In case you haven’t heard, a former (and he hopes) future President of the United States is currently spending his days in a Manhattan courtroom. Donald Trump is the defendant in what has become known as the “hush money case.” The accusations against The Donald are based on an incident that happened back in October 2016, right before that year’s November election that elevated Mr. Trump to the presidency.

The prosecution says that Trump’s former personal attorney, a guy named Michael Cohen, paid an adult film actress with the nom de guerre of Stormy Daniels $130,000 for her to keep quiet about an alleged 2006 extramarital affair she supposedly had with Trump. At the time, he was just a run-of-the-mill real estate tycoon. (For the record, the former President denies the affair.)

There are two other “shhhhhssshhh” payments that supposedly also took place, and those allegations are also denied rather strongly by the defendant. Apparently, the payments in and of themselves didn’t constitute a major breach of the law, but, if I read the tea leaves correctly, what the prosecutors are hanging their hats on is that the Trump organization reimbursed Mr. Cohen for the alleged payments, and then entered those payments as legal expenses on Trump company books. And when business records are falsified, well, the law takes a very dim view of such procedures. Hence, the current trial.

As with every other American citizen, Mr. Trump is allowed to be judged by a jury of his peers. I’m not sure he (and let’s be honest, most politicians and business bigwigs) thinks he has any peers, but that’s another story. The jury might now be set as you read this. But on the day this story is being written, the lawyers for both the defense and prosecution are earning their paychecks by trying to select a dozen men and women who swear they are not already prejudiced one way or another and can listen to “just the facts,” as Joe Friday used to say on Dragnet.

At the outset of the proceedings, there were almost 100 potential jurors selected. Very quickly, about three-quarters of them were sent packing rapidly. I haven’t heard verbatim excuses from each of them, but I wonder if when they were questioned, some of them answered like this:

DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Do you have an opinion of the defendant, Donald Trump?

JUROR 1: Well, yes, doesn’t everyone? I think he’s a pompous egomaniac, guilty as sin, and should be sent to Guantanamo.

DEF ATT: (Speaking rapidly) Move to strike this juror, your Honor.

PROSECUTOR: Really? We liked him. Okay, Juror 2, would you be impartial regarding Mr. Trump?

JUROR 2: I believe he could probably walk on water if he wanted to.

PROSEC: I think we’ll let this one go home too, your Honor.

DEF ATT: Juror 3, how are you today?

JUROR 3: I’m sick.

DEF ATT: Sick?

JUROR 3: Yes, sick and tired of Donald Trump’s enemies trying to keep him from reclaiming what was stolen from him in 2020 by Joe Biden.

DEF ATT: Okay, we want this one seated immediately.

PROSEC: Uh-uh. Move to strike.

DEF ATT: Juror 4, did you have a question?

JUROR 4: Yes, will Stormy Daniels be here soon?

DEF ATT: I don’t think so, sir.

JUROR: Then count me out. The only reason I came in today was to see her. I’ve got all her movies. I could care less about Trump.

DEF ATT: Strike!

And so on and so on. I really think it would be extremely difficult for anyone to honestly claim that he or she could be totally impartial when it comes to liking or disliking Donald Trump. In 2020, approximately 155 million people voted one way or the other regarding him. He’s not exactly an unknown quantity. It’s a pretty good guess that in a known liberal enclave like New York City, the AGIN’ him in the election numbered way more than the FER him.

As part of all this Trump hoopla, don’t forget that the defendant has a habit of muttering under his breath certain utterances that are seldom complimentary. So, Barnum and Bailey might want to throw a tent over the top of the trial and sell popcorn.

Unfortunately, for all concerned, and especially for We the People, this trial is just the first of three or four more to come featuring the same defendant. Will the former President’s daily presence in a courtroom help or hurt him? That remains to be seen. I think it was Oscar Wilde who said, “There is only one thing worse in the world than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.” I don’t think Mr. Trump is in danger of the former happening any time soon.

©MMXXIV. William J. Lewis, III – Freelance Writer