Trump Outside Court: Trial Was Rigged, Judge Unfair

Donald Trump has read his tea leaves and believes he will be convicted. Not because he is guilty, of course, but because the judge is corrupt. Outside the courthouse, after the jury began deliberating, he said:

"Mother Teresa could not beat these charges," Trump said, "These charges are rigged. The whole thing is rigged."

I've been waiting for the jury instructions to be released before commenting on the strength of the case. (They are now available here) Although, as it turns out, the jury will not have a copy of the instructions in the deliberation room. That strikes me as very odd in such a complex case. [More...]

No one I know could remember 55 pages of instructions read to them once over the course of an hour. I think that leaves the jury free to decide the case however they want. Only if they are faced with a fellow juror who wants to be a holdout, will they ask for a reading back to try and convince that juror to get on board. With the instructions not in front of them to refer to at will, I think they will be forgotten. They'll rely on their "common sense". That could give Donald Trump an edge if people vote by their gut feeling because they don't remember the definitons.

Next issue: I think Donald Trump has bet the farm on this trial, insisting he will only accept total exoneration, and I think he will lose. It comes down to his arrogance and belief in his superiority and in this case, I think it will bring him down. I'm talking about his refusal to ask for lesser offense instructions.

I doubt many readers here watch the TV show Survivor. But every week one contestant gets voted off the island. The only thing that can save them if they are voted off is if they happen to have found an "immunity idol" which is hidden somewhere on the island. Right after the votes are cast in secret, Host Jeff asks whether any one has a hidden immunity idol and they want to play it. If a player says I do and wants to play the idol, any votes against that person don't count. S/he's safe. But sometimes a player will have an idol, but because they don't think anyone's voting to send them home, they figure they will hold it till the next week when they may need it more. And then, they get blindsided.

This season, a whopping four contestants got sent home when they had idols in their pocket but didn't play them because they thought they weren't the target of the other contestants. The looks on their faces as the host reveals the votes, one by one, are halfway between astonishment and embarrassment, as they realize they have this now-useless idol burning a hole in their pocket, and they just lost their chance to win a million dollars because they didn't use the idol.

Donald Trump had an idol in his pocket and didn't use it. He went for broke instead. What was his idol? The misdemanor charge. Donald Trump and his lawyers had to review his option to ask for for a lesser included charge. One that says, "If you find Trump not guilty of first degree falsifying business records (a felony), you may then consider whether he committed second degree (misdemeanor) falsifying business records". A crime is a "lio" of a larger crime if every element in the lesser crime is in the greater crime.

I'm sure Trump and his lawyers discussed it at length. I think that Trump, out of arrogance and pride, told his lawyers not to ask the Judge to include an LIO instruction because he can't allow himself to admit guilt to anything. It's just not in his DNA. So he opted for all or nothing. This was just fine with the prosecutors, who are highly confident they will win. If the jury comes back with even a single guilty verdict on one of the 34 counts, Trump will have a felony conviction. While he is unlikely to receive a prison or jail sentence if he is convicted on either crime (at least according to this 2023 study of sentences handed down for this particular offense), being a felon does carry some serious restrictions.

One last thing for now, on the unanimity requirement:

Although you must conclude unanimously that the defendant conspired to promote or prevent the election of any person to a public office by unlawful means, you need not be unanimous as to what those unlawful means were.

In determining whether the defendant conspired to promote or prevent the election of any person to a public office by unlawful means, you may consider the following: (1) violations of the Federal Election Campaign Act otherwise known as FECA; (2) the falsification of other business records; or (3) violation of tax laws.

Personally, I think the jury should have to be unanimous on the unlawful means. But that's getting too far into the weeds for now. I just want to see a guilty verdict. Asking for jail is unrealistic, given the statistics above.

I wonder who the jury selection experts were for each side. Why leave a retired lawyer in wealth management, a corporate lawyer and a financial analyst for an asset managment firm on the jury? Trump has big support among Republican elites in big financial circles. He promises to keep their taxes down.

I feel disappointed because without a copy of the jury instructions in the jury room, these jurors are not going to be applying the facts to the law as read to them by the Judge. Which is going to cause people to question the integrity of any guilty verdict that the jury returns. What a shame when so much hard work went into it.

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  • Display: Sort:
    Some are saying they expect a verdict today (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed May 29, 2024 at 02:05:51 PM EST
    I don't think so.  Maybe.

    From reports this jury had taken this all very seriously.  I kind of expect them to take a while.

    Just going thru 34 counts could take a while.
    Before the weekend.

    Lots of handwriting about juror #2.  meh.

    I still expect a guilty verdict.  Maybe not 34.  But not 0.

