United States: what awaits former President Donald Trump after his acquittal

“Our magnificent, historic and patriotic movement, Make America Great Again, has only just begun,” he said after the Senate vote.

The United States Congress acquitted Donald Trump on Saturday, February 13, after his second impeachment trial. A little more than three weeks after the handover with Joe Biden, another page turns. However, Donald Trump has not said his last word. Reacting to the Senate verdict, it seemed to set a date for the future: “Our magnificent, historic and patriotic movement, Make America Great Again, has only just begun,” he said. So, in the short and medium term, what’s in store for the real estate mogul?

The revival of its economic empire

Luxurious hotels, posh real estate properties, golf courses… For starters, the former president should be busy with the recovery of his economic empire, the Trump Organization. He will have to “keep it afloat, because he faces a drop in income due to the pandemic and a tarnished image” , exposes the BBC (link in English) . Before he became president, “the Trump brand was very powerful,” said Melissa Aronczyk, professor of communication at Rutgers University in New Jersey, to AFP. Donald Trump’s four-year mandate, marked by extreme positions and the assault on Capitol Hill by his supporters , The Trump brand has become “toxic” because associated with chaos, racism, summarizes Tim Calkins, professor of marketing at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

Many companies have cut their ties or distanced themselves from Donald Trump. Signature Bank began to close the accounts of the president, according to a spokesman, while Deutsche Bank does not want to do business with him, according to the  New York Times  (link in English) . In New York City, Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio ended contracts that allowed the Trump Organization to run attractions in Central Park and a Bronx golf course. In 2022, the PGA Tour, the most important golf championship in the world, will not pass through the Trump National, in Bedminster (New Jersey). “Our brand was at stake,” said Seth Waugh, managing director of the organizing body.

Ongoing court cases

On the judicial front, Donald Trump has lost his presidential immunity. He will therefore have to face several cases. On the front line, the investigation into possible allegations of tax evasion, insurance fraud, or bank fraud led by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance. It is in this context that the former personal lawyer of President Michael Cohen, who is currently serving a prison sentence, was re-questioned. He had told Congress that Donald Trump and his company were artificially inflating or reducing the value of their assets, to alternately obtain bank loans or reduce their taxes. New York State Democratic Attorney Letitia James is also investigating the latest allegations. If these accusations were true, they would expose the ex-president to possible imprisonment.

Other ongoing files: defamation complaints launched by several women who Donald Trump accused of lying. They are porn actress Stormy Daniels, who claims to have had a relationship with Donald Trump in 2006 , and former columnist E. Jean Carroll, who claims to have been raped by the ex-real estate mogul in mid-1990s, and Summer Zervos, a former candidate for “The Apprentice” who accuses Donald Trump of sexual assault. In addition to these procedures, the president also risks prosecution “for obstruction of justice and incitement to electoral fraud” , list 20 Minutes .

A return to politics for 2024?

Finally, politically, the Senate vote offers Donald Trump the opportunity to take up one of his favorite campaign arguments: posing as a martyr. “This can be a rallying cry: to hammer home that he has been targeted by the left and by the press, in an unfair way , ” said Capri Cafaro, former Democrat and teacher at American University.

After the assault on the Capitol on January 6, many Republican officials have however distanced themselves, which constitutes a major handicap in view of a possible reconquest, even if its ability to galvanize the crowds remains a major asset. Without an elected mandate, deprived of his Twitter account, reclusive in his golf club in Mar-a-Lago, more than 1,300 kilometers from Washington, he could now have difficulty making himself heard.

Especially since the next presidential term is already whetting appetites. One of the possible contenders for the Republican nomination, Nikki Haley, has already cut ties and considered that he was offside for the coming deadlines:  “He took a path he should not have taken and we shouldn’t have followed him and we shouldn’t have listened to him. We must never let this start again. “

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