President Bush will vote for Donald Trump

One of the most exciting questions in Washington right now is not whether President Donald Trump will succeed in his legal efforts to challenge the election. This is universally considered unlikely. Rather, one of the most exciting questions is whether and when leading Republicans will break their silence. So far there has been largely silence in the party. It is usually customary for the members of the losing party to congratulate the President-elect. Gritting your teeth, maybe, but they congratulate you. So far, only a few Republicans have been able to bring themselves to do this, which is probably due to the fact that Trump still does not want to admit that he has lost.

George W. Bush has set a good example. Bush was the head of the country from 2001 to 2009, and he is the only surviving former Republican president. In a statement, he said: "I have just spoken to the President-elect of the United States, Joe Biden. I have warmly congratulated him and thanked him for the patriotic message he has sent." That sounded anything but grinding teeth. Bush went on to write: "Although we have political differences, I know that Joe Biden is a good man who has been given the opportunity to lead and unite our country."

Bush also greeted the incumbent President with kind words: "I would like to congratulate President Donald Trump and his supporters on a vigorously led campaign. He has earned the votes of more than 70 million Americans - an extraordinary political achievement." In fact, Trump has gained a good seven million votes compared to 2016. So he not only activated his base, but also opened up new groups of voters. The fact that he still did not emerge victorious in the election is simply because the Democrats have mobilized even more voters. Looking to the future, Bush said, "We must come together for the benefit of our families and neighbors and for our nation and their future."

Critical voices from the Senate come only from the usual suspects

The prominent Republicans who recognized Biden's victory were primarily the usual suspects: Mitt Romney from Utah, who was the only Republican senator to vote against Trump in impeachment last winter, and Lisa Murkowski from Alaska, who at least fell back again allowed a critical word, even if it usually ultimately voted reliably with the party. But Senator Susan Collins from Maine also congratulated Biden, and Senator Roy Blunt from Missouri at least indicated that he assumed that Trump has lost. He urged the president's lawyers to come up with facts that could speak for themselves. Trump continues to claim that the election victory was stolen from him due to massive fraud. There is no evidence of this. "It seems unlikely that any changes could be big enough to make a difference," said Blunt on ABC. This rather convoluted formulation sounded quite funny in that Blunt's last name can be translated as "direct", "blunt" or "straightforward". Despite the careful choice of words, his party friends will have understood what he meant. Trump's lawyers either put something substantial on the table or they calm down. The Senate Republican leader, Mitch McConnell, didn't seem to have heard. It was "100 percent" Trump's right to question election results and to consider legal action, he said on Monday.

A popular thesis in Washington is that Trump is clinging to office because he fears that he will face legal hardship if he loses his immunity as president. For example, the Democrats may be tempted to revisit the report by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who investigated whether Trump's team had improperly collaborated with Russia during the 2016 election campaign. The decisive factor on this point would be whether Trump was guilty of obstruction of justice in his actions against this investigation. For example, he had suggested to former FBI director James Comey to stop investigations against former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. Müller had refrained from advising an indictment on this point, but explicitly with reference to presidential immunity.

Obstruction of justice, sexual violence, tax offenses: Trump could face trials after the end of his office

Another charge could arise from irregularities in the funding of the 2016 election campaign. Trump's former attorney Michael Cohen had paid sex film actress Stormy Daniels $ 130,000 to keep her silent about an affair with Trump. This secret payment could be seen as an improper contribution to the campaign.

In addition, the president's taxes should come back into focus when he leaves office. The New York Times recently revealed that Trump only paid $ 750 federal income tax in 2016, for example. The tax investigators may want to check that again. In New York, District Attorney Cyrus Vance has long been trying to gain insight into Trump's tax documents. However, it is not publicly known whether he is investigating a specific suspicion.

Last but not least, there are the allegations of two women. Columnist E. Jean Carroll stated in 2019 that Trump raped her in the 1990s. Trump has denied the allegation. Summer Zervos, a former participant in the reality TV show "The Apprentice", in which Trump played the lead role, said in 2016 that Trump groped her in a hotel room in 2007 and kissed her against her will. Should Trump, what it looks like, leave office on January 20, 2021, both women could repeat these allegations in court.