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The ever-churning rumor mill surrounding former President Donald Trump has, in recent days, produced a new genre — speculative scenarios that envision the 45th president making his way back to the White House sooner than expected.

Ever the showman — and never one to be upstaged by the media — Trump, who continues to maintain the election was stolen from him, has begun fueling these rumblings via a number of provocative comments.

For those confounded by the headlines and statements “From the Desk of Donald J. Trump” — but also wondering if there’s any plausible basis for such scenarios — let’s review the options.

1. Reinstatement: According to the New York Times’ Maggie Haberman — and vouched for by National Review’s Charles C.W. Cooke, among others — Donald Trump has been musing aloud within his inner circle about the possibility of being reinstated as commander-in-chief by August — yes, that means by August, 2021.

On June 1, Haberman tweeted: “Trump has been telling a number of people he’s in contact with that he expects he will be reinstated by August (no that isn’t how it works but simply sharing the information).”

Cooke confirmed Haberman’s claims, adding that, according to his reporting, Trump expects that former Sens. David Perdue of Georgia, and Martha McSally of Arizona, will be marched back into the upper chamber. 

Adding to the intrigue around Cooke and Haberman’s reporting is Trump himself, who recently appeared in a video for the National Republican Senatorial Committee saying: “We’re gonna take back the Senate, take back the House, we’re gonna take back the White House and sooner than you think.”

It is unclear just how Trump plans to effectuate an August return, but he has been closely monitoring the audit efforts underway in Maricopa County, Ariz., and Windham, N.H., as well as the developing audit efforts in Pennsylvania and Georgia.

From a legal standpoint, however, even those with close personal and professional ties to Trump doubt the Constitution leaves room to reinstate a president following the certification of his defeat by the Electoral College.

Regardless of the findings of any audit, “it is highly unlikely that any court will reverse the Electoral College votes,” said Jenna Ellis, former Trump campaign senior legal adviser. “The constitutional and legally viable judicial options at this point, are to hold accountable the administrators, public officials, and secretaries of state who disregarded state law.”

“The states allowed those certifications for the Electoral College delegates to be given to Congress, and the Electoral College is how we select a president in the United States,” Ellis continued. “The Republican-led state legislatures who were too spineless to exercise their constitutional responsibility to ensure the correct slate of delegates were sent to Congress must now provide the American people with confidence that this lawlessness will never happen again and put reasonable election integrity safeguards in place, as President Trump outlined this weekend in his North Carolina speech.”

Of course, there are alternatives to the court-ordered reinstatement fantasy …

2. Rep. Donald J. Trump: Trump parachutes into the midterm campaign cycle, running to become a member of the House of Representatives. His official Florida residence would allow him to run in a Republican-friendly district. Republicans take back the House and Senate — by what would have to be significant margins. Trump is elected Speaker of the House. Congressional Republicans successfully impeach both President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris. Trump is once again the president of the United States.

Conservative radio host Wayne Allyn Root floated this idea last week during an interview with Trump, to which the former president responded, “That’s so — that’s so interesting.” He went on to call it a good idea. 

3. The no-election speakership: For the Congressional rules buffs out there, Ari Fleischer has the early-return scenario for you. 

“If you want to engage in conspiracy theories and wild dreams, here’s the ultimate scenario,” the former press secretary under President George W. Bush said on “Just the News AM” Monday. “You don’t need to be a member of the House of Representatives to be elected speaker. So, Republicans take back control of Congress in 2022, and when it comes time to vote for speaker, they can name [Trump] speaker. Then, if Republicans took two-thirds of the Senate, they can impeach Joe Biden, impeach Kamala Harris, and voila — Speaker Donald Trump becomes president.”

“Anything else and everything else is a fantasy,” said Fleischer. “There is no reinstatement clause, it’s not part of American government.”

4. The long game: And finally, the likeliest — and most conventional — of the Trump-return scenarios: The ex-president waits it out until 2024, when he will be afforded the legally uncontroversial option of again running for the highest office in the land and possibly winning — this time potentially with a mandate stemming from the results of the ongoing 2020 swing-state audits.

In the last month or so, speculation that the former president will run again in 2024 has jumped from being pure speculation to something Trump is remarking upon daily. Over the weekend, he answered questions on Fox News about his next potential running mate. Following Facebook’s decision last Friday to maintain the ban on Trump’s account until at least January 2023, those subscribed to the Save America PAC email list received a brief note from Trump: “Next time I’m in the White House there will be no more dinners, at his request, with Mark Zuckerberg and his wife. It will be all business!

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Court & Law

Judge pauses release of part of memo cited by Barr in decision not to charge Trump with obstruction

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Ajudge has ruled that the Justice Department does not need to disclose the second portion of a memo cited by then-Attorney General William Barr in choosing not to charge then-President Donald Trump with obstruction.

The Washington Times reported that judge Amy Berman Jackson granted the department’s request to pause the order mandating the disclosure of the full memo, which contends there was not enough evidence to prosecute Trump with obstruction. 

The first portion of the memo was previously released to the public. The judge noted that the DOJ required time to appeal the order since “without a stay, the battle would be lost before it begins.”

“While there may be some additional public benefit in revealing the contents of Section II, the Court will not deny the Department the opportunity to challenge its ruling in order to advance that interest at this time,” the ruling says, according to the outlet.

The memo was crafted by the Office of Legal Counsel following the release of the Mueller report regarding if Trump had obstructed justice in the Russia probe, according to the outlet, which noted that Barr reportedly asked OLC to create a legal opinion on the issue.

The judge pushed back against the notion that the memo represented justification for Barr’s choice to clear Trump.

“DOJ suggested that it was the Barr Memo that prompted the Attorney General to speak, when it appears that the decision to speak prompted the Barr Memo,” she wrote.

“The Court found — given the unique circumstances surrounding the drafting of the Barr Memo, including the timing and joint nature of its creation, and the unique issues presented by DOJ‘s pleadings, including the inconsistencies between the declarations and the memo itself — that DOJ failed to meet its burden to establish that the record was protected under the established law governing the privileges it asserted,” the judge wrote.

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Texas AG candidate George P. Bush says Trump is ‘future of Republican Party’

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Texas Attorney General candidate George P. Bush on Monday said former President Trump is “the future of the Republican Party,” as he carved his path toward trying to unseat incumbent Attorney General Ken Paxton, a fellow Republican.

“President Trump is the future of the party,” Bush, a member of the Bush political family, said on the “John Solomon Reports” podcast. “We need to carry on the successes that we’ve had this past November in our state, helping to elect new down-ballot candidates and carry on this legacy.”

Bush, now the Texas land commissioner, is the son of former Florida GOP Gov. Jeb Bush and the only member of the Bush political family – which includes former Presidents George H.W. Bush and son George W. Bush – to openly support Trump.

Whether Trump will back Bush is uncertain, considering Paxton has been among the former president’s most public and loyal supporters.

Bush said Monday that he makes the argument “all the time” to family members that Trump is “the life of the Republican Party.”

“He has brought a new sense of energy,” Bush also said.

Bush became a vocal supporter of Trump after his father exited the 2016 Republican presidential primary, which Trump won.

“When you look at my policies, I’m all about America First. Trump is the center of the Republican Party,” Bush told Fox News on June 9. “I am my own man. I support him. We need to carry on that legacy and capture the lightning he brought to the Republican Party.”

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Biden amends Trump-era executive order prohibiting investments in certain Chinese companies

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President Biden has issued an executive order amending a Trump-era order that prohibits investments in some Chinese companies.

“Today, President Biden signed an Executive Order (E.O.) to further address the ongoing national emergency declared in E.O. 13959 of November 12, 2020 with respect to the threat posed by the military-industrial complex of the People’s Republic of China (PRC),” according to a White House fact sheet

“President Biden also expanded the scope of this national emergency by finding that the use of Chinese surveillance technology outside the PRC, as well as the development or use of Chinese surveillance technology to facilitate repression or serious human rights abuses, constitute unusual and extraordinary threats. This E.O. allows the United States to prohibit – in a targeted and scoped manner – U.S. investments in Chinese companies that undermine the security or democratic values of the United States and our allies,” the White House said.

There are 59 entities listed in the order’s annex that are subject to the order’s prohibitions.

“We know for a fact that Wall Street is helping to finance the Chinese Communist Party’s effort to weaken and ultimately replace American leadership,” Florida Sen. Marco Rubio said in a statement. “The story of the past two decades has been America’s unwillingness to confront Beijing’s exploitation of our legal, political, and financial systems. While the administration updated the Trump-era policy in important ways, I am very concerned that President Biden’s Treasury Department is too closely aligned with Wall Street to take the actions necessary to prevent American savings from being used to fund the Chinese Communist Party.”

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