NEWS AND OPINION:
There are those who believe an official mugshot of the 45th U.S. president could become a cultural force all on its own.
“The impending indictment of former President Donald J. Trump has fueled widespread speculation about the potential impact of the release of his booking photo — including commentary from conservative news outlets that have suggested Trump could use the mugshot to fuel campaign support and donations,” reports the Albany Times Union.
“Attorney Alan Dershowitz, a former Harvard Law School professor, said during interviews with multiple news outlets that Trump should put his booking photo on T-shirts and posters and sell them to support his 2024 presidential campaign,” wrote Brendan J. Lyons, managing editor for the New York newspaper.
“The booking photo of Trump may not be made public unless he decides to release it. New York law was amended four years ago to prohibit the release of booking photos unless police determine there is a legitimate law enforcement purpose to release a person’s image. It is highly unlikely Trump’s mugshot — an image of one of the world’s most photographed individuals — would meet that threshold,” Mr. Lyons said.
He went on to note that the change was made “during state budget negotiations in 2019 by former Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo. He avoided having his own mugshot taken two years later after he was charged in a misdemeanor criminal complaint in Albany with forcibly touching a female staff member.”
THE MEDIA’S TRUMP FRENZY
Former President Donald Trump is now facing his complex and long-awaited legal challenge from Democrats. The news media is right there of course, charting the political and legal drama as the public endeavors to follow the events, the players, and the potential outcome.
Here’s just a scant few of many headlines from the last 24 hours:
“Why this indictment can’t stop Donald Trump from being elected president” (Time); “Donald Trump’s time-tested legal strategy: Attack and delay” (New York Times); “The ultimate ‘stop Trump’ strategy for the GOP” (The Atlantic); “Trump lawyers: Buckle up” (Politico); “Trump indictment ends decades of perceived invincibility” (Associated Press); “Trump senior adviser Jason Miller on indictment: ‘The more they attack him, the stronger he gets’” (Breitbart); “Trump lawyer says he expects to make motion to dismiss charges from Manhattan grand jury indictment” (Fox News); “What to know about Juan Merchan, the judge overseeing Trump’s criminal case” (National Public Radio); and “Michael Cohen on the Trump indictment: ‘I expect complete and total mayhem’” (CBS News).
THE GREATER PICTURE
“Trust in America’s cornerstone institutions is careening out of control, and our justice system is no exception. President Trump’s indictment makes one thing clear: America’s top prosecutors have no issue distorting the rule of law for their own political purposes. Appropriate use of prosecutorial discretion is being abandoned, and our legal system’s credibility is in jeopardy as a result,” said Timothy Head, executive director of the Faith & Freedom Coalition, in a written statement.
The coalition, incidentally, is “a national grassroots movement of over 2 million conservatives and people of faith in support of time-honored values,” according to its mission statement.
IT’S TRAVEL TIME
First lady Jill Biden is busy in the next 48 hours. A White House press release tells all.
“As part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s Investing in America Tour to highlight how President Biden’s economic policies are benefiting hard working Americans across the country, First Lady Jill Biden will travel to Colorado and Michigan on Monday, April 3rd and Maine and Vermont on Wednesday, April 5th,” the White House noted in a written statement.
“During the visits, the first lady will highlight how career-connected learning and workforce training programs are central to the Biden Education Pathway, and the importance of investing in these programs that are preparing high school and community college students for jobs created by the President’s Investing in America agenda,” it concluded.
The U.S. Space Force is getting closer to a major sartorial decision: Choosing an official uniform for the Guardians — the official name of those who serve in this branch of the armed services.
The Space Force completed one final service-dress “uniform fit” at the Pentagon on Friday.
“Fit tests are an essential process in developing the prototype’s sizing and fit. One hundred Guardians worldwide were selected as fit test participants, an important milestone in delivering a first-rate uniform,” Space Force said in a press release.
“From the word ‘go’ we have been committed to keeping Guardian feedback at the forefront of developing the service dress,” Col. James Jenkins, director of the Office of Change Management Team, said in a written statement.
“We know Guardians are excited for a uniform they can call their own and we are accelerating as quickly as possible to deliver a product they can wear with pride,” he said.
The Space Force unveiled its initial service dress uniform prototype in September 2021, which was quickly followed by a “uniform roadshow” to garner Guardian feedback. Now comes a “wear test” to be conducted in the summer. Guardians themselves will wear the uniform three times a week and provide helpful insight about the prototypes.
“Guardian feedback will continually be at the forefront of uniform development as the service works toward delivering to the force in late 2025,” the service noted.
POLL DU JOUR
• 80% of U.S. adults are dissatisfied with the direction of the country.
• 72% of U.S. adults say the U.S. economy is “getting worse.”
• 43% overall rate the economy as “poor.”
• 40% rate the economy as “only fair.”
• 15% rate the economy as “good.”
• 1% rate the economy as “excellent.”
SOURCE: A Gallup poll of 1,009 U.S. adults conducted March 1-23.
• Follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin.