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Palm Beach, Florida

Donald Trump, former US President:

»All of these legal proceedings come from the White House. They come from Biden. It's election interference. And that’s really, really sad.”

This is how Donald Trump sums up his various legal disputes. As a reminder, he is accused in four criminal courts for a total of 91 offenses. That doesn't seem to bother him much. On the contrary: We have been seeing images like this for months: Donald Trump looks grim, goes into a courtroom - and comes out again with a comment:

Donald Trump, former US President:

"A great day in court! Thanks!"

Trump would actually not be legally obligated to appear in court on each of his various trial days. He still does it again and again. And there is a reason for that.

Washington, DC

Roland Nelles, DER SPIEGEL

»The trials are basically one of the most important campaign issues for Donald Trump. He presents himself as the victim, as the one who is being pursued by an evil conspiracy. Who is supposed to be hunted down here by the Democrats and by the CIA, FBI and evil secret services. And of course it's all a big lie. But he hopes to be able to score points here in the election campaign. He always goes to these trials, partly because it is free election advertising for him. At least that's how he sees it - and this tactic apparently works to some extent.

Surveys show that despite - or perhaps because of - the many lawsuits, Trump's supporters are only more resolutely behind him.

Three Rivers, Texas

A visit to Three Rivers, Live Oak County, in South Texas: Here, a full 81 percent of residents voted for Trump in 2016, mostly for purely economic reasons. The regulars at Rick's Diner are staunch Republicans, but not MAGA extremists. We want to know: Will the charges influence their decision at the ballot box?

Trump voters:

»At the moment I have no concerns about the processes. They just seem to be looking for something to stop him from taking power - and help America again."

“The Liberal Democratic Party, the liberal side of the far left, has weaponized our Justice Department. She has weaponized our media and created this problem. And they will do anything, literally anything, to force Trump out of office."

"I'm very disappointed. The United States has always been known for equality before the law for all. And it's very obvious that for this person it's not like that."

»We will certainly be successful. I believe that if there is not too much cheating, he can win. That’s why we have to get people to come and vote.”

“If he is convicted, it won't change my mind. I will enter it even if it is not on the ballot. Because Trump is a loving supporter of America.«

Roland Nelles, DER SPIEGEL

»I believe that this tactic works in part because there is a certain distrust of Washington in general among many voters, especially among those who like Trump. And Trump's narrative of the victim, of course, fits right in and is therefore, I think, well received. The Democrats here, of course, object. They say it's all a big lie, which is true, and point out that Donald Trump is actually the one who is endangering democracy here, who is undermining the institutions by not accepting them and who is basically the entire democracy want to turn things upside down in the USA.«

Voters trust Trump more than Joe Biden when it comes to the economy - that's to be expected. But what is striking is that even when it comes to the issue of democracy, which the current US President is making the focus of his campaign, Trump has almost caught up with Biden.

Washington, DC / January 6, 2021

The fact that Trump incited a mob to storm the US Capitol after his election defeat apparently doesn't matter. The state of Colorado decided to exclude him from the primaries. But after the first hearing, the Supreme Court appears unwilling to disqualify Donald Trump from the presidential election.

Las Vegas, Nevada /8.2.24

Donald Trump, former US President

»We are ahead everywhere. Can't we schedule the election for next Tuesday? This is all I want."

However, some in the Trump camp are already advising the ex-president against continuing to use courtrooms as a campaign stage. The thought goes that a little more restraint could be strategically wise. The next verdicts are expected at the end of March and May. The big question is what happens if Trump is actually convicted this year?

Roland Nelles, DER SPIEGEL

»Theoretically, it is of course possible that Trump would actually end up in prison. There are also television channels that already show prisons here that would be considered for this, that's about it. Of course, it is very difficult to imagine Trump campaigning from prison. I also believe that, especially in this case, if Trump were actually convicted, many Americans would think twice about whether they actually want to elect a convicted criminal as president. I think then Donald Trump would definitely lose the election and Joe Biden would definitely win.