Aides expect Trump to mostly watch the trials on TV all day. But without Twitter, a campaign rally, a team of lawyers or Republicans willing to defend his actions, Trump is ready to resist the historic shame in a subdued way.
It’s a distant cry from the first time he was charged when aides organized a campaign rally in the aptly named Battle Creek, Michigan, to coincide with the House vote.
At the demonstration, which took place at the same time as members were accusing him, his press secretary appeared in the crowd to hold up a poster showing the total number of votes.
“We got every single Republican (to vote) on us!” Trump was mad when he saw the last number and added at another point, “It does not really feel like we are being accused.”
While other Republicans oppose the accusation because they say it is “divisive,” they are not defending Trump because of what he is being accused of: inciting an uprising.
Blackout for social media
Trump’s venues to respond to the accusation are also limited. Normally, aides would look on Twitter for the president’s first response to being the only president in history to be charged twice. Then, too, Republican members of Congress would fear what might appear on Trump’s feed if they decided to break with him and vote for his accusation.
But Trump’s account has been permanently suspended – and with it his main weapon for securing GOP loyalty.
While Trump has been fighting for his suspension and told reporters this week that free speech was under attack, CNN has heard of a new effort by one of his top advisers to prevent him from getting out on edge platforms instead of the big ones he was banned from.
Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner intervened when other officials tried to restore the president’s presence on social media on sites that are often havens for extremists, such as Gab, following an unprecedented ban from several major platforms.
These officials had originally tried to use other Twitter accounts, including those run by campaign staff, to tweet in Trump’s name.
The White House did not immediately respond to a CNN request for comment.
The White House said in a statement this week that it is against persecution, and Trump fought the procedure Tuesday.
“It causes enormous anger and division and pain far greater than most people will ever understand, which is very dangerous for the United States, especially at this very tender time,” he said during his visit to Texas. The White House statement from Deputy Press Secretary Judd Deere read: “A politically motivated accusation against a president with 12 days left in his term will only serve to further divide our great country.”
More isolated than ever
Trump’s second accusation comes at a time when he has been more isolated than ever. Several of his cabinet secretaries – those who have not retired in protest – are avoiding him, his relationship with the vice president is still broken, and several of his senior staff are scheduled to leave their posts this week.
Several of these top aides told CNN they have no plans to postpone their departure because of the president’s accusation.
In the White House, Trump’s defense is almost invisible.
Two sources told CNN that Trump has said he is bringing Alan Dershowitz back after he disappeared Trump under the first prosecution. Trump has told people that Dershowitz’s defense of him on the Senate floor saved him during his last trial. Rudy Giuliani is also expected to be involved, although no concrete legal strategy had been paved by Wednesday morning, even though Trump was destined to be charged within hours.
Several prominent figures from Trump’s last indictment – including Jay Sekulow and Kenneth Starr – have declined to be involved. The White House council, Pat Cipollone, is also not expected to play a role and considered stepping back in the wake of last week’s uprising. Trump has been dismissive of Cipollone for several months now.
Trump has been discussing issuing pardons for himself and his children with new urgency since the attack on the U.S. Capitol, several sources familiar with the matter tell CNN.
While some aides have been working to organize events this week where the rest of Trump’s legacy – such as Middle East diplomacy and deregulation – is soaked, he has shown little interest.
His remarks, proclaiming border wall construction in Texas on Tuesday, lasted only 20 minutes and were overtaken by his comments, which accused “anger” over the accusation and his suspension from social media platforms.
The only other event on his schedule for this week – a Thursday medal for the Freedom Ceremony in honor of New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick – is out after Belichick said he would not attend.