Now Trump is once again facing court, this time in a federal court. What is he being accused of? He had classified documents from the White House brought to Mar-a-Lago. There, he proudly showed the documents to individuals who did not have clearance for such documents, and he tried to cover it up when asked to return them. On one hand, he claimed, knowingly, that he no longer had any documents and also had documents brought to another location to conceal the fact that he still possessed them. The existing evidence clearly shows that Trump acted with intent and then attempted to obstruct the matter by deliberately impeding the investigations of the authorities.
The accusation of intent and obstruction is likely to become problematic for Trump because this is where the Trump case differs from the cases of Biden and Pence, who also took government documents home but later reported it themselves and cooperated with the authorities in returning the documents. Intent and obstruction were not ascertainable in their cases. So, legally speaking, the case is clear. Whether Trump will ultimately be convicted will be decided by the courts, as is the rule of law in a democracy.
However, the MAGA wing of the Republican Party seems to see it differently. They perceive this as a political campaign by the Biden administration against a political opponent. Double standards are being applied! Trump himself repeatedly presents himself as a victim of a campaign. It seems they conveniently forget the "Lock her up" chants during the 2016 election campaign when the FBI was investigating Hillary Clinton's private email server. But here too, the investigative authorities did not see intent or obstruction, which is why no charges were filed. However, this kind of hypocrisy has now become standard repertoire for the former president.
What is much more problematic, however, is that the absurd arguments of the MAGA wing can largely go unchallenged on television and particularly on social media. The major news channels not only show images of the courthouse in Miami but also broadcast Trump's campaign speech on the same day, where he repeats the same factually incorrect claims and lies. The rule of law mechanisms and essential elements of institutional separation of powers are being described and reinterpreted by Trump and the Republicans as partisan and ideologically motivated. If this strategy takes hold, the rule of law and thus democracy in the USA are in danger. Trump has been doing this since his election, questioning the legitimacy of the election, and now he is pursuing the same strategy here. Anyone who does not support him is declared an enemy. Rule of law mechanisms and institutions that do not serve his interests and goals are delegitimized, and the opposition and the media are criticized as enemies of the nation. The state is declared an "deep state" enemy, and his supporters cheer. For now, it is just cheering; the security agencies were already afraid of possible violent protests by Trump supporters during the indictment in Miami. The memories of January 6, 2021, are still fresh. So far, it has remained relatively peaceful in the vicinity of the indictment against Trump, but if the MAGA faction continues to agitate against the administration and law enforcement agencies, that could change very quickly. The upcoming presidential campaign will once again be an extreme stress test for democracy in the USA. A Trump victory in the elections would be a political catastrophe, but even a defeat could lead to further radicalization of the already extreme polarization. It's essentially a lose-lose situation!