According to New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman, former President Donald Trump has moved beyond the idea of forming his own MAGA party to challenge Republicans. Now, hoping that the GOP will rally behind him and prevent his impeachment conviction, Trump is putting his money and attention to helping the party win back control of Congress and the Senate in the midterm elections.

“In last 24 hours, after floating through a few folks that he was considering creating a third-party as a way to keep Senate Rs in line ahead of impeachment, Trump has been talked out of that and is making clear to people he isn’t pursuing it,” Haberman wrote. “Trump has started to believe there are fewer votes to convict than there would have been if the vote had been held almost immediately after Jan. 6.”

Since this reporting comes from Haberman, you have to take it with a grain of salt; we’re not even sure that Trump himself knows exactly what his next play will be. We have to assume that he’s focused on the upcoming Senate trial and making damn sure that these traitorous Republicans don’t do something unforgivable. After that – the sky’s the limit. We would guess that, if and when the Senate acquits him for the second time, Trump is going to make his 2024 announcement in short order. But that’s just a guess.

Still, adviser Jason Miller is in Trump’s circle, and he released a statement saying, “The President has made clear his goal is to win back the House and Senate for Republicans in 2022. There’s nothing that’s actively being planned regarding an effort outside of that, but it’s completely up to Republican Senators if this is something that becomes more serious.”

This, we assume, is a not-so-veiled threat. If Republicans choose to go the conviction route, thus shutting off the possibility of Trump running again, he will unleash all of his wrath on them to primary the hell out of every sitting senator who voted against him. Which is not only a good way to keep these senators in line, it is in keeping with the former president’s M.O. He doesn’t take betrayal lightly. Nor do his supporters.

All of this comes down to this simple truth: If Republicans from Mitch McConnell on down vote to join Democrats in convicting Trump, they will have effectively destroyed the party. THEY will have done it, not Trump. What happens after that will be academic, and you will see a MAGA wave that makes the Tea Party insurgence of 2014 look like child’s play.