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Donald Trump’s missteps


This is not Trump’s first contact with the judiciary. The ex-US President’s list of scandals is long – but attempts to depose him failed. Many in the US continue to consider him eligible.

By Katrin Brand, ARD Studio Washington

Donald Trump once summed up the secret of his success as follows: “I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot someone and I wouldn’t lose voters. Unbelievable!” he said in the 2016 primary campaign.

One does not know whether that would really be the case. But it is clear that his most loyal followers will never turn away. He has alienated many others over the years, but has not alienated them.

Sexism, lies, taking advantage

“Grab them by the pussy” was something that mostly repelled female voters. In a recording from 2005, Trump badmouthed women and boasted about sexual aggressiveness: “If you’re a star, they let you do everything!” When the secretly recorded tape became public before the 2016 election, many observers thought: That’s it for Trump. But no, it wasn’t.

Trump claimed for years that he was not 100 percent sure that Barack Obama was actually born in the USA: an attempt to damage the first black president of the USA – even long after Obama had shown his birth certificate. Insulting political opponents or spreading lies about them – many Americans find that unsympathetic, but not ineligible.

Many Americans support Trump despite the current investigation. His motto “America First” could also bring him success in the next election campaign.

Image: AFP

“If Ivanka wasn’t my daughter, maybe I would date her,” Trump said years ago. The raunchy remark shocked the hostesses of a TV show.

The Trump family also kept close together in other respects and used the presidency for their business: Melania Trump advertised her jewelry on the White House website, Trump himself accommodated foreign guests in his hotel and let the Secret Service lavishly spend overnight stays in his Mar- pay a-Lago, the Washington Post reported.

Impeachment proceedings failed

“The president must be held accountable. No one is above the law!” was the rallying cry of Nancy Pelosi, until recently leader of the House of Representatives. Twice she initiated impeachment proceedings against Trump. The first was in 2019 because Trump pressured a foreign leader for material on the Biden family.

For the second time in January 2021 because Trump directed his supporters to the Capitol to stop the presidential election being certified. Both times the House of Representatives voted in favor of impeachment, twice the Senate rejected.

“Hang Mike Pence,” shouted the intruders in the Capitol, goaded by Trump. The Vice President wanted to confirm the 2020 election as required by the Constitution. That made him a traitor. The Capitol was damaged, people died. Trump was responsible, found a committee of inquiry. But can he be prosecuted for that? That’s not clear yet.

Election interference, FBI raids

All he wants is to find 11,780 votes, Trump said after the 2020 presidential election to the state minister of Georgia, an embattled state. This can be interpreted as interference in an election. A jury in Georgia heard many witnesses and just finished its report. It is not yet clear who will be charged.

In addition, his property in Florida was searched – a judicial farce, as Trump claims. The FBI confiscated thousands of documents, including several from the “top secret” category, which Trump should have handed over to the National Archives.

All of this would be enough elsewhere in the world to force a politician to resign or be deposed. Not in the US, not in the case of Trump.

The man who breaks all the rules: Trump’s missteps

Katrin Brand, ARD Washington, April 1, 2023 8:41 a.m