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With his arraignment, Trump has now earned a new sobriquet: the Indicted One | Walter Shapiro

Everything that followed his election has flowed into the moment when the glum ex-president glowered in a Manhattan courtroom

Tuesday was the day when Donald Trump – the former real estate hustler, reality TV star, twice-impeached president and 2024 GOP frontrunner – won a new sobriquet. Now and forever, the major-domo of Mar-a-Lago will be known as the Indicted One. In fact, in all likelihood, by the end of the year, Trump could be described as the Oft-Indicted One.

The cliche on cable television, often expressed with funereal gravity, was that “this is a sad day for America”. In truth, the sad day was 8 November 2016, when Trump oozed his way into the White House. Everything that followed has inevitably flowed into the moment on Tuesday afternoon when a glum and slumped Trump was photographed glowering in a Manhattan courtroom during his arraignment on 34 felony counts. The surprising case brought by Manhattan district attorney Alvin Bragg was more sweeping that just the $130,000 in off-the-books hush money payments to the porn star Stormy Daniels before the 2016 election. It also involved the defrocked president’s sleazy alliance with David Pecker, then the aptly named publisher of the low-rent National Enquirer, to buy stories damaging to Trump and not publish them in what Bragg called a “catch-and-kill scheme”.

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