Day Three of the Trump Hush Money Trial: We Have a Jury
Washington Monthly Magazine
by Jonathan Alter
3h ago
Jury selection is usually tedious, but not in this trial. Day Three felt like voir dire on steroids, as the first jury with the power to jail an American president ended up being selected in about a third of the time most people expected. “We have our jury,” said the judge at 4:35 p.m., and I almost expected a puff of white Vatican smoke to waft out of the chimney of the courthouse. With the alternates to be selected on Friday, opening statements were now scheduled for Monday. My bottom line: I could be wrong, but I don’t sense any “stealth jurors”—Trumpsters who will hold out for hours or da ..read more
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As Ukraine Struggles, Fears of Russian Aggression Soar in Poland
Washington Monthly Magazine
by Tamar Jacoby
21h ago
I recently spent three days in Poland with a group of congressional staffers, meeting diplomats, journalists, think-tank researchers, and political leaders from across the country’s political spectrum. We spoke with representatives of the coalition elected in October and the populist Law and Justice Party that controlled the government for most of the previous decade. The trip was sponsored by the Progressive Policy Institute, where I direct the New Ukraine Project, and the Hudson Institute, and we agreed in advance not to quote anyone we met. But our hosts weren’t shy, and no matter where th ..read more
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Don’t Expect the Jury to Save Us From Trump
Washington Monthly Magazine
by Bill Scher
2d ago
Don’t Expect the Jury to Save Us From Trump In my Washington Monthly column today, I argued that Joe Biden and his campaign team can’t hinge their reelection strategy on the assumption Donald Trump will be found guilty in the Stormy Daniels hush money trial. A guilty verdict can never be preordained. Moreover, three of the first seven jurors seated made comments in the selection process that were somewhat favorable to Trump. At least, that was the case when my column published this morning. Since then, one of those three jurors was excused after questio ..read more
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Biden Isn’t Talking About Trump’s Hush Money Trial, For Good Reason
Washington Monthly Magazine
by Bill Scher
2d ago
On Tuesday, Donald Trump was stuck in a Manhattan courtroom, and Joe Biden was campaigning in Scranton, Pennsylvania. But Biden made no comments about the first criminal trial of a former president and active presidential nominee, instead contrasting their records on the economy, taxes, retirement security, and the pandemic. His campaign’s social media team limited itself to some glancing references to the 45th president’s trial—reacting to the news that Trump nodded off during the proceedings was hard to resist—but made no commentary about the specific charges. Journalists covering the Biden ..read more
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Day Two of the Trump Cover-Up Trial
Washington Monthly Magazine
by Jonathan Alter
3d ago
Day Two of the Trump Trial was not only more significant than the eventful Day One, but it may also be the most important single day of the whole case. Why? More than half the jury was selected on Tuesday—faster than anyone expected. Donald Trump has a hard row to hoe. All convictions and acquittals must be unanimous among the 12 jurors in New York. After interviewing a couple of Trump’s former attorneys on background and seeing how many potential jurors checked NPR on the questionnaire as a major source of news, I found that a unanimous acquittal seems well-nigh impossible. (I was always hop ..read more
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The Putin Republicans Have the Upper Hand
Washington Monthly Magazine
by David Atkins
3d ago
Under the radar of war in the Middle East, the presidential election, and Donald Trump’s hush money trial in a Manhattan courtroom (not to mention his unhinged social media postings), the House of Representatives is paralyzed over a $95 billion supplemental bill to assist Ukraine. The beleaguered Ukrainians are desperate and running out of needed resources, especially ammunition, to stave off Vladimir Putin’s forces. The Senate passed the aid measure with ease, but the ascendant pro-Putin wing of the Republican Party is holding it hostage in the House, where it would pass were it brought to a ..read more
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One Big Thing Mike Johnson Seems to Get
Washington Monthly Magazine
by Bill Scher
4d ago
One Big Thing Mike Johnson Seems to Get If you are a regular reader of this newsletter, you know I’ve been a Mike Johnson skeptic. I thought House Democrats acted hastily and myopically in aiding the ouster of Kevin McCarthy from the speakership, right after he averted a government shutdown. When Johnson won the gavel in October I argued he was not an upgrade. He validated my view when he relied on dishonest claims to justify tanking a bipartisan border policy deal that would have also secured Ukraine aid two months ago. But I’ve also retained a sl ..read more
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The Steady Judge Merchan and The Desperate Trump Defense
Washington Monthly Magazine
by Jonathan Alter
4d ago
I feel as if I won the lottery. Through a combination of advance planning (rare for me, as my family will tell you), luck, and a friendly court official who said he likes to read me, I snagged a seat in the historic Trump hush money trial in Manhattan, credentialed to represent the Washington Monthly.   With no audio or video feeds available, I’m one of a few dozen reporters who are essentially sending messages in a bottle to the rest of the world. The only difference between covering this and the last time a former president or vice-president was criminally tried—Aaron Burr’s 1806 ..read more
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Protecting Biden Administration Regulations from Regime Change and Skeptical Courts
Washington Monthly Magazine
by Reed Shaw and Peter M. Shane
4d ago
It is no secret that Joe Biden’s administration is racing to finalize a host of regulations before a period of Congressional Review Act (CRA) vulnerability kicks in. Should Republicans recapture control of Congress and the White House, the CRA would give them a fast-track legislative process to repeal the rules issued late in Biden’s term. The 1996 statute, an uneasy compromise between Bill Clinton’s White House and the Newt Gingrich-era Congress, was designed to give Congress, combined with a presidential signature, a filibuster-proof way to repeal unwanted regulations under specific conditi ..read more
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Abortion and the Comstock “Chastity” Law Time Bomb
Washington Monthly Magazine
by Victoria Nourse and William Eskridge
5d ago
The Supreme Court said that it wanted to stop making decisions on abortion in its Dobbs decision, reversing Roe v. Wade. But guess what? Abortion is back, and it is likely to come back again, even after recent oral arguments on the abortion pill, pitting a drug maker and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) against anti-abortion groups, and the next case on April 24, which deals with emergency care and abortion. Why? In last month’s oral argument, Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito raised a little-known statute called the Comstock “Chastity” Law, passed during Uly ..read more
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