    Sorry (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed May 29, 2024 at 02:33:22 PM EST

    Jury (none / 0) (#34)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu May 30, 2024 at 03:26:58 PM EST
    Is done at 4:30 today

    THERE IS A VERDICT (none / 0) (#35)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu May 30, 2024 at 03:39:39 PM EST
    Actually (none / 0) (#36)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu May 30, 2024 at 03:43:12 PM EST
    There is 34 verdicts

    It will apparently take until around 5 pm (none / 0) (#37)
    by Peter G on Thu May 30, 2024 at 03:49:17 PM EST
    to get to an open-court announcement of the verdict(s).

    Are you sitting down? (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu May 30, 2024 at 03:51:21 PM EST
    I'm lying down.

    Bless the jury's hearts (5.00 / 2) (#39)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu May 30, 2024 at 03:58:13 PM EST
    Just in time for cocktails

    GUILTY (5.00 / 5) (#43)
    by Peter G on Thu May 30, 2024 at 04:10:34 PM EST
    on 34 counts.  For the record, I am not available to handle the appeal ....

    Our legal system has worked (5.00 / 2) (#45)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu May 30, 2024 at 04:13:01 PM EST

    Peter, that's a shame (5.00 / 2) (#76)
    by Jeralyn on Fri May 31, 2024 at 01:16:20 AM EST
    You would undoubtedly win. Not because of the strength of the case, but because you are you.

    That's very sweet of you, J (5.00 / 1) (#79)
    by Peter G on Fri May 31, 2024 at 08:17:14 AM EST
    But happily I am not licensed to practice in New York State, and am not an expert in New York criminal law.

    I can't wait to hear (none / 0) (#46)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu May 30, 2024 at 04:14:00 PM EST
    from Trump

    I missed the one he chose: (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by Peter G on Thu May 30, 2024 at 04:32:22 PM EST
    "disgrace."  And of course, he also personally attacked the judge who holds the defendant's freedom in his hands. So wise.

    The result really isn't a surprise (none / 0) (#53)
    by ladybug on Thu May 30, 2024 at 04:44:11 PM EST
    and it will be interesting to see what happens on appeal. I'm also interested in hearing what evidence the jury says convinced them (of which of the sub-crimes) if they choose to speak.

    I would say (5.00 / 2) (#57)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu May 30, 2024 at 04:50:34 PM EST
    That makes you the only person in America not surprised

    Your comment does surprise me. (1.00 / 1) (#63)
    by ladybug on Thu May 30, 2024 at 05:02:02 PM EST
    I was under the impression that most Trump critics were convinced of his guilt and the strength of the evidence. That is why I was trying to get some clarity about some of the facts from this site. I agreed with Jeralyn that I personally thought the sub-crimes should have been clear and unanimous. The evidence and even the crimes were not crystal clear to me. So the appeal decision(s) will be interesting.

    I agree in principle that the law should (5.00 / 1) (#73)
    by Peter G on Thu May 30, 2024 at 10:11:49 PM EST
    require the jury to be unanimous as to the criminal objective of a multi-pronged conspiracy. But precedent does not support me or you on that. So Tr*mp's chances on appeal, assuming this is his best issue (which it may be) don't seem very good to me. I think Judge Merchan ran a pretty impeccable trial, from what I have been reading.

    You already have: "corrupt" (none / 0) (#49)
    by Peter G on Thu May 30, 2024 at 04:29:18 PM EST
    "rigged," "biased," "conflicted," "Far Left New York jury," "engineered by Joe Biden," "Soros-backed," blah blah blah. In any other case, the defendant would say nothing, and defense counsel would say, "We respect the jury's effort, but we respectfully disagree with their decision. We will be pursuing our rights on appeal, and will have no further comment."

    He seemed (none / 0) (#52)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu May 30, 2024 at 04:41:25 PM EST
    a little stunned

    And, (none / 0) (#60)
    by KeysDan on Thu May 30, 2024 at 04:58:02 PM EST
    disgraceful   (said about ten times in 2 minutes).

    I agree (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed May 29, 2024 at 06:26:43 PM EST
    with you Jeralyn. When the judge gave the defense the option of getting a conviction on a misdemeanor and the defense said no I thought Trump is running the show. If it wasn't Trump anybody else would have probably pleaded out this case with misdemeanors.

