The more Trump is portrayed as victim of injustice, the more his supporters rally around him | US News
A hundred yards from the courthouse door, Ice T was filming the latest episode of Law & Order.
The US rapper and actor is the star of the long-running criminal/courtroom TV series that’s built its reputation on credible characters and believable plot lines.
Contrast that with the drama unfolding down the street, ‘Donald Trump – the Criminal Years’. It could only be factual – what scriptwriter would make that up?
The plot twists are yet to play out at the courthouse in lower Manhattan and have now been pushed back by at least 24 hours.
An international media pack standing to attention dropped its shoulders mid-morning as news emerged that the grand jury had been given the day off.
Cameras had spent the morning recording the comings and goings – the lawyers, the police, the silhouetted prisoners in blacked-out buses, the everyday manoeuvres of criminal justice as it awaits a very different day – Donald’s day, in court.
The longer the delay before an indictment and subsequent arraignment hearing, the more the parallel political fight will gain traction.
Republican allies (by no means all in the party) amplify Trump’s accusations of a political witch-hunt and complain of a weaponisation of the justice system.
Democrats counter that no-one should be above the law.
In the meantime, there are few protests. On Tuesday, one woman protested alone outside Trump Tower, parroting his slogan: “Take our nation back!”
If the public support appears thin on the ground, the cash backing isn’t.
After posting on his social media platform last weekend that he was to be arrested, Trump pulled in more than $1.5m in fund-raising.
As the court process was knocked beyond Wednesday, he posted an attack on Florida Governor Ron De Santis, a potential rival for the Republican presidential nomination.
Trump called him an “average” governor with great public relations.
In truth, De Santis hasn’t needed good PR to negotiate a path through the difficulties of Donald Trump – that’s for Trump himself to do.
Rivals for the Republican nomination have, conspicuously, condemned ‘inequal justice’ while stopping short of supporting Trump.
And yet the more he is portrayed as a victim of injustice, the more his core support rally round him.
Politically, presidentially, the question for the grievance candidate, beyond the base, will be: how much grief is too much?
But there is the small matter of a court action, or four, before all that.