Even if it was a civil case and the ex-president is only sentenced to pay a fine, the verdict should not be underestimated.
Everyone is against him because he is for you: this narrative, well-known in Austria, is also used by Donald Trump when it comes to his many judicial problems. Now, after he has been found guilty of sexual abuse and defamation in a civil trial, he is again talking about “the greatest witch hunt of all time.” In the spirit of “now more than ever,” he continues to get large portions of the Republican camp to flock to his side.
But there is a growing chorus of voices that don’t want to deal with the drama anymore. Republican Sens. John Cornyn and John Thune, for instance, warned against the impact that the verdict could have on next year’s election. Cornyn even said, “I don’t think he can get elected” because “you can’t win a general election with just your base.”
Biggest Hurdles Are Still to Come
Still, the recent guilty verdict and the indictment in late March because of alleged hush money payments are the least of Trump’s legal problems. The really big hurdles, like his role in the storming of the Capitol or possible election manipulation, are presumably still to come.
Until then, Trump will continue to try to play down the guilty verdict. It’s true that it was just a civil case and that he was only made to pay a fine. But now he is also officially branded a “predator,” as they call sexual offenders in the U.S. That should not underestimated.