Attorney Who Successfully Prosecuted Trump Shares ‘Playbook’ to Defeat Him


Tristan Snell, an attorney who helped lead the prosecution in “Trump’s first major legal loss,” outlined on Friday what he dubbed the “playbook” for holding the former president accountable for his current charges.

While he is still the leading candidate for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination, Trump is also facing four criminal indictments at the state and federal levels, adding up to 91 criminal charges that are the first ever leveled against a former president. Trump himself has pleaded not guilty to all of them, claiming that they are the result of a politically motivated scheme to harm his reelection prospects.

Many observers have surmised that Trump’s primary legal strategy is to delay the four cases as long as possible, so as to potentially retake the White House in November and use the power of the presidency to have the cases dismissed. Recently, Judge Tanya Chutkan, who is overseeing the Department of Justice (DOJ) election interference case against Trump, delayed that case’s tentative March trial start date indefinitely as Trump’s claim of sweeping presidential immunity is litigated.

On Friday, The Daily Beast published a piece from Snell, a former New York assistant attorney general who previously helped lead the cases against Trump University. A for-profit education program claiming to teach real estate practices, it was later subjected to multiple lawsuits alleging deceptive and aggressive marketing practices. Following a legal battle, Trump settled the suits for a total of $25 million. Snell now serves as a legal analyst for various news outlets, including CNN and MSNBC, and has written a book about his time working on the Trump University prosecution.

Donald Trump is seen in court for an arraignment hearing. Tristan Snell, an attorney who helped lead the prosecution in “Trump’s first major legal loss,” outlined on Friday what he dubbed the “playbook” for holding…

Seth Wenig – Pool/Getty Images

In the Friday piece, Snell wrote that the Trump University prosecution can be used as a playbook for the current cases against the former president, despite “pessimism, bordering on cynicism” from many that he will never “face justice.”

“The playbook for how to defeat Trump is now well-defined—and it’s being followed by many of the prosecutors who are pursuing his various alleged misdeeds,” he wrote. “There are several key elements: courageous leadership, a stoic refusal to be distracted or daunted by Trump’s counterattacks and diversions, dogged and comprehensive investigation, and devotion to savvy communication not only in court filings but with the media and the public.”

Snell noted that the “playbook may seem simple,” but argued that in practice it “requires exceptional discipline and dedication to playing the long game, grinding it out, and eventually wearing Trump down.”

Later in the piece, Snell added, on the much-discussed topic of delay tactics: “That courage must continue throughout the whole prosecution, even when Trump begins running his own well-worn playbook—delay, divert, and destroy. He’ll refuse to comply with subpoenas; he’ll create delays with additional motions or appeals; he’ll try to destroy the reputations of the prosecutors, the judges, and even their staff and families. Through it all, brave opponents must stand firm and stick to their arguments and their evidence, avoiding any distractions.”

Newsweek reached out to Trump’s office via email for comment on Saturday morning.