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By Editorial staff


Trump’s legal battles fuel emotionally charged election year

Accused of falsifying records to cover up scandals, Trump's legal woes galvanise his base, raising stakes in a polarised political landscape.

Donald Trump probably never expected that he would one day hear a pleasant “Good morning” from a judge in New York as he became the first US ex-president to appear in court on criminal charges.

The 77-year-old is accused of falsifying business records in a scheme to cover up an alleged extramarital sexual encounter with adult film actress Stormy Daniels to shield his 2016 election campaign from a last-minute upheaval.

He and his army of red-capped supporters fervently believe that, as he put it to journalists before the hearing, his trial is an “outrage” and an “assault on America.”

The Stormy Daniels case is only one of four criminal actions being brought against Trump, which have made the presidential race at the end of this year one of the most emotionally charged in history.

Far from damaging the billionaire businessman, his legal travails have only served to entrench his popularity among those Americans who believe in Trump’s crusade to “make America great again.”

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Even optimistic Democrats are concerned that Trump could snatch victory and put the Republicans back in the White House for another four years.

That’s because his opponent, incumbent President Joe Biden, is looking more like a sweet, but bumbling, grandfather who should have been put out to pasture long ago.

Trump’s campaign even flighted an ad likening his visage to that of the moon in the recent solar eclipse, blocking out the sun.

The irony of the message – of a man bringing darkness to his country – was lost on his supporters.

Yet, much as he may be the butt of many liberal jokes, Trump still appeals to that conservative Middle America – the moms and pops who believe in the flag, motherhood, apple pie and Jesus – and who feel betrayed by the capitalist fat cats and bureaucrats who dictate their lives.

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