“I’m thinking that this latest case has really got him pretty nervous and scared,” Grisham, who served as the former president’s press secretary for nine months, said on MSNBC.
Trump announced that he would attend court Monday for the start of the civil fraud trial brought by New York Attorney General Letitia James.
The judge overseeing that case ruled last week that Trump committed fraud for years and ordered that some of his companies be dissolved as punishment. The 2024 front-runner could face further penalties as the case continues.
In previous cases, Trump opted not to show up to court. He didn’t attend when the Trump Organization and one of its top executives were convicted of tax fraud last year, nor did he appear earlier this year when a jury found him liable for sexually assaulting writer E. Jean Carroll in the 1990s.
According to Grisham, Trump cares about this case because of what he has to lose.
“In his mind, Trump Tower in Manhattan is the most recognizable building, you know, beyond the Chrysler Building or anything else,” she said. “So you know, that kind of thing being taken from him [has] got to be a huge blow to his ego.”
“I’ve gotta say, I feel bad for any staffer who is around that man right now,” she added.
Other former Trump insiders have also suggested the stakes are particularly high for the former president in this case. Michael Cohen, his onetime fixer and former personal attorney, told MSNBC that Trump is facing his “biggest fear” and described the loss of his companies as a “deathblow.”
Watch Grisham’s analysis below on MSNBC.