Trump and Putin are in deep trouble and need each other more than ever

Photo illustration by Luis G. Rendon/The Daily Beast/Reuters

Photo illustration by Luis G. Rendon/The Daily Beast/Reuters

Times are tough for Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin. Since they are two of the most repulsive and dangerous people in the world, this could be considered good news.

But not so fast. Because there’s one thing that can save Trump from the grim realities of legal liability — and it’s also the one thing that’s likely to turn the tide in Putin’s disastrous war in Ukraine. It’s the re-election of Donald Trump.

Once again the interests of Trump and Putin are aligned, but this time the stakes for both are much higher than they were in 2016. That should worry us all. This should be of great concern to us.

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Worse still, there are others for whom the 2024 election is of existential importance. This includes close Trump allies, who face jail time unless Trump is re-elected and can forgive them. This includes extremists and their allies, who also see a Trump victory as a free card to get out of jail (or avoid jail). It includes political advocates MAGA wingnut, for whom four more years of Joe Biden’s appointment of rational lawyers could undo many of their initiatives subjugating women, criminalizing love and identity within the LGBTQ community and preventing voters to participate in a democracy they would like to see weakened or abolished altogether.

There are still others for whom the stakes are high, if not quite existential. These include countries that have set their sights on Trump. (The disgraced former president’s business ties to these would now be a target of investigation by Special Counsel Jack Smith.)

It also includes, of course, politicians in the United States who have declared their loyalty to Sound MAGAsty Roiled himself and whose political destiny is likely to mirror his own.

Taken together, they will form an unholy alliance that will pose a real threat to the fairness of next year’s election, while increasing the likelihood that next year’s election results will be challenged in ways that could make the January 6 insurrection (and Trump’s fake nationwide speech). voter campaign) seem mild in comparison.

You can see the Trump and Putin fiasco situations in Ukraine getting more dire every day.

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His secret money trial in New York now has a start date of March 25, 2024. Smith is said to be finalizing his finding regarding the president’s alleged mishandling of classified documents. It also examines Trump’s involvement in the January 6 insurgency and expanded the scope of their investigation to examine possible wrongdoing associated with Trump’s fundraising. Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis has signaled that any charges in the case she may bring relating to election interference by Trump and/or his allies are imminent, expected within the first three weeks of august. Other charges could come from other states for voter fraud. And the verdict against Trump in the defamation case brought by E. Jean Carroll could be worsened as she expands her claims in a second, related case.

As for Putin, although he proclaimed “victory” in the Battle of Bakhmut, it cost his army dearly. It is unlikely that his forces will be able to hold back the smoldering remains of the devastated city any longer. Additionally, the United States and its allies have agreed to provide Ukraine with advanced F-16 fighters and the training necessary to fly them. The Ukrainian “militia” also launched attacks across the Russian border.

The Russian army is exhausted. Putin has effectively committed all of his conventional force to Ukraine… where it is being defeated. A major Ukrainian offensive should begin soon. Even one of his old friends, the leader of the Wagner Group, Yevgeny Prigrozhin, said that Putin could face a revolution at home and be defeated in Ukraine if Putin does not change things, which seems unlikely.

Prigozhin, of course, played a central role in helping Putin in his efforts to undermine the US election in 2016. He even admitted it publicly. Whatever reasons Putin may have had for trying to help get Trump elected in 2016 are clearly much more important today. And whatever reasons Trump may have had for running, they too are transcended by the ones he has right now.

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With so many trials and such serious crimes being discussed, the odds that Trump will not only be convicted, but possibly jailed, could make delaying trials and verdicts until he can win the election his only concern. defense. And it’s clear he’ll try anything about it, from complaining on social media that the New York affair was made to interfere with his campaign, to turning out to be the real MAGA chief Karen with a letter complaining about his mistreatment. and request an audience with US Attorney General Merrick Garland so he can make his feelings known to the “manager”.

As for Putin, his last chance to turn his epic blunder in Ukraine into something he can claim as a success is also a Trump victory. Trump, during his pep rally on CNN, made it clear that he does not consider Ukraine a special ally of the United States and that he will not condemn Putin’s war crimes.

Putin’s critics have already demonstrated that they see Trump as Putin’s “best hope”. (At the CNN event, Trump also declined to say he would accept the 2024 election results.)

So here we are again, only more. Trump needs Putin. Putin needs Trump. They have plenty of buddies, bad actors, and fellow travelers who need them both. This is why now is the time to prepare for the form that their collaboration could take.

Unfortunately, dangerously, this is also when Trump’s GOP once again promotes the lie that Trump never colluded with Russia. This time they seize on Special Counsel John Durham’s recent report to say it “proves” that the whole Trump-Russia affair was, as Trump has so often claimed, “a hoax.”

Of course, it said no such thing. In fact, it was a big nothing that offered a mild critique of the FBI… not even saying that the FBI shouldn’t have investigated Trump and Russia.

And we know that every investigation in the past, including those by the Intelligence Community, the US Senate, and Special Counsel Robert Mueller, have indicated that Russia actively intervened in 2016 to help Trump. In fact, the intelligence community also concluded that Russia tried to help Trump in 2020.

Putin has proven that he will stop at nothing to achieve his goals. Trump did the same.

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Given the intersection of their interests in 2024 and the deep urgency with which both view a Trump election as essential, now is the time to mobilize to anticipate, identify and stop foreign and domestic interference in our upcoming elections. – and potential initiatives to undo the results of these elections.

That’s why it’s so essential not to ignore the misinformation about the Durham Report as just another riddle. It is precisely the kind of effort to convince us to let our guard down that serves the interests of the enemies of our democracy. It’s also why efforts to hold Trump accountable must continue unhindered by the election that Trump sees as his best legal strategy.

Finally, this is why the administration must make it clear that it is preparing for anything that may happen and that whenever threats are seen, they are stopped as soon as possible.

No election in our history has been more important or more perilous. We have plenty of evidence to support this view. Now we must act on this evidence with unwavering determination.

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