Another Time Trump Was Stuck in Court

Happy Weekend! You’ve made it through a week of dramatic Stormy Daniels testimony, a brain worm and a failed attempt to oust House Speaker Mike Johnson. Today we’re covering a different trip Trump took to court — and we’ll meet an unlikely surrogate for the Biden administration’s Gaza outreach.

Donald Trump was running for president and leading in the polls. He was spending lots of time in New York. And he had a nagging legal problem that had landed him in court.

I speak, of course, of Trump’s 2015 summons for jury duty.

Not long after he clashed with Megyn Kelly on a debate stage — and made a crude comment about her in the aftermath — Trump showed up at State Supreme Court in Lower Manhattan on Aug. 17, 2015. He had a backlog of jury summonses he hadn’t responded to, and it was time to make it right.

My colleague Rebecca Davis O’Brien has been thinking a lot about this episode, in light of Trump’s current status as a criminal defendant in the courthouse just down the block from the one where he appeared nine years ago.

Rebecca was a reporter at The Wall Street Journal at the time, assigned to cover his appearance that day. She was later part of the team that broke the story of the hush-money payment to the porn actress Stormy Daniels — a central element of the sex scandal cover-up for which Trump is now on trial. But she thinks the tale of his jury duty reveals just as much about his rise as a politician and the problems he is facing now.

Rebecca talked to me about that weird day in August. Our conversation has been edited for length and clarity.

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