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UC Berkeley scholars, including Othering & Belonging Institute Director john a. powell, say that by attacking the prosecutors and judges in his cases, the former president is trying to discredit the charges, rally supporters — and undermine the rule of law itself.

As Trump continues to fight his way through this case and others, a different set of conflicts is simmering just below the surface — conflicts around race, gender and immigration. While these issues have scarcely been mentioned in court, Berkeley scholars say they are already shaping the legal contest and the political landscape leading to November’s election.