    I also understand that if Trump is convicted he will fall under NY's first time offender law and that likely will be probation. Can you imagine the GOP running a candidate who is a convicted felon out on probation?

    the judge could also just (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by Jeralyn on Wed May 29, 2024 at 11:00:54 PM EST
    impose a fine and no probation or jail.
    At least the process has unnerved him -- he's never had to appear in the same place every day before at a set time with breaks controlled by someone other than him. He's also surrounded by lawyers who he really has no respect for. On top of that, he has to be polite or the media will catch him and air it. He's got the jury who is watching him. He can't just text, make phone calls and eat bon bons, drink diet coke and watch Fox News. On top of that, on some days he looks as old as Biden (and less fit). Take a look at this photo of him coming back into court after a break earlier this week.
    And yet, the next morning he looked all perky. I wonder if he hooks up to an I-V machine with B-12 at night.

    Anyone remember or have a good source (none / 0) (#56)
    by Peter G on Thu May 30, 2024 at 04:49:05 PM EST
    for what the maximum fine per count is for the offense(s) of conviction?

    I believe (none / 0) (#62)
    by coast on Thu May 30, 2024 at 05:01:48 PM EST
    its $5k per count or $170k total.

    One of my friends who is a NY criminal lawyer (5.00 / 1) (#101)
    by Peter G on Fri May 31, 2024 at 04:31:21 PM EST
    says the max fine is $5000 per count, as you say, which can be imposed cumulatively as long as each count involves a separate illegal act, totaling, as you say, $170,000.  In this case, that total is significantly less than the amount that the defendant was willing to pay to accomplish his unlawful purpose, and so seems to be inadequate (even disregarding his resources and ability to pay). My friend says that NY law allows an alternative maximum fine equal to twice the unlawful monetary gain obtained from the offense. Here, the motive was largely non-financial, and the offenses generate a cost not a profit, although any tax savings from the false tax filings would have been a qualifying "gain." So, if Tr*mp deducted the payments to Cohen based on their false characterization as legal fees, that might generate some "gain." But again, it would not seem to be a significant amount, in context.

    Yes, it is a red herring. (5.00 / 3) (#29)
    by KeysDan on Thu May 30, 2024 at 01:37:50 PM EST
    To find Trump guilty of felony falsification of business documents (as charged), the jury must find Trump falsified the documents in order to commit or conceal a crime.  But, the jurors do not all have to agree on what that requisite crime was.  

    The predicate crimes to which the jurors may look, are a tax crime and violations of state or federal election laws.

    So, if some jurors believe Trump falsified business documents solely to cover up a tax crime while other jurors believe that he falsified business documents to cover up an election crime, the jury can convict Trump on the felony charge of falsifying business documents, despite disagreeing on the predicate crime.

    And, yes, NDAs are legal, but so are contracts legal. But, we need to look further: if the contract is for a hit on your mother-in-law, the contract takes on a different intention and legality.

    It works (none / 0) (#33)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu May 30, 2024 at 03:26:05 PM EST
    to mobilize the useful idiots.

    BREAKING: The jury has reached a verdict. (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu May 30, 2024 at 03:59:55 PM EST
    It's 5:00 p.m. EDT. The jury is finishing up their paperwork. One way or another, we'll finally have an answer.

    Counts 1-34: GUILTY. (5.00 / 2) (#44)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu May 30, 2024 at 04:10:58 PM EST

    If it were anyone else, the judge would (none / 0) (#48)
    by Peter G on Thu May 30, 2024 at 04:19:17 PM EST
    now be discussing a modification (at least) of the defendant's bail conditions. At minimum, seize his passport and bar travel outside NY and FL without express, trip by trip permission of the court. I predict no change, however.
       Sentencing July 11, I now see.

    They should seize his passport, minimum. (5.00 / 2) (#51)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu May 30, 2024 at 04:32:23 PM EST
    For heaven's sake, Trump has his own private B-757! He clearly has the means to flee the country. And now, he also has an incentive to do so, as well.

    If any other defendant, upon conviction, (5.00 / 2) (#74)
    by Peter G on Thu May 30, 2024 at 10:21:42 PM EST
    posted to social media that he would "Never Surrender," he'd be back in front of the judge for bail revocation hearing the next day (probably after being arrested on a bench warrant).

    Do you think so? (none / 0) (#70)
    by ladybug on Thu May 30, 2024 at 05:32:53 PM EST
    Or might his conviction make him more popular among some people, just as the indictments seemed to do? Time will tell.

    No (none / 0) (#78)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri May 31, 2024 at 06:48:38 AM EST
    the only time his criming works is on maga. It helped him in the GOP primary but if you believe polling 17% of those polled say that they will no longer consider voting for him if he is a convicted felon

    Yes. and (none / 0) (#84)
    by KeysDan on Fri May 31, 2024 at 10:38:47 AM EST
    that polling was before the verdict.  Even if a small fraction of the polling data move to Biden or just stay home, it will be consequential.  Of course, some of those Republicans may move the goal post , claiming they really meant if convicted and after all appeals have been exhausted.  

