Controversies, two impeachments and the small matter of an insurrection of the Capitol. For anyone else in the political world, their career would be dead in the water - but not for Donald Trump.
The businessman and former reality star revolutionised, possibly for the worse, the highest office of power in the US. He turned it into a nightly tune-in for people across the world to see the wildest things he said or did that day.
The world watched on as he faced scandal after scandal, all while retorting with his favourite saying - “fake news”. The limit of the scandals extended from questioning in a White House press conference if bleach could be injected into the body to cure coronavirus to the even more serious so-called “Muslim ban”. Either an early end to his presidential reign or repercussions for his ludicrous statements was looking likely to us over the pond.
But no. Teflon Don finished up his four-year run in 2020, scandals and controversies sliding away like water off a duck’s back, in part due to his loyal-to-a-fault fanbase.
Trump supporters raged after the 2020 election, touting his claims that the vote was “rigged” and that the election was “stolen” by the Democrats. His language and attitude towards the opposition party only whipped his support up more, which culminated in the violent attack on the US Capitol on 6 January 2021.
Two years later, and after everything that Trump was directly or indirectly involved in during his time at the top of US politics, his indictment comes down to falsified business records. The true Al Capone of the 21st Century.
The former president could be facing time in jail over the charges if found guilty. But, it’s looking increasingly likely that he could be running a 2024 presidential comeback campaign while facing criminal charges, or even from behind bars.
It seems completely ludicrous, the possibility of a serving President running the ‘Land of the Free’ from a jail cell. What is even more ludicrous however is his boost in the polls post-indictment.
Trump has reportedly gained a 26-point lead over his nearest Republican candidate for the presidential nomination, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. DeSantis experienced a boost in popularity after the midterm elections, when Republican voters appeared to turn away from Trump-backed candidates in favour of less-volatile figures.
But Trump has played to his audience and tapped into what made him popular in the first place. He has positioned himself as a Republican martyr, being torn down by the ‘liberal lefty Democrats’ searching for any reason to punish him for opposing their ‘woke agenda’, that the only reason he’s been charged is because they know he’d beat them again.
And it’s working. His numbers are up, and his support is galvanising again.
In an increasingly partisan world of US politics, Trump will play the victim and he’ll be rewarded with a run at a second term in the White House.