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(NEW YORK) — For weeks, former President Donald Trump’s campaign teased a ramp-up in events in the new year ahead of the Iowa caucuses next Monday.

Yet, with only four weekend rallies scheduled, the Trump campaign continues to hold limited events, facing multiple hurdles, including weather delays, canceled surrogate events and, now, two voluntary courtroom appearances.

Though Trump will be back in the state Wednesday for a Fox News town hall, he doesn’t have any public campaign appearances until Saturday — holding two events on Jan. 13 then, and two events on Sunday — on the eve of the Iowa GOP caucus day.

Rather than spending time in the state in the final stretch of the Iowa caucuses, Trump instead has chosen to make two court appearances this week. While he wasn’t required to be present in the courtroom, Trump was attending Tuesday’s appeals court arguments on his efforts to dismiss the federal election subversion case over presidential immunity. He has also said he wants to attend closing arguments in his New York civil fraud trial expected to conclude this week, though he isn’t required to do so either.

As Trump deals with 91 felony charges across four indictments and multiple civil cases — in all of which he has denied wrongdoing — his legal schedule and campaign schedule are anticipated to continue to collide after that, forcing him to choose between court appearances and campaign appearances at pivotal moments in the election cycle.

On Jan. 16, the day after the first GOP contest of the year — just as Trump is expected to start campaigning for the first in the nation primary in New Hampshire on Jan. 23 — another civil trial is set to start in a second defamation case to determine damages Trump would have to pay after a jury found him liable in a case involving sexual abuse allegations made by columnist E. Jean Carroll.

Last week, Trump’s legal team’s request to delay the trial was denied. He isn’t required to be in the courtroom for the proceedings.

And on the day of the Nevada caucuses on Feb. 8, the U.S. Supreme Court is set to hear arguments to determine whether Trump is eligible to access the Colorado Republican primary ballot.

The following month, on March 4, on the eve of Super Tuesday when sixteen states and territories are set to hold their GOP primary contests, a trial in special counsel Jack Smith’s election subversion case is set to begin at the federal court in Washington, D.C.

As a defendant in a criminal case, Trump would be expected to attend this trial unless the presiding judge grants a waiver. Whether Trump actually has to appear in person for the trial has not been settled yet.

Trump’s legal team is attempting to move the March 4 trial date but if the trial moves ahead as scheduled, it could significantly impede his campaigning — although some political experts have said that if Trump wins Iowa and New Hampshire, it might not impact his primary campaign so much.

On the campaign trail, Trump has claimed that the legal battles he faces are efforts by his political opponents to interfere with his campaign, though he has also claimed that the indictments and the court challenges have only boosted him in the polls and fundraising.

But Trump campaign advisers have already cautioned how tricky the balance will be juggling Trump’s political calendar with his legal one — the campaign calling it “a scheduling nightmare.”

“The goal is to take him off the trail at a very critical time and it’s our job to make it less of a critical time,” Susie Wiles, one of Trump’s top campaign advisers, told reporters last month.

Before going back to the Washington courthouse this week, Trump kicked off his 2024 election year campaign schedule with his four-stop Iowa swing last Friday and Saturday, facing weather delays that forced him to be nearly three-and-a-half hours late for his second stop of the day on Saturday.

Hopping from Sioux Center to Mason City and then from Newton to Clinton, Trump touted confidence in his lead over his Republican contenders who are far behind him in the polls according to 538’s polling average, but stressed to his supporters the importance of actually coming out to caucus for him on Jan. 15, saying he’s “not taking any chances.”

“Get out and vote — don’t listen to the polls,” Trump said at his Clinton rally Saturday night. “Pretend you’re one point down … You have to get out and you have to vote, vote, vote.”

Instead of Trump himself appearing before the voters, his campaign has planned for a blitz of surrogates to fan out across the state in order to spread Trump’s message for him in the final stretch in Iowa, urging people to caucus while telling their own personal interactions with the former president.

Stumping for his father last week, Eric Trump called his father mid-speech as he was emphasizing his point about how much of a family man he says Donald Trump is.

“He always picks up, he’s good with a cell phone,” Eric Trump said as he was calling.

“Every single day that he was in the White House, when I was governor, I got to be on offense,” South Dakota GOP Gov. Kristi Noem, whose name has been floated as a potential vice-presidential candidate pick, said at the first surrogate event of the year in Sioux City. “Ever since Joe Biden got into the White House, I’ve been on defense.”

But even those surrogate plans have not gone off without a hitch as a winter storm heading into Iowa caused the Trump team to have to cancel two events featuring Arkansas GOP Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders and her father, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. A surrogate event on Tuesday was set to feature former acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker and stand-up comedian Roseanne Barr; however, Barr also had to cancel her scheduled appearance due to weather issues.

Though the snowstorm is affecting multiple candidates who have had to alter their campaign schedules, with an already light schedule, the new holes in the Trump schedule is more glaring.

Though retail politicking and facetime has become a crucial part of winning in a state like Iowa, Trump’s absence seems to not have hindered support in the Hawkeye State as supporters either dismiss Trump’s lack of campaign events or point to one of his central campaign messages that his legal battles are only happening in order to interfere with his presidential chances.

“I’ve met President Trump twice, had like a 30 second conversation with him. He’s always on the run. And he’s a very smart, intelligent person. And I know what he’s doing is for the best of the interest for the office that he’s running for, the best interest for Iowa voters and for the entire nation,” Trenton Eilander, a Trump caucus captain, told ABC News.

Meanwhile, Trump’s legal battles have done little to turn his supporters away — many of them even say they’d vote for him even if he’s convicted.

“No, I’ll vote for him,” said Wanda Kruse from Marble Rock, Iowa, who attended his rally in Mason City, Iowa, on the eve of the third anniversary of the Jan. 6 Capitol attack, when asked if her vote would be affected if he’s convicted in any of the charges he faces. “I feel that it’s trying to distract everyone from the election — maybe they’re trumped up.”


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