The Ezra Klein Show
The Ezra Klein Show
New York Times Opinion
Trump’s Legal Jeopardy and America’s Political Crossroads
Donald Trump’s legal troubles are mounting. A Manhattan grand jury investigation into the hush-money payment to Stormy Daniels could soon make Trump the first former American president ever to be criminally indicted. But the Manhattan case isn’t the only source of legal risk for Trump. In Georgia, the Fulton County district attorney is considering criminal charges for Trump’s efforts to influence the 2020 election, and the Department of Justice is investigating his role in the Jan. 6 riots and the removal of classified documents from the White House. This level of legal vulnerability surrounding a former president is unprecedented. It’s also unsurprising — Trump routinely flouts protocols and norms. But even more than his disregard for convention, Trump has a knack for forcing our legal and political systems into predicaments that don’t really have good solutions. How should a political system handle criminal charges against a current political candidate? Is it appropriate for prosecutors to consider the risk of mob violence in weighing charges? And what’s the risk of damage to our institutions of holding Trump accountable — and for failing to do so? _[You can listen to this episode of “The Ezra Klein Show” on __Apple__, __Spotify__, __Amazon Music__, __Google__ or __wherever you get your podcasts__.]_ David French, my colleague at The New York Times, is a lawyer and conservative commentator who has been trying to parse the legal merits of the Trump inquiries and the thorny political questions they raise. In this episode, we explore the investigations into Trump’s misconduct and the interconnected risks that he, his supporters and the Republican Party pose to our political system. We discuss the details of the Stormy Daniels case and why it may not be a slam dunk; the inquiry into Trump’s efforts to overturn election results in Georgia; the appropriateness of weighing the “national interest” when prosecuting a political figure; whether Gerald Ford’s 1974 pardon of Richard Nixon created a precedent that presidents are above the law; why French worries about giving a mob “veto power” over the rule of law; the Department of Justice’s Jan. 6 investigation and why the legal definition of incitement might be hard to clear; French’s belief that moral courage among Republican elites could stopped Trump’s rise to power; why he thinks the Dominion Voting Systems lawsuit against Fox News was a “tremendous public service”; whether Fox News is really showing “respect” for its viewers, and more. Mentioned: “MAGA, Not Trump, Controls the Movement Now” by David French “The Potential Trump Indictment Is Unwise” by David French Book Recommendations: We the Fallen People by Robert Tracy McKenzie The Napoleonic Wars by Alexander Mikaberidze Ring of Steel by Alexander Watson Thoughts? Guest suggestions? Email us at You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more episodes of “The Ezra Klein Show” at, and you can find Ezra on Twitter @ezraklein. Book recommendations from all our guests are listed at This episode of “The Ezra Klein Show” is produced by Annie Galvin, Emefa Agawu, Jeff Geld, Roge Karma and Kristin Lin. Fact-checking by Michelle Harris, Rollin Hu, Kristin Lin, Kristina Samulewski and Kate Sinclair. Mixing by Jeff Geld and Sonia Herrero. Original music by Isaac Jones. Audience strategy by Shannon Busta. The executive producer of New York Times Opinion Audio is Annie-Rose Strasser. Special thanks to Pat McCusker and Kristina Samulewski.
58 min
WNYC Studios
Alone Enough
Cat Jaffee didn’t necessarily think of herself as someone who loved being alone. But then, the pandemic hit. And she got diagnosed with cancer. Actually, those two things happened on the exact same day, at the exact same hour. In the shadow of that nightmarish timing, Cat found her way to a sport that celebrated the solitude that was forced on her, and taught her how to not only embrace self-reliance, but to love it. This sport is called competitive bikepacking. And in these competitions, riders have to bring everything they need to complete epic bike rides totally by themselves. They pack all the supplies they think they’ll need to survive, and have to refuse some of the simplest, subtlest, most intangible boosts that exist in our world. But a leader has emerged in this sport. Her name is Lael Wilcox, and she’s a total rockstar in the world of competitive bikepacking. She’s broken all kinds of records. And also, some rules. Most recently, on this one ride she did across the entire state of Arizona. We set out to find out what it means — for Cat, for Lael, and for any of us — to endure incredibly hard things, totally alone. The answer is on the course, in our bodies, and hidden in that mysterious place between us and the people we care about. Special thanks to Anna Haslock, Nico Sandi, Michael Fryar, Moab Public Radio, Nichole Baker and Payson McElveen for sharing their studio with us, and The Radavist, for letting us use the audio of Lael’s ride across Arizona. You can watch the original video here ( EPISODE CREDITS This episode was reported by - Cat Jaffee and Rachael Cusick Produced by - Rachael Cusick with help from - Pat Walters Original music and sound design by - Jeremy Bloom with mixing help from - Arianne Wack Fact-checking by - Emily Krieger Edited by - Pat Walters CITATIONS: Videos: You can watch Lael’s you can watch Lael’s ride across Arizona here ( And see the next season of racing by following along on ( Articles: You can find Jim Coan’s study on emotional support here ( Audio: For more on Lael Wilcox, you can check out her interviews with the podcasts Adventure Stache ( and Bikes or Death ( Our newsletter comes out every Wednesday. It includes short essays, recommendations, and details about other ways to interact with the show. Sign up (! Radiolab is supported by listeners like you. Support Radiolab by becoming a member of The Lab ( today. Radiolab is on YouTube! Catch up with new episodes and hear classics from our archive. Plus, find other cool things we did in the past — like miniseries, music videos, short films and animations, behind-the-scenes features, Radiolab live shows, and more. Take a look, explore and subscribe! Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @radiolab, and share your thoughts with us by emailing Leadership support for Radiolab’s science programming is provided by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Science Sandbox, a Simons Foundation Initiative, and the John Templeton Foundation. Foundational support for Radiolab was provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.
44 min
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