Jeffrey Toobin Got His Big Break on O.J. He Says Trump’s Trial Will Be a Whole New Kind of Spectacle.

When Donald Trump’s hush money trial starts Monday in New York, the nation will not be tuning in live. Per New York law, video cameras won’t be allowed in the courtroom. Instead, the public will have to rely on the coverage of people like Jeffrey Toobin, the veteran court reporter and ubiquitous cable news legal analyst who — along with a small cadre of court reporters and professional legal analysts — will be shuttling back and forth between the courthouse and cable studios to bring firsthand accounts of the trial to the country.

Toobin knows the intricacies of this courtroom-to-cable dance better than most. After getting his big break covering the O.J. Simpson trial in 1995, Toobin has reported on some of the splashiest and most high-profile trials and investigations of the past three decades — including Bill Clinton’s impeachment, Martha Stewart’s insider trading trial and Robert Mueller’s Trump investigation — for the New Yorker, where he served as a staff writer until 2020, and as CNN’s legal analyst, a role he held until 2022 though he still appears regularly on the network.

Recently, I spoke to Toobin on a video call about the intricacies of covering blockbuster trials, how Trump’s trial might measure up to O.J.’s and whether court reporters should tailor their coverage to the unprecedented circumstances of Trump’s trial. “Trump presents a unique challenge,” Toobin told me. “It’s one thing to be a famous football star. It’s another thing to be president of the United States.”