The Trump story that refuses to go away - GulfToday

The Trump story that refuses to go away

Donald Trump

Donald Trump

It looks like that former US President Donald Trump is more in the news than his successor in the White House, Joe Biden. Trump’s major first trouble after his presidency ended with his electoral defeat was on January 6, 2021, which he had addressed, attacked the Capitol in Washington, which houses the US Congress in a bid to force then Vice President Mike Pence from signing the certification copy of the election.

Then came the story about him carrying to his Miami home confidential documents, knowingly or unknowingly. It has turned out that even Biden did it, but he quickly accepted the faux pas. The third case was the tax fraud case of the Trump family but Trump escaped personal responsibility and a penalty of $1.61 million was imposed on the family firm.  The last one is about Trump paying hush-money to porn star Stormy Daniels. The money was paid by Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, who has served a more than a year’s prison term. Trump also faces charges of trying to force Georgia election officials to reverse the 2020 election verdict.

It can be said that this is not the right reason for a former American president to be in news. But Trump has shown that he is not the man to wilt under negative publicity. He always turns it into something advantageous to himself. The Manhattan grand jury indictment has forced challenger Ron DeSantis and former Vice President Mike Pence. Experts says that if Trump fails to turn up at the Manhattan district court, then summons can be issued for his extradition from Florida, and Florida governor Ron DeSantis has to give the consent, which he is not going to.

As district attorneys and trial judges are elected officials in America, and Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg is a Democrat, the uproar in Republican circles is not only palpable but could win sympathy for Trump in the Republican supporters. Bragg has defended his position when House of Representatives Republicans demanded an inquiry into his investigation and demanded investigations papers to be handed over to the House.

Bragg wrote to Republican lawmakers: “You and many of your colleagues have chosen to collaborate with Mr Trump’s efforts to vilify and denigrate the integrity of elected state prosecutors and trial judges.” So this is a political battle as much as it is a legal one. House of Representatives Speaker Kevin McCarthy, a Republican, described the development as “weaponisation of the legal process”, while Representative Ilhan Omar wote: “Make no mistake: The fact hat one of the most powerful people in the world was investigated impartially and indicted is testament to the fact that we still live in a nation of laws.”

Though Trump expects to make use of the legal case and win sympathy and support, it could turn the other way round. Many Republican supporters would not want to support Trump blindly, though they agree with many and even all of his political ideas. Americans generally believe in the rule of law, and they do not understand the ideological motivations at play in the legal processes. But they do not want to hijack the legal process. This will leave other Republican presidential candidates enough hope and space. Trump may draw a lot of attention in the case of payment of hush-money to a porn star that has all the salacious elements of a tabloid story, but he may not get the political leverage that he hopes he will. But Trump has gathered in a discontented and disconnected America a band of fanatical followers who would create havoc in his name the way they did at the Capitol on January 6, 2021. But that will not get the democratic mandate that Trump is desperately seeking.

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