President Trump has good reason this weekend to announce that he will not, after all, run for re-election.

Don’t laugh.

Of course, if Trump did make such an announcement, he would put out some fake-news reason about a sudden health scare or about somebody doing something unfair to him. He would portray himself as a victim.

But the real reason he should withdraw from the race is that he may soon be barraged with reports so embarrassing that not even he can recover from them politically. Yes, this means worse than the Access Hollywood tape, worse than his payoff to nude models and porn stars, worse than any of his other controversies.

Trump is about to be politically shot down not on Fifth Avenue, but in the courts of law.

This week, Trump is likely to lose at least one, and possibly two, cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. One will determine whether a grand jury can subpoena Trump’s personal financial records, including tax returns, and the other will decide whether the U.S. House of Representatives can subpoena such records. Despite his promises to release his tax returns, Trump has fought for five years to keep them secret. The odds are that there is something quite embarrassing in there.

Meanwhile, Trump’s niece Mary has written a memoir, slated for publication next month, whose headline calls her uncle “the world’s most dangerous man.” Trump and his siblings are furiously trying to block publication, but so far have failed in that endeavor. They are likely to continue failing. They say Mary signed an agreement in a long-ago intra-family lawsuit to not divulge family secrets, but that agreement almost certainly cannot stop her book from being published.

Just as is the case with the memoir of former national security advisor John Bolton, there is a far better chance that Trump can collect damages from the author in a post-publication lawsuit than that he can block publication in the first place. The First Amendment to the Constitution bars “prior restraint” of non-classified (and perhaps even classified) materials. The book will come out, and it promises to be explosive.

With these two court cases and the impending book of his niece, Trump knows he is about to get hit with a double- or triple-whammy. His best option is to suck all the oxygen from the room by appearing to withdraw on his own terms, for his own reasons, while selling his own excuses to his legions of fans.

Despite his name, it is the Supreme Court and his niece who hold the trump cards. The president’s only choice is in how, and under what sort of spotlight, to let the cards play out in public.


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