In the 2024 Race, Trump’s Trial Is About to Take Center Stage

Follow our live coverage of Trump’s hush money trial.

The start of Donald J. Trump’s criminal trial on Monday thrusts the 2024 presidential race into uncharted territory and Mr. Trump back into the public spotlight in ways he hasn’t been since he left the White House more than three years ago.

There will be no cameras in the Manhattan courtroom. But Mr. Trump and the drama around him may be unavoidable as he goes on trial in a case that centers on a salacious hush-money payment made to a porn star in the run-up to the 2016 election and that threatens the presumptive Republican nominee with potential jail time for 34 felony counts.

The trial will begin with perhaps the most scrutinized jury selection since the trial of O.J. Simpson three decades ago, and it will confine Mr. Trump to New York City for as many as four days a week for about eight weeks, and possibly more.

That would be roughly one-quarter of the calendar until the November election.

“This looks like no other presidential campaign in the history of the country,” said Neil Newhouse, a Republican pollster who has worked on past presidential races. “It kind of puts the regular presidential campaign on sabbatical.”

Mr. Trump has told advisers he wants as much media coverage of his court appearances as possible and many supporters defending him on television, as the gravitational center of the campaign shifts away from the battleground states to a courtroom in Lower Manhattan. And he has deliberately created a circuslike atmosphere around his previous criminal arraignments, including by going straight from a Miami courthouse to a popular Cuban restaurant and, at his New York legal proceedings, by holding news conferences at his property at 40 Wall Street. He is likely to repeat that approach, according to an adviser.

“On Monday all hell breaks loose!” Mr. Trump wrote to supporters on Friday in a fund-raising email, asking for “peaceful patriotic support.”

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