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Donald Trump Finally Goes on Trial

U.S.Donald Trump Finally Goes on Trial

Welcome back to Trump on Trial. I’ll be filling in for Maggie Haberman and Alan Feuer today.

Starting on Monday, I’ll be part of the Times team of reporters covering the first criminal trial of a former American president. It will unfold in a dingy courthouse just blocks from New York’s City Hall, and we’ll be there for every twist and turn.

It should be a doozy, complete with hush money, a porn star and a fuming defendant. And oh, yes, it could test the resilience of our legal institutions and the concept that no individual is above the law.

Donald Trump’s trial is the culmination of a case that has been hotly contested since it was unveiled last spring. After months of legal machinations, including three long-shot appeal attempts this week, it seems to be on track to actually begin: Jury selection is scheduled to start on Monday. Testimony is expected to last weeks, amid a level of media scrutiny that some have likened to the O.J. Simpson trial nearly three decades ago.

This is no murder trial, but it still has sensational elements: Trump faces 34 felony counts of falsifying business records to try to hide a sexual encounter he is alleged to have had with Stormy Daniels, a porn star he met in 2006. The former president denies the charges and having had sex with her.

Prosecutors could call Daniels and a former Playboy model, Karen McDougal, who said she had an affair with Trump, as well as Michael Cohen, Trump’s former fixer, who made the payment to Daniels just before the 2016 election.

These witnesses and testimony are likely to produce days of popcorn-worthy coverage — though, as with many trials dealing with financial matters, there may be a few sleepy sessions, too.

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