If you thought we’d heard the last of Donald Trump, think again.
It’s been revealed this week that the former US President is to launch a legal case against former opponent Hillary Clinton and her advisors, claiming they besmirched his name when accusing him of electoral fraud during their 2016 battle.
Democrats have long accused Trump of contracting Russian agents to ‘rig’ the presidential election in his favour – something the 75-year-old vehemently denies.
So much so, he is suing Clinton and FBI officials on the back of what he claims was ‘racketeering’ during the post-election fallout, calling the Democrats’ actions an ‘unthinkable plot’ to undermine his victory.
The papers served by Trump’s legal team claim that ‘in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election, Mrs Clinton and her cohorts orchestrated an unthinkable plot – one that shocks the conscience and is an affront to this nation’s democracy.
‘Acting in concert, the Defendants maliciously conspired to weave a false narrative that their Republican opponent, Donald J Trump, was colluding with a hostile foreign sovereignty.’
Although not confirmed, it’s believed that Trump is seeking damages in the vicinity of $24 million – or £18 million in sterling.
A prior investigation by US intelligence agencies found that there was Russian involvement during the bitterly-contested 2016 election, and that a number of Trump’s associates had made direct contact with officials in Russia.
It’s hard to see how far Trump’s legal case will go given that authorities have already confirmed that the former president’s aides had colluded with Russia during the election.
Agents in the country delivered a coordinated anti-Democrat campaign, planting ‘fake news’ stories – Trump’s own favoured bon mot – in the press and on social media, as well as allegedly ordering state-authorised cyber attacks on unwitting Americans….seemingly confirming the reported links between Trump and Vladimir Putin.
The subsequent Mueller Report, detailed by the former director of the FBI, Robert Mueller, concluded that Trump had not colluded with Russia….but that Paul Manafort, a Republican aide of the former president’s, had been part of shenanigans behind the scenes.
One of the conclusions drawn by Mueller was that ‘the Russian government perceived it would benefit from a Trump presidency and worked to secure that outcome [a Trump victory], and that the campaign expected it would benefit electorally from information stolen and released through Russian efforts.’
That serves to suggest that the Democrats simply did not fabricate the allegations against Trump, and that his legal case against them would be dead in the water as a consequence.
However, any court battle would give the impression that he adamantly believes he has done nothing wrong, and that would help to legitimise a reported second attempt to become president – which a number of media firms are suggesting is a distinct possibility.
White House Return?
This legal case could be timed to coincide with Trump announcing plans to run for office again in 2024 – a defeat in the courts would allow him to use a ‘Democratic corruption’ style narrative in his electoral campaign.
Perhaps somewhat troublingly, Trump is the 10/3 favourite with the bookies to secure a return to the White House at the next election.
Joe Biden, who will be 81-years-old by then, is considered nothing more than a 9/2 outsider, with Kamala Harris – his current vice president – available at a best price of 8/1.
Trump may have to battle the current Governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis, to be named as the Republican candidate. DeSantis, who this week refused to recognise trans swimmer Lia Thomas’ win in the NCAA championships, is quoted as a 5/1 chance for the White House in 2024.