Dan Steele has endured lengthy court days. He was grateful on Wednesday that former President Donald Trump traveled to New Hampshire after spending the day in a New York courthouse, where he sat firmly during his trial to assess damages for defaming a magazine writer who accused him of sexual assault.
Steele, a veteran Justice Department trial lawyer, hasn't investigated Trump's many cases. Four prosecutions—including two by Steele's previous employer—plus the defamation action, which follows E. Jean Carroll's $5 million win in her original sexual assault claim against Trump, and a New York Attorney General fraud case
Steele rejected them as “all campaign interference by the Democrats because they can’t beat him any other way.” “Every time he goes into a courtroom,” said retired Steele, 75, of Trump, “he always comes out with more support.”
Steele and a few hundred other fans waited hours for Trump, who postponed his New Hampshire visit to attend a late-afternoon press conference after court to call the judge “a radical Trump-hater.”
Former President spoke more than two hours late in a hotel ballroom that could barely hold 300 guests. He ended his hard day with a lengthy, meandering speech.
He insulted his primary opponents, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley. He swiftly switched topics, promoting a cognitive test he took as president, his administration's fight against ISIS, and other familiar topics. He eventually lamented his legal issues.
“You know I’ve been indicted more than Al Capone,” Trump addressed the audience. Have you heard of Al Capone? Probably the best mobster.”
The New Hampshire scene was a surreal preview of the coming campaign, in which the Republican presidential nominee's first criminal trial is scheduled for March 5, Super Tuesday because 14 states vote. While that trial start date may be postponed, Trump will have to balance stump speeches and legal defense throughout the year, as he did Wednesday.