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A past (and future?) president’s first criminal trial

Happy Tax Day. Happy Boston Marathon Day. And happy Donald Trump’s Business Falsification Records Trial (Not to Be Confused With His Other Trials) Kickoff Day to all who celebrate.

The trial, which concerns Trump’s alleged laundering of hush money to cover up alleged infidelity through his then lawyer in the run-up to the 2016 election, marks the first ever criminal prosecution of a former U.S. president. (The Post’s news side is liveblogging it here.) At press time, jury selection was just about to get underway, after morning proceedings that Trump enlivened by reportedly falling asleep.

Our columnists will be observing with, we hope, greater alertness. Ruth Marcus says that in her eyes, the “shakiest case against Donald Trump” is the first to go to trial, and that makes her nervous. That’s not because there isn’t something big at stake, she writes: “This isn’t trivial — it’s serious.”

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“But it’s not hard to imagine that jurors could balk — it just takes one to produce a hung jury — at shoehorning Trump’s payments to Daniels, however odious, into the tangential crime of falsifying business records.” And several other pitfalls are apparent, too. All in all, Ruth sees a possible conviction ahead but wishes prosecutors were leading off with a better hand.

Jen Rubin has another view: “It actually might be the most consequential of the four criminal cases facing the former president.” Trump’s alleged funneling of funds to quash deleterious rumors and subsequent coverup represent a genuine — and successful — duping of voters to influence the election, she writes. Jen bats down some of the objections to this case and certainly speaks for some onlookers when she says, as the proceedings finally begin, “We made it.”

Chaser: E.J. Dionne hops over to a completely different Trump legal affair — the Supreme Court’s upcoming hearing of Trump’s “claim that presidents should enjoy absolute immunity from prosecution for illegal acts performed in office” — and tackles the implications of asserting, in essence, that “it takes a criminal to be a good president.” He adds, “This has implications voters should take very seriously, including for national security.”

Offense, defense and prayers for peace

Max Boot warns of the ongoing risks of Iran’s major drone and missile attack on Israel over the weekend, which Israel mostly repelled: “The Iranians are no more eager for a bigger war with Israel than Israel is eager for a bigger war with Iran. Both sides prefer to wage a low-intensity conflict, as they have been doing for many years. … But, however much the two sides want to avoid a larger conflict, they could still stumble into one if the action-reaction cycle spins out of control.”

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That’s the darker side. But David Ignatius examines the Israeli defense — which worked so well in this case — and sees a model of what de-escalation, in our all-too-aggressive modern world, should be. “The shield proved astonishingly solid — and an Iranian statement said ‘the matter can be deemed concluded’ after the failed barrage,” David writes. It feels almost too tempting of fate to hope that that’s where this particular round of aggression ends.

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Chaser: Speaking of peace, Max Boot also cautions about Trump’s “peace plan” for the Russia-Ukraine war, which apparently involves Ukraine capitulating.

We don’t usually run personal ads here at Post Opinions — whaddaya think this is, the New York Review of Books? — but we’ll make an exception in this case for the latest by Maddy Butcher, who appears to have a heck of a plight on her hands.

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Butcher lives in a part of the United States that doesn’t run heavily to humans. And that means that even if they’re “on the apps,” single people who live there are always just a few swipes from the bottom of the barrel — and often know (or have dated) all those prospective dates already.

“If I’m looking for an unmarried man who is active, taller than me and within 10 years of my age, there are theoretically a few hundred to choose from” in the whole county, Butcher writes.

There are a lot of consolations, though, like visible stars and plenty of horses, and when you do find a potential partner, they’re way likelier to be able to hunt their own food and fix their own car. “It’s part of the sacrifice of the lifestyle that I have here,” one single friend tells Butcher.

Anyway, if you’re interested in love and a better life in southwestern Colorado, consider this a public service announcement. Highly competent singles are waiting for you.

Smartest, fastest

It’s a goodbye. It’s a haiku. It’s … The Bye-Ku.

From my porch I see

Ten million stars, but no men

Tumbleweed Tinder

***

Have your own newsy haiku? Email it to me, along with any questions/comments/compliments/complaints. See you tomorrow!

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You’re reading the Today’s Opinions newsletter. Sign up to get it in your inbox.

In today’s edition:

Happy Tax Day. Happy Boston Marathon Day. And happy Donald Trump’s Business Falsification Records Trial (Not to Be Confused With His Other Trials) Kickoff Day to all who celebrate.

The trial, which concerns Trump’s alleged laundering of hush money to cover up alleged infidelity through his then lawyer in the run-up to the 2016 election, marks the first ever criminal prosecution of a former U.S. president. (The Post’s news side is liveblogging it here.) At press time, jury selection was just about to get underway, after morning proceedings that Trump enlivened by reportedly falling asleep.

Our columnists will be observing with, we hope, greater alertness. Ruth Marcus says that in her eyes, the “shakiest case against Donald Trump” is the first to go to trial, and that makes her nervous. That’s not because there isn’t something big at stake, she writes: “This isn’t trivial — it’s serious.”

“But it’s not hard to imagine that jurors could balk — it just takes one to produce a hung jury — at shoehorning Trump’s payments to Daniels, however odious, into the tangential crime of falsifying business records.” And several other pitfalls are apparent, too. All in all, Ruth sees a possible conviction ahead but wishes prosecutors were leading off with a better hand.

