeable and experienced in our legal system — as both a plaintiff and as a defendant — than Donald Trump.”
Many have been confounded by the legal system’s inability to constrain Trump, by his ability to escape at least thus far any legal accounting for behavior that even some leaders of his own party excoriated — and why that reckoning might never come. To understand this requires seeing Trump in a new mode — not as a businessman-turned-celebrity-turned-politician, or as a nationalist populist demagogue, or as the epochal leader of a right-wing movement, but rather as a legal combatant. “This is not a political rally — this is a courtroom,” the judge admonished him at one point in November in New York. It was only in the most technical sense correct. Just as he had upended the norms inside the New York courtroom, Trump has altered the very way we view the justice system as a whole. This is not something he began to do once he won elected office. It has been a lifelong project.
Starting in 1973, when the federal government sued him and his father for racist rental practices in the apartments they owned, Trump learned from the notorious Roy Cohn, then searched for another Roy Cohn — then finally became his own Roy Cohn. He’s exploited as loopholes the legal system’s bedrock tenets, eyeing its very integrity as simultaneously its intrinsic vulnerability — the near sacrosanct honoring of the rights of the defendant, the deliberation that due process demands, the constant constitutional balancing act that relies on shared good faith as much as fixed, written rules. He has routinely turned what’s obviously peril into what’s effectively fuel, taking long rosters of losses and willing them into something like wins — if not in a court of law, then in that of public opinion. It has worked, and it continues to work. Trump, after all, was at one of his weakest points politically until the first of his four arraignments last spring. Ever since, his legal jeopardy and his political viability have done little but go up, together. Deny, delay and attack, always play the victim, never stop undermining the system: Trump has taken the Cohn playbook to reaches not even Cohn could have foreseen — fusing his legal efforts with his business interests, lawyers as important to him as loan officers, and now he’s done the same with politics. He’s not fighting the system, it seems sometimes, so much as he’s using it. He’s fundraising off of it. He’s consolidating support because of it. He’s far and away the most likely Republican nominee, polls consistently show. He’s the odds-on favorite to be the president again….
image…POLITICO illustration by Emily Scherer/Photos by Getty/ iStock