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Democrats want to mine Trump's legal battles for a 2024 win but they didn't count on one big thing

Democrats, Biden's supporters in the liberal media appear to hope that former President Trump's hush money trial will topple his election hopes. They should be wary of assumptions.

Can Donald Trump beat Joe Biden in November despite being cooped up in a courtroom, fenced in by what he calls an ongoing "witch hunt"? It won’t be easy; the polls have tightened in recent weeks, perhaps because Biden is out campaigning, gleefully spewing taxpayer money to swing-state voters and slamming his opponent, and Trump is not. 

Instead, Trump is on trial, again, in New York City

His enemies in the liberal press are jubilant. Not because Trump has committed some heinous crime and will be brought to justice. Not because convicting the former president would make the lives of New Yorkers, or all Americans, better in any way. No, leftwing media types are exultant because they want to see The Donald disgraced, weakened and brought to his knees.  

TRUMP TRIAL: FORMER PRESIDENT 'INNOCENT,' SAYS DEFENSE AS DA ALLEGES 'CRIMINAL CONSPIRACY'

For proof, look no further than Maggie Haberman’s recent front-page piece in the New York Times. The Times writer is almost giddy. 

Haberman, a long-time Trump antagonist, recounts the scene in the "decrepit" courtroom of Democrat donor Judge Juan Merchan, who is presiding over the hush money trial brought by Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg. Late in the day, the former president stands up, ready to go home, and is ordered by Merchan to "have a seat." Boom! Haberman is thrilled, noting that Trump "is used to setting his own pace" but suddenly, he is "stripped of control." 

Haberman describes the real estate tycoon appearing "haggard and rumpled" by day’s end; "The mundanity of the courtroom has all but swallowed Mr. Trump" writes Maggie, dispelling his long-sought image of "bigness."  

This is nectar to Trump opponents. After all, Gallup reports that only 38% of voters see President Biden as a "strong and decisive leader", compared to 57% who think Trump has those attributes. They hope Bragg’s show trial will eliminate that divide.  

NY VS TRUMP: THE EVIDENCE PROSECUTORS CAN PRESENT IF FORMER PRESIDENT TESTIFIES

Haberman says Trump’s plan was to campaign in spite of the trial but notes that during the first week he only made one public appearance, visiting a bodega. (She fails to note he was greeted by throngs of Harlem residents shouting his name.) "Some advisors" she writes, "are conscious of Mr. Trump appearing diminished"; she says they’re pushing for some larger rallies in the area. Those advisers also think, according to Haberman, that "the process [of the trial] may damage him as much as a guilty verdict."

Is she right? Or is Haberman herself hoping that a six-week trial will topple Trump’s election hopes? 

Up until now, the numerous charges brought against Donald Trump have pumped up his support among people who feel he is being unfairly treated and who are disgusted by the "lawfare" loosed upon the former president. His approval ratings have not suffered and he has successfully fund-raised off the "witch hunts." Can he continue to make lemonade from lemons? 

GOV GAVIN NEWSOM WORRIES ABOUT 'OVERINDULGENCE,' 'OBSESSION' WITH TRUMP HUSH MONEY TRIAL: 'LESS IS MORE'

Fair-minded Americans will continue to view the cases brought against Trump in New York as politically-motivated -- a continuation of the years-long effort to undermine and penalize the former president for upending liberal complacency and beating Hillary Clinton in 2016. Polling has shown the trials are unlikely to have much impact on the outcome of the election; opinions about his guilt and the reasonableness of the charges fall mainly along party lines.

But chances are, the next few weeks will be embarrassing for The Donald, as the case now being tried in Manhattan focuses on his relations with and payments made to porn star Stormy Daniels. Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg has taken charges of dishonest bookkeeping, normally a misdemeanor, and like Rumpelstiltskin, spun them magically into felony charges of election interference. When he first launched the case, which had been spurned by his predecessor, even the New York Times described it as "creative." Nonetheless, given the jury pool, it’s quite possible that Trump could be convicted in the Bragg case, given the Democrat-rich venue. 

CLICK HERE FOR MORE FOX NEWS OPINION

Meanwhile, elsewhere in the Empire State, Attorney General Letitia James, who succeeded in convicting Trump on equally dubious charges of having inflated the value of his real estate holdings, is plenty angry that a panel of judges reduced the bond that he was required to post while appealing the case. The judge overseeing the trial had hit Trump with penalties totaling nearly $450 million, said to be the largest ever recorded, even though the former president’s purported wrong-doing resulted in no losses to any party.  

Both James and Bragg campaigned on bringing down Trump, and they are trying their darndest to live up to that promise. Both have brought cases that outside of New York would likely be laughed out of court. But here we are, in Manhattan, a district where Republicans are as rare as unicorns, with Trump, the GOP nominee for president, stuck in a courtroom for six weeks. 

Meanwhile, President Biden is out on the campaign trail taking every opportunity to trash talk his opponent. Biden, whose approval ratings confirm his standing as the worst president in modern times, and who demanded that his Attorney General Merrick Garland do everything possible to lock Trump up.

Most beneficial to Joe Biden is that in coming weeks the spotlight will be on a Manhattan courtroom instead of the calamity he has created at the southern border and the damage his reckless spending has caused our economy.   

But President Biden in the spotlight is not all good news for Democrats; there was a reason that in 2020 they kept him cooped up in the basement. As Biden piles up gaffes and goofs in public appearances, Trump can critique the unrest on college campuses, Biden’s decision to surreptitiously lift sanctions on Iran, the absurd decision to block oil and gas development in the U.S. and so many other failures of the Biden administration. 

Six weeks will fly by; Trump will be back and, my guess, he won’t have missed a beat.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM LIZ PEEK

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