Trump’s New York criminal trial kicked off Monday. It’s the first time a former president is standing trial on criminal charges.

Donald Trump is making history Monday as the first former president to stand trial on criminal charges, a watershed moment for American politics, the presidential election and Trump himself.

Trump — the presumptive Republican nominee for president — is required to be present for the entire trial, which could last as long as eight weeks. He’s pleaded not guilty to 34 counts of falsifying business records, a low-level felony punishable by up to four years in prison. Before the trial kicked off with jury selection Monday, lawyers from both sides argued over some of the more sensational evidence that prosecutors are hoping to use to show why Trump was eager to bury negative stories about himself during the 2016 presidential election.

“The name of this case is the People of the State of New York versus Donald Trump,” Judge Juan Merchan told the initial group of 96 potential jurors in the afternoon. Trump stood and turned around when he was introduced as the defendant, and gave the prospective jurors — some of whom were staring at him intently — a little tight-lipped smirk.

Trump had his eyes closed for a period of time as the judge was reading the potential jurors his instructions, and his eyes looked red and bloodshot when he opened them and peered at the judge.

    3 months ago

    Yeah, that was in another article I read. The judge basically said “you can be here, or you can be in jail, and we don’t strictly need you here. It’s your choice.”