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How will the trial of Donald Trump affect the election campaign?

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On December 15, 2015, Donald Trump and eight other Republicans vying for their party’s presidential nomination met at the fifth debate in Las Vegas. Trump set the tone both with his bullying of Jeb Bush and with his discussion of his call a week earlier for “totally and completely stop Muslims from entering the United States.” Instead of recoiling, his opponents tended to express understanding of Trump’s point of view while saying they would be more effective: Ted Cruz wanted a narrower ban; Ben Carson wanted the government to watch mosques and supermarkets; Carly Fiorina wanted private companies to help with the espionage. Rand Paul managed to warn people who supported Trump: “Think about it, do you believe in the Constitution?” Five years later, Paul implied that the Democrats stole the 2020 election results from Trump.

On December 4, 2023, Trump is due to appear in a courtroom in Manhattan for a pre-trial hearing in a criminal case filed against him by Alvin Bragg, New York County District Attorney, on thirty-four counts of falsifying business records in the first degree, a felony. Trump is also likely to be preparing for the fifth GOP debate of this presidential cycle, the venue of which will be determined later. The Republican National Committee recently announced that the first debate will be held in August in Milwaukee. No exact date has been set, but the NRC may note that Judge Juan Mercan, who presides over the Trump case, has given his lawyers until Aug. 8 to file preliminary motions, which could include issues such as a request to change the venue. or to be fired.

Milwaukee was chosen because the party convention would be held in that city. Wisconsin narrowly held out to Trump in 2016 and Biden in 2020, and both parties have invested heavily in the presidential race, most recently in the state Supreme Court (Democrat Janet Protasevich won a landslide victory; abortion and redistricting were central issues). ). In choosing other venues for NRC debates, it may now have to consider how logistically convenient it is for Trump to get from the courthouse to the stage, and how politically convenient or disastrous it would be for other candidates to ask about the production.

In other words, Trump must act on two calendars—the court calendar and the campaign calendar—and so must many of the mechanisms of American politics. At the April 4 arraignment, prosecutors indicated that the trial would not begin until early next year; a series of Republican primaries will be held in February. Should the judge, say, change the jury selection schedule to accommodate them? Complexity will increase if Fulton County, Georgia District Attorney Fanny Willis is expected to file charges related to Trump’s efforts to overturn the state’s election results and if Jack Smith, the special counsel, does so in connection with Trump’s actions. before the storming of the Capitol on January 6, or before his processing of government documents, or both. Hearing calendars for these investigations can be filled with hearings in New York. This would be unfortunate, since the Bragg case is, in many respects, the most unreliable of them all.

The allegation primarily concerns the payment of $130,000 in October 2016 to Stormy Daniels, an adult film star, allegedly for her silence about a consensual sexual encounter; such payment is not in itself illegal. By contrast, the Georgia case involves the alleged acquisition of false ballots and false certificates for the state’s sixteen electoral votes, which is clearly illegal. (Trump denies any wrongdoing.) Bragg accused Trump of giving money to Daniels by his lawyer Michael Cohen and then refunding him eleven payments in such a way that thirty-four false business records (cheques, invoices, ledgers) were created. ). . Everyone can be a misdemeanor; what makes them a felony is the intent to deceive and commit or cover up another crime. Bragg chose not to state what the other crime was for the time being, either in the indictment or in the “statement of facts” that accompanied it, other than to suggest that it had something to do with elections, or maybe taxes – maybe federal, maybe regular, maybe an untested hybrid. (Besides, dealing with underlying documents is not as difficult as expected.) Ruth Marcus, Washington mail, found “some kind of cyclicity” in the connections; she called the indictment “alarmingly vague”.

It may seem unfair that voters didn’t find out about Daniels before the election, but silence about a candidate’s adultery is not criminal election fraud. Bragg’s job as a prosecutor is to pull a legally recognized charge out of the fog of fraud, and so far he hasn’t done that. This omission is obviously harmful when a significant part of the country thinks that this case is a set-up. Even if Bragg gets a guilty verdict — his case could get stronger — or another prosecutor does, there will likely be years of appeals, scheduled hearings, and conflicting dates to consider. One of them could be Inauguration Day. A felony conviction—even thirty-four—does not disqualify Trump or anyone else from running for president. In 1920, Eugene W. Debs, the Socialist candidate, heard the election results while in federal prison; he was convicted under the Espionage Act for speaking out against the First World War. (His supporters have printed badges depicting Debs in prison attire; Trump, in a playful echo, is selling T-shirts with a fake picture.)

Judge Merchan and his colleagues in other jurisdictions will also have to make calls about how to reasonably accommodate the electoral process. There are deep constitutional issues at play, as Merchan acknowledged at his arraignment hearing. After prosecutors raised Trump’s derogatory and possibly threatening statements about Bragg and the judge, Merchan said he would not impose a ban on silence — at least not yet. “Such restrictions are the most severe and least tolerated in relation to First Amendment rights,” he said, using the language of the 1976 Supreme Court decision. “This is doubly true for Mr. Trump because he is a candidate for the presidency of the United States.”

Merchan’s observation is in some ways as much about voters’ rights as it is about Trump’s. Candidacy does not give impunity. But Trump won’t be the last politician to be indicted by an opposition political party’s prosecutor, and the case could well set the standard by which the country as a whole will have to live. ♦

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Drew Barrymore loves the Hanacure face mask – buy it today for a spa day at home.

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Celebrities like Drew Barrymore, Kim Kardashian and Brooklyn Decker trust the Hanacure All-In-One Facial Set. Shop Hanacure skin care products today.

     

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20 funniest tweets about cats and dogs this week

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Woof, it’s been a long week.

If you feel like you’ve been working like a dog, let me offer you the Internet equivalent of a big pile of catnip: hilarious pet tweets.

Every week at HuffPost, we scour Twitter for the funniest posts about our furry balls being total chumps. They are sure to make you howl.

(No need to ask for more – you can check out last week’s batch right here.)

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WWE apologizes for use of Auschwitz image in pre-match video – Deadline

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World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) today apologized for using an image of the Auschwitz concentration camp in a video promoting the match.

The WWE video used an image of the camp with audio, showing wrestler Dominic Mysterio pretending to be a criminal incarcerated.

“We had no knowledge of what was depicted,” WWE said in a statement released Friday. “As soon as they found out, they immediately removed it. We apologize for this mistake.”

Images do not appear in YouTube replays. The picture showed barbed wire fences and watchtowers in a concentration camp.

WWE recently announced its acquisition by Endeavor, the parent organization of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). The merger will create one of the world’s largest sports and entertainment companies, with a combined valuation of $21 billion.

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