March 4, 2021

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Why the focus on ‘incitement’ creates an opening for Trump’s impeachment defense

2 min read

Former President Donald Trump looks poised for a second impeachment acquittal — but Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump are reportedly warning him not to “snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.”

With Trump’s second Senate impeachment trial set to start in just a few hours, Politico reported on Tuesday that his daughter Ivanka Trump and son-in-law Jared Kushner have warned the former president “that while he has the votes for acquittal, he can still screw this up.”

“‘Snatch defeat from the jaws of victory’ is the phrase Kushner has been heard using most frequently to describe the worry,” Politico writes.

Trump’s acquittal has been seen as likely after 45 Senate Republicans backed an effort to dismiss the impeachment trial last month, suggesting there aren’t enough votes for a conviction. In this historic second trial, Trump is facing charges of inciting an insurrection at the Capitol building that left five people dead. His lawyers are expected to argue that the trial isn’t constitutional because he’s no longer in office.

Trump, Politico also reports, has evidently taken Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump’s advice to heart, with an aide telling the outlet, “Right now Trump is thinking, ‘I’ve got 45 votes, all I have to do is go golfing and not do anything.'” But he’s also “already imagining his comeback,” according to the report — and drawing comparisons to his reality show The Apprentice.

“He’s compared it to that time in between seasons of The Apprentice, building anticipation and wonderment for what’s to come,” an adviser told Politico.

While it’s not exactly clear what Trump imagines such a comeback to look like, a separate Politico report on Tuesday said that aides expect him to “gradually” re-emerge once the trial is over, at which point he’ll likely be “turning his attention toward seeking revenge against Republicans who, he believes, crossed him after he left office.” Brendan Morrow

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