NYT: Trial Will Test Trump’s Limits of Reaping Political Gain From Legal Woes

I spoke to Maggie Haberman for her New York Times story with Jonathan Swan on the political implications of the various Trump criminal proceedings.

Yet Mr. Trump was elected in 2016 despite a lengthy trail of negative incidents related to his character. And polls vary on how many of his supporters who say they will back him would abandon him if he is convicted in a criminal case.

“After the past eight years, that self-selection alone is enough to tell you they won’t have much trouble explaining away an adverse legal ruling, let alone one on dubious grounds,” said Liam Donovan, a Republican strategist.


Read the full piece here.

It’s a bit too glib to say LOL nothing matters–conviction is bad, full stop, and given the profound closeness of the past two elections, a stiff breeze could swing the electoral college one way or another.

But at the end of the day, the diminishing poll of Trump supporters who tell pollsters they would reconsider in the event of a hypothetical conviction are still people willing to say they’d support Trump. Intuitively that would be a meaningful threshold, and when you dig into the data, these tend to be strong Republican leaners who are likely to come home when faced with a binary choice.

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HuffPost: Why It’s So Hard To Force The House To Vote On The Senate’s Ukraine Aid Bill

I spoke to Jonathan Nicholson for his Huffington Post piece on the challenge of getting around House leadership to move a bill that otherwise has majority support.

“It’s a dreadfully slow, cumbersome, and brittle process that is not well suited for anything dynamic or urgent,” said Liam Donovan, a former Republican Hill staffer and a partner at lobbying firm Bracewell LLP.

Donovan said forcing the Senate bill onto the floor could take at least 40 days using a new discharge petition, and using the petition originally set up for the debt limit would mean sending the bill back to the Senate for final passage, which would also add time.

“In other words, it’s a terrible option that may eventually prove to be the cleanest dirty shirt,” he said. Donovan noted another option for giving aid to Ukraine may be forthcoming negotiations over how to avoid a government shutdown: “The big question in the meantime is how the House deals with regular appropriations, and whether these conversations can be merged.”

Read the full piece here.

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NYT: In Iowa, Trump Tightens Grip on National Psyche

I spoke to Maggie Haberman for her New York Times piece on the re-emergence of former President Donald Trump in the wake of his Iowa Caucus victory, and how his considerable baggage might play into the general election.

“The overwhelming majority of Americans are aware of Trump’s legal troubles, and a significant number say that a conviction would have some bearing on their vote,” said Liam Donovan, a Republican strategist. “But absent the spectacle of a pre-election trial and adjudication, it’s not clear that awareness is enough in an environment where the former president polls stronger than either of his previous elections.”

Read the full piece here.

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