USA: Trump is said to have instigated the storming of the Capitol himself – will he still become US President again?
new York Will the next US President be Donald Trump? The situation is paradoxical: speculation is mounting in Washington that he could soon announce his candidacy for the 2024 presidential elections. At the same time, however, he is coming under massive domestic political pressure.
In the investigative committee on the storming of the Capitol, it became increasingly clear on Tuesday that Trump, as US President, had personally planned the uprising, and with strategic precision. At the same time there is trouble about his new media company Trump Media & Technology Group (TMTG). The US Securities and Exchange Commission and the judicial authorities have started investigations and issued subpoenas.
And then there’s the argument with Elon Musk. After the Republican called the Tesla boss a “bullshit artist” during a campaign appearance in Alaska over the weekend, he mercilessly tweeted back. Musk sneered that it was time for Trump to bury his dreams of a second term and “sail into the sunset.”
Trump would be 82 at the end of his term, he argued. “That makes him too old for a corporate executive, but he’s certainly too old for the executive chair of the United States of America.”
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Obviously, Trump disagrees. “We will take back our magnificent White House,” he called out to the cheering crowd during his campaign appearance. He then repeated his claim that he was cheated out of victory in the 2020 election. Political observers take this as a sign that Trump, who never accepted his defeat, is actually aiming for the White House again.
Trumps tweeted ahead of the Capitol storm, “Join it, it’s going to be wild!”
There is speculation in Washington that he will soon announce his candidacy for the 2024 presidential election. That would be unusually early, but Trump could prevent other candidates from publicly applying for the post.
Although Trump has not yet officially announced his candidacy, political observers in Washington believe that the weakness of incumbent US President Joe Biden could further encourage him to take up the duel.
Only 33 percent of Democratic voters are satisfied with the work of the US President, according to a recent survey by the New York Times. This is a depressing result for Biden: Even the highly controversial Trump had better poll numbers at this point in his presidency.
However, it is still unclear whether Trump’s role in the storming of the Capitol on January 6, 2021 could still stand in the way of a presidency. In any case, the seventh hearing in the investigative committee put him under massive pressure.
According to the democratic members, Trump had specifically addressed violent right-wing extremists in order to prepare for the escalation in Washington. Democrat Stephanie Murphy said in the hearing, “The evidence shows it was a deliberate strategy decided in advance by the President.”
Trump had urged his supporters to come to Washington on January 6 in a December 19 tweet: “Big protest in DC on January 6th. Join us, it’s going to be wild!” he tweeted at the time. Members of far-right groups themselves reported meeting Trump face-to-face in the Oval Office. The investigative committee also reported that Trump recently tried to contact a witness to prevent a testimony before the committee.
Iraq veteran and Capitol Policeman Aquilino Gonell also testified. He described being punched, kicked and tear gassed by Trump supporters. Despite several surgeries, he can hardly use his shoulder to this day. Trump’s ex-campaign manager Brad Parscale accused him of fomenting a “civil war”.
But not only the hearings on the storming of the Capitol are currently causing problems for Trump. The US Securities and Exchange Commission and the legal authorities have launched various investigations and issued subpoenas that could damage Trump’s new media company, Trump Media & Technology Group.
The stock market regulator and the judiciary are investigating Trump’s Spac deal
The investigation is about the IPO of Digital World Acquisition Corp (DWAC). This is a “Special Purpose Acquisition Company”, i.e. a Spac. These shell companies collect capital via the IPO and invest it in the acquisition of an as yet undecided company.
In this case, DWAC wants to take over Trump’s media company, which could get into the stock market more easily. The main business so far is the social medium “Truth Social”, with which the ex-president wants to compete with Twitter. Trump’s Twitter account has been permanently suspended since the storming of the Capitol.
Legal authorities and the Securities and Exchange Commission are currently investigating whether the Spac DWAC colluded with Trump Media prior to the IPO. That would not be allowed under US company law. Spacs are only allowed to look for takeover targets after their IPO and must also inform their investors.
Legal officials have issued subpoenas to several board members of Trump Media and DWAC, DWAC told the Securities and Exchange Commission in late June. The investigation could “materially delay the deal between the companies or prohibit or prevent the merger of the companies,” the statement said document.
TMTG’s Spac deal could fall through
For Trump, this not only jeopardizes a billion dollars that DWAC wanted to invest in his media company, but also simplified access to the stock market and thus to further capital in the future.
Corporate law expert and former SEC attorney Jacob Frenkel says, “The fact that the SEC and the legal authorities are investigating the deal and subpoenaing board members does not mean that the combination cannot proceed anyway.”
>> Read here: Trump’s social media dilemma
Nevertheless, DWAC could now decide that the deal no longer makes economic sense. Frenkel explains: “The idea behind a Spac merger is that Spac takes over a quality company and thus creates value for Spac.” If a takeover no longer has any value, it could simply become uninteresting.
Frenkel also does not believe that the investigations are politically motivated. “The US Department of Justice and the SEC pride themselves on their independence,” he explains. “The only reason they’re investigating is because they suspect a stock corporation law violation.” He points out that authorities are currently investigating multiple spacs.
Twitter dispute with Elon Musk
For Trump’s social media platform, the backlash comes at a bad time, which had only just turned in favor of “Truth.” Because Tesla boss Elon Musk withdrew from the intended Twitter purchase last week.
>> Read here: Elon Musk wants to burst Twitter purchase – “disaster for Twitter”
Musk had previously announced that he was moving away from Twitter’s previous policy. He wanted to give Donald Trump and his supporters more freedom and unblock the ex-president. The announcement was cheered by Trump fans, but his social media could have been damaged because his followers no longer had to switch to “Truth”.
Theoretically, Musk could have become a political ally of the ex-president. After all, according to his own statements, the Tesla boss switched politically from the Democrats to the Republicans, he had defended Trump several times.
But at the weekend there was a break between them: Trump made fun of Musk’s failed Twitter purchase, apparently he was angry with Musk. He had previously said that he would give Florida governor Ron DeSantis a good chance if he ran for president.
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