For Trump, the preservation of social hierarchy is likewise important, and, in his own mind, he is everyone’s better. The more someone likes him and is like him, the better they are, too. He could take comfort in perceiving senators as near-peers: mostly fellow rich, white men elected to high federal office. “They did another fake witch hunt against me, folks,” we can imagine him mewling at a future rally, “and they needed the ‘world’s greatest deliberative body’ to do it. They needed the big guns, folks. Nothing else could have even dared to come after me because it was so sad, so fake. We know it, and they know it.”

But to be convicted after prosecution by Willis — a young, Black woman and a Democrat in county-level office — would be an immense indignity for Trump. Likewise, the most viable path for him to remain at Mar-a-Lago may be branding himself a club employee rather than a member. But could Trump stomach the lowliness of the label? (Other legal battles Trump faces would strike him variously by this measure; I suspect he’d find the defamation suits by women who allege he sexual assaulted him the most degrading.)

The great merit of these cases is precisely their humility. A Senate conviction would tell Trump he is not above American law. Decisions against Trump in Georgia or Florida would tell him he is not above his fellow Americans.