The former Presidentis the clear frontrunner for the Republican nomination to the 2024 presidential election.
“Anything is possible” was just a sporting slogan until Mr Donald Trump ran for President and since then the truism has become equally applicable to American politics. Just imagine a US President in jail and running his Oval Office remotely from there. As the surreal comes closer to the realm of possibility, the sheer absurdity of probabilities in a deeply divided United States becomes clearer.
The former President, who is the clear frontrunner for the Republican nomination to the 2024 presidential election, is now facing four major investigations, the charges for the most serious of them relating to an election inquiry into allegations of conspiring to overturn the 2020 election having been filed on August 1.
Not exactly known for his allegiance to truth — a newspaper fact checker has identified more than 30,000 false or misleading claims coming from him during his four years in the White House, that is an average of around 20 lies a day as President — Mr Trump may now depend on the US’s acclaimed free speech right to defend himself.
Resembling a person living in an alternative universe, Mr Trump is accused of conspiracies built on falsehoods, but if it is proved that the former President actively encouraged the riots around Capitol Hill, taking aim at such a significant symbol of democracy, he could be in deeper trouble, too, as his case comes up against a tough judge who has taken the hardest stand against rioters.
The personal scandals leading to his paying off women he may have sexually assaulted seem to pale when compared to his attacks on key functions of democracy, including the important one of orderly transfer of power after losing an election. There are co-conspirators who are being called to account too, but it still borders on the unbelievable that a President could obstruct Mr Joe Biden’s passage to the White House.
It is a comment on American society how a substantial number of Republican voters still favour a person with such a record — a real estate mogul prone to personal scandals and bankruptcies who became a President only to be twice impeached and be the subject of a special counsel’s investigation while a resident of the White House. How the justice system goes about proving the charges even as Mr Trump aims for another term of office after mocking the very foundations of democracy is certain to make the times ahead fraught with interest.