While the arrest of former president Donald Trump on 34 counts of falsifying business record can be welcomed as a rare example of accountability for the elite Americans, the actual case will have to be tested in court. My colleague Elie Mystal has written an important column cautioning against having high expectations. The fact is the case brought by Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg is for one of Trump’s lesser offenses (compared to ongoing investigations over obstruction of justice, over attempted influencing of election officials, over incitement of the January 6 attempted coup, and over handling of classified documents, among other matters).

Further, this particular case against Trump has to clear some high legal hurdles. On this episode of The Time of Monsters, I talked to Elie about Trump’s legal status, why we should welcome the former president’s arrest, why we should be clear-eyed about how far the court case can go, and how MAGA Republicans are using this case to foment racism.

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