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King Trump on Trial

High-ranking Republican politicians have lately been turning up at Donald Trump’s New York City trial to demonstrate solidarity with the former president. But their attendance also serves a more alarming purpose: to validate Trump as a competing source of sovereign power, independent of the US Constitution and the rule of law.

NEW YORK – The drama starring former US President Donald Trump that is now playing out in a New York City courtroom is more than just a criminal trial. It is a contest between competing conceptions of power: a liberal-democratic system of law versus an illiberal conception that locates the source of authority outside the current legal system.