Donald Trump, as his pro-enemy Sen. Lindsey Graham recently noted, flourished with an unshakable policy: Don’t cross them or you’ll get burned. Republican candidates who were seen as insufficiently loyal to their leader? Trump will support his primary opponents, forcing Trump-skeptical candidates to step aside or lose. And the administration officials who didn’t set foot on the Trump line?
In the case of former FBI executive director Andrew McCabe, he was pink-slipped hours before he voluntarily retired with a pension.
But with Trump out of power for a year and a half, and under investigation by a select House committee that is unearthing damaging evidence about the former president’s role in the rebellion at the Capitol, the fear factor is waning.
Republicans who have served in Trump’s White House or in his campaign have testified before a January 6 committee, in several cases defying their former boss with colorful language and cruel words.
Trump’s own daughter admitted to the committee that she respected former Attorney General Bill Barr’s assessment that the 2020 election was not “stolen” from Trump, When Watergate happened, after all, it wasn’t even when the tapes came out,” says Jeffrey Engel, a presidential historian at Southern Methodist University, that former President Richard Nixon began to decline rapidly from grace and power. “It was when the Republicans who were defending Nixon realized that he made them lie to him. They realized they were lying for the sake of a liar.
Some of it concerns the January 6 probe, whether it is speculation that Trump will be charged or just a more practical concern that he has too much baggage, experts say. Some of it is the desire to move on, rather than re-fight the 2020 battle Trump has already lost.
Should Trump announce he is not running, his contribution to the leadership PAC — which now operates “basically as a slush fund” for the candidate, says Adv Noti, vice president, and legal director of the Campaign Legal Center. Are – can dry well.
If Trump files for the presidency, he will be limited in how he can spend donations to his campaign fund, Noti says.