    While the electoral effect is unknown at this point, felony convictions ,generally, do not look good on  resumes.  Even more so  when seeking positions requiring security clearance. In Trump's case, we have seen that no one bomb shell revelation sinks him, but, I believe there is a cummulative  effect in progress.

      The Trump University fraud case, settled (which  he said he never does) for $20 million, the  NY civil case regarding the long-term  scheme to dupe  banks and others resulting in a  $355 million judgment, the  E, Jean Carroll defamation civil cases related to sexual assault by Trump in a department store fitting room, resulting in first, a $5 million judgment and  the second, $83 million,  a $2 million  settlement  with NY for misuse of charitable donations /Trump Foundation, and the pending criminal trials in DC, Fl., and GA---involving indictments /plots attempting to over throw the  US government and violations of records keeping and espionage acts.

     The electorate may begin to see that this man is not fit for the office of president,  Heck, The NY Times has already found this to be the case per today's editorial.  So there is hope.


    Guilty (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by FlJoe on Thu May 30, 2024 at 04:08:42 PM EST
    Guilty, Guilty!

    oh (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by FlJoe on Thu May 30, 2024 at 04:10:13 PM EST
    happy day

    Cocktail (5.00 / 4) (#47)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu May 30, 2024 at 04:14:23 PM EST

    It (none / 0) (#54)
    by FlJoe on Thu May 30, 2024 at 04:45:35 PM EST
    seems like we have been waiting our whole lives for those words to be spoken to a top dog Republican.

    Sing (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu May 30, 2024 at 04:47:33 PM EST
    After (none / 0) (#58)
    by FlJoe on Thu May 30, 2024 at 04:53:46 PM EST
    60 years plus of Republican skullduggery, treason and war-criming, it all comes down to a tawdry tabloid tale to nail em, ain't that America for you.

    There is (none / 0) (#59)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu May 30, 2024 at 04:55:04 PM EST
    still 3 (three) more trials.  So far.

    Adding (none / 0) (#66)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu May 30, 2024 at 05:11:46 PM EST
    I think this makes it much easier to imagine him being convicted in those other three trials now.

    Stormy for President. (none / 0) (#75)
    by desertswine on Fri May 31, 2024 at 12:20:12 AM EST
    The Republican Party (5.00 / 2) (#61)
    by KeysDan on Thu May 30, 2024 at 05:00:51 PM EST
    candidate for President of the United States
               is a convicted felon.

    And, apparently, (5.00 / 1) (#64)
    by KeysDan on Thu May 30, 2024 at 05:02:52 PM EST
    Mrs. (fond of flags)Alito is high on Trump's list of vice presidential running mates.  Perfect Ticket.

    You say that like "convicted felon" is (5.00 / 1) (#71)
    by Peter G on Thu May 30, 2024 at 10:02:01 PM EST
    necessarily a bad thing. The last time a convicted felon ran for president, Eugene V. Debs in 1920, he got almost one million votes (3.5 per cent) while incarcerated at Atlanta Federal Penitentiary serving a ten-year term for sedition (giving speeches against World War I). And was a hero to the labor movement and other progressives. The sentence was commuted after two and a half years by the conservative Republican that beat him (Harding).

    Orange is the new black! (5.00 / 1) (#65)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu May 30, 2024 at 05:03:56 PM EST
    Today is the day Donald Trump became precedent

    They are coming fast and hard

    As a convicted (none / 0) (#67)
    by KeysDan on Thu May 30, 2024 at 05:14:52 PM EST
    Felon,  he will not be able to vote.   One less vote for Trump assured.

    Not correct. Whether a convicted felon (5.00 / 1) (#72)
    by Peter G on Thu May 30, 2024 at 10:07:26 PM EST
    can vote is up to the law of the state. In Florida (thanks to a referendum led by the ACLU about four years ago) felon disenfranchisement is no longer for life, but only until the sentence is served. If Tr*mp is not sent to prison (which I don't expect him to be), this will depend on the kind of sentence he receives. In fact, I believe I read that under the Florida law if you are convicted out of state your voting rights depend on the rules set down by that other state, and under NY law a convicted felon is disenfranchised only during a period of incarceration. (Historically, felon disenfranchisement is an artifact of the Black Codes and Jim Crow; nothing we should support or gloat about.)

    Yes, (5.00 / 3) (#93)
    by KeysDan on Fri May 31, 2024 at 01:27:43 PM EST
    thank you. If not in jail at the time, Trump will be able to vote in Florida (a resident since 2019), based on NY law.

