Tuesday Briefing: Donald Trump’s Trial Begins


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Donald Trump faces allegations that he falsified documents to cover up a sex scandal involving a porn star. Credit…Jefferson Siegel for The New York Times

Donald Trump’s trial begins

Jury selection began yesterday in New York City, where Donald Trump faces charges that he falsified business records to cover up a sex scandal while serving as president. It is the first criminal trial of a former U.S. president, and the first of four indictments that Trump faces in the coming months.

The initial pool of prospective jurors dwindled rapidly. More than half of the first group of 96 were dismissed in short order after indicating that they did not believe they could be impartial. As Trump’s lawyers and prosecutors hashed out pretrial motions, the former U.S. president seemed alternately irritated and exhausted. He smirked and scoffed, and also seemed to nod off a few times before jolting back awake.

Last month, the judge imposed a gag order on Trump, barring him from attacking witnesses in the case. But over the weekend, Trump assailed a key witness — his former fixer, Michael Cohen — on social media. The judge said he would hold a hearing later this month to discuss potential violations of the gag order, which also bars Trump from attacking the judge’s family.

What’s next: Jury selection could take two weeks or more, and the trial may spill into June.

Background: In 2016, Cohen paid $130,000 to the porn star Stormy Daniels, to buy her silence about a story of having had sex with Trump a decade earlier. Trump has denied the encounter.

Israel’s moves will have strategic implications for its war in Gaza against Hamas, which is backed by Iran. Credit…Amir Cohen/Reuters

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