Jen Rubin has another view: “It actually might be the most consequential of the four criminal cases facing the former president.” Trump’s alleged funneling of funds to quash deleterious rumors and subsequent coverup represent a genuine — and successful — duping of voters to influence the election, she writes. Jen bats down some of the objections to this case and certainly speaks for some onlookers when she says, as the proceedings finally begin, “We made it.”

Chaser: E.J. Dionne hops over to a completely different Trump legal affair — the Supreme Court’s upcoming hearing of Trump’s “claim that presidents should enjoy absolute immunity from prosecution for illegal acts performed in office” — and tackles the implications of asserting, in essence, that “it takes a criminal to be a good president.” He adds, “This has implications voters should take very seriously, including for national security.”

Max Boot warns of the ongoing risks of Iran’s major drone and missile attack on Israel over the weekend, which Israel mostly repelled: “The Iranians are no more eager for a bigger war with Israel than Israel is eager for a bigger war with Iran. Both sides prefer to wage a low-intensity conflict, as they have been doing for many years. … But, however much the two sides want to avoid a larger conflict, they could still stumble into one if the action-reaction cycle spins out of control.”

That’s the darker side. But David Ignatius examines the Israeli defense — which worked so well in this case — and sees a model of what de-escalation, in our all-too-aggressive modern world, should be. “The shield proved astonishingly solid — and an Iranian statement said ‘the matter can be deemed concluded’ after the failed barrage,” David writes. It feels almost too tempting of fate to hope that that’s where this particular round of aggression ends.

Chaser: Speaking of peace, Max Boot also cautions about Trump’s “peace plan” for the Russia-Ukraine war, which apparently involves Ukraine capitulating.

We don’t usually run personal ads here at Post Opinions — whaddaya think this is, the New York Review of Books? — but we’ll make an exception in this case for the latest by Maddy Butcher, who appears to have a heck of a plight on her hands.

Butcher lives in a part of the United States that doesn’t run heavily to humans. And that means that even if they’re “on the apps,” single people who live there are always just a few swipes from the bottom of the barrel — and often know (or have dated) all those prospective dates already.

“If I’m looking for an unmarried man who is active, taller than me and within 10 years of my age, there are theoretically a few hundred to choose from” in the whole county, Butcher writes.

There are a lot of consolations, though, like visible stars and plenty of horses, and when you do find a potential partner, they’re way likelier to be able to hunt their own food and fix their own car. “It’s part of the sacrifice of the lifestyle that I have here,” one single friend tells Butcher.

Anyway, if you’re interested in love and a better life in southwestern Colorado, consider this a public service announcement. Highly competent singles are waiting for you.

It’s a goodbye. It’s a haiku. It’s … The Bye-Ku.

From my porch I see

Ten million stars, but no men

Tumbleweed Tinder

***

Have your own newsy haiku? Email it to me, along with any questions/comments/compliments/complaints. See you tomorrow!

QOSHE - It’s Trump trial time at last - Amanda Katz
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It’s Trump trial time at last

8 1
16.04.2024
Listen5 min

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In today’s edition:

  • A presidential criminal trial that’s both shaky and consequential
  • Could good defense de-escalate the Iran-Israel tensions?
  • Dating is hard when there’s almost no one around

A past (and future?) president’s first criminal trial

Happy Tax Day. Happy Boston Marathon Day. And happy Donald Trump’s Business Falsification Records Trial (Not to Be Confused With His Other Trials) Kickoff Day to all who celebrate.

The trial, which concerns Trump’s alleged laundering of hush money to cover up alleged infidelity through his then lawyer in the run-up to the 2016 election, marks the first ever criminal prosecution of a former U.S. president. (The Post’s news side is liveblogging it here.) At press time, jury selection was just about to get underway, after morning proceedings that Trump enlivened by reportedly falling asleep.

Our columnists will be observing with, we hope, greater alertness. Ruth Marcus says that in her eyes, the “shakiest case against Donald Trump” is the first to go to trial, and that makes her nervous. That’s not because there isn’t something big at stake, she writes: “This isn’t trivial — it’s serious.”

Advertisement

“But it’s not hard to imagine that jurors could balk — it just takes one to produce a hung jury — at shoehorning Trump’s payments to Daniels, however odious, into the tangential crime of falsifying business records.” And several other pitfalls are apparent, too. All in all, Ruth sees a possible conviction ahead but wishes prosecutors were leading off with a better hand.

Jen Rubin has another view: “It actually might be the most consequential of the four criminal cases facing the former president.” Trump’s alleged funneling of funds to quash deleterious rumors and subsequent coverup represent a genuine — and successful — duping of voters to influence the election, she writes. Jen bats down some of the objections to this case and certainly speaks for some onlookers when she says, as the proceedings finally begin, “We made it.”

Chaser: E.J. Dionne hops over to a completely different Trump legal affair — the Supreme Court’s upcoming hearing of Trump’s “claim that presidents should enjoy absolute immunity from prosecution for illegal acts performed in office” — and tackles the implications of asserting, in essence, that “it takes a criminal to be a good president.” He adds, “This has implications voters should take very seriously, including for national........

© Washington Post


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