Donald Trump, Jan 6th Trial, Jack Smith
Illustration by WhoWhatWhy from Gage Skidmore / Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0), DOJ PDF, DOJ PDF, DOJ / Wikimedia,and Tyler Merbler / Flickr (CC BY 2.0).

As a self-incriminating witness, Trump is a prosecutor’s dream and a defense attorney’s nightmare.

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The government’s star witness in Donald Trump’s upcoming trials might just be a certain stable genius from Mar-a-Lago.

Sure, special counsel Jack Smith has built two formidable cases and compiled a mountain of evidence showing that Trump staged a coup (in Washington, DC) and stole classified documents while obstructing justice (in Florida).

And Fulton County Prosecutor Fani Willis has detailed how the former president led a vast conspiracy to overturn Georgia’s 2020 presidential election.

However, in all three cases, getting the former president on the stand might just seal the deal.

As a self-incriminating witness, Trump is a prosecutor’s dream and a defense attorney’s nightmare.

First and foremost, there is his inability to tell the truth. The former president lives in a reality of his own making and is the most prolific liar in US political history. That works for him on the campaign trail because his followers occupy the same alternate reality.

In addition, Trump has surrounded himself with sycophants who just nod along when he says things that are patently false, and when he does interviews with like-minded news outlets, he usually isn’t challenged when he lies.

However, the court cases will be heard in actual reality and not the fantasy world Trump has constructed for himself.

If he does take the stand, and one would assume that his attorneys will try to keep him from doing so, the former president will be under oath, which will then open him up to charges of perjury.

Then there is Trump’s unique blend of personality disorders, such as an overinflated sense of entitlement and a severe case of malignant narcissism. Often, it seems as though he is unable to distinguish right from wrong.

In Trump’s mind, what he does is right, which is why he keeps admitting to stuff on live TV. Obviously, that isn’t ideal for him if he is being cross-examined by a prosecutor trying to establish a pattern of wrongdoing.

All of this was on display in a pair of interviews with the former president.

In a preview of an interview to be aired on Sunday, Trump displayed all of the traits that likely have prosecutors salivating over the prospect of having him testify.

He is combative, sounds unhinged, and makes no sense. It’s easy to see how a prosecutor would be able to make him say things that he will ultimately come to regret.

Asked whether he instructed an aide to tamper with security tapes that purportedly show that boxes of stolen documents were moved in Mar-a-Lago, Trump gives a rambling answer.

After launching a diatribe directed at Smith, the former president then says that these surveillance tapes were neither deleted nor altered.

“And, they were my tapes. I could have fought them,” Trump said. “I didn’t even have to give them the tapes, I don’t think. I think I would have won in court. When they asked for the tapes, I said, ‘Sure.’ They’re my tapes. I could have fought them. I didn’t even have to give them. Just so you understand, though, we didn’t delete anything. Nothing was deleted.”

It is this sense of entitlement, along with Trump’s tendency to say too much, that could put the former president in additional legal peril on the stand.

That was also evident in the second interview when, once again, he admitted to the things he is accused of — in this case taking classified documents after leaving the White House.

“I’m allowed to have these documents. I’m allowed to take these documents — classified or not classified,” Trump told Megyn Kelly. “When I have them, they become unclassified. People think you have to go through a ritual. You don’t, at least in my opinion.”

Guess what; these things are only true in Trump’s own fantasy world. In a courtroom in the real world, they amount to a confession.

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