    Florida Amendment 4, the voting rights restoration for Felons, was approved by the voters (a 60 percent supermajority required. It received 64.55 percent).

      However, DeSantis called for implementing legislation for the amendment before it could take place. Proponents of the measure claimed that the amendment's language is self-executing and did not require implementation legislature.

    A subsequent bill passed by the Florida senate required convicted felons to complete all terms of sentence, including full payment of restitution, or any fines, fee, or costs resulting from the conviction before they could regain the right to vote. The law was challenged as unconstitutional, but the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the Florida implementation law.

    The intent of the amendment, as approved by the voters was made more complicated, in my view, than it should have been, thereby thwarting the voters.


    About that (none / 0) (#68)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu May 30, 2024 at 05:18:43 PM EST
    I was hearing about this earlier.  He can in NY.  In FL it's less clear but DeSantmonius can allow him to vote.

    Which he probably will.  Unlike other FL felons.  Another thing that should go over well with voters.


    Bumper sticker? (5.00 / 2) (#69)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu May 30, 2024 at 05:25:51 PM EST
    34 FOR 45

    They have said how the president responds (5.00 / 2) (#80)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri May 31, 2024 at 09:16:00 AM EST
    to this will depend on how Trump responds.  They have been very careful.

    But if Trump and the idiot MAGA peanut gallery starts attacking the justice system and the country (they are doing both) it  makes it so easy for Biden to go after them guns blazing.

    It literally becomes his duty to defend both.  

    It's going to be a fascinating thing to watch.

    I was watching T's "news" conference.... (5.00 / 1) (#83)
    by desertswine on Fri May 31, 2024 at 10:30:51 AM EST
    It was just a bunch of crapola.  Whining mostly.

    I watched for a while (5.00 / 1) (#86)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri May 31, 2024 at 11:27:56 AM EST
    But had to mute it.  It was interesting to just watch his body language while he stumbled through all his Fat Elvis greatest hits.

    He seems defeated and deflated.  That was THE most incoherent babble fest yet.  And that's saying a lot.

    I think we should want him to do that every day.  

    The President needs to address the nation about the attacks on the justice system and the country.  I think he is speaking later today.  Should be interesting


    He sounded (none / 0) (#85)
    by KeysDan on Fri May 31, 2024 at 10:54:13 AM EST
    desperate.  He may have to take Nikki Haley as running mate, despite his surprisingly accurate assessment of her as a birdbrain. Nikki has already put herself in the running humiliating herself, as  all good Republicans do, stating she would be voting for him after all.

    Well he definitely has his choice or a literal (5.00 / 1) (#88)
    by desertswine on Fri May 31, 2024 at 11:36:17 AM EST
    Rogue's Gallery of a**kissers, morons, opportunists and incompetents.

    The New Yorker's cover. (5.00 / 2) (#92)
    by vml68 on Fri May 31, 2024 at 12:39:32 PM EST
    A Man of Conviction. Ha!

    Time magazine's cover...LINK

    Excellent post by Lyle Denniston (5.00 / 2) (#120)
    by jmacWA on Sat Jun 01, 2024 at 08:29:54 AM EST
    Read it here.

    I have been waiting to see if Denniston had anything to say about the trial, since I find him to be a very level-headed commentator.  Thanks to Peter G.  I check Denniston's site often.

    Wah! Wah! Wah! The justice systems sucks. (5.00 / 4) (#127)
    by Chuck0 on Sat Jun 01, 2024 at 11:32:23 AM EST
    Well, the Magats are all up in arms over the verdict. Who knew? You just know, if he'd been acquitted they'd be falling all over themselves to declare how the justice systems worked. And how smart the jurors were, etc. etc. etc.

    This is just more proof that this cult doesn't really believe in anything. The don't represent anyone. They exist to exert meanness and accumulate unbridled power.

    Howdy, you've said numerous times that Orange moron won't win this November. I certainly hope you are correct. Gawd how I hope you're right. This guy has to go.

    I think it's downhill from here (5.00 / 2) (#128)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Jun 01, 2024 at 12:47:53 PM EST
    This will give Cheeto a boost short term.  They raised about 50 mil since the verdict.

    Let the MAGATs empty their savings accounts.  It won't save him.  One thing Biden will more than enough of is money.  That much we know.

    Every prediction I've seen is the effect will go from no effect to the bottom dropping out for Trump.  No one with two brain cells to rub together thinks 34 felony convictions will "help" anyone win the presidency.

    Plus we have a troll!

    It's been a while. Almost like the old days :)


    I am going (5.00 / 2) (#130)
    by KeysDan on Sat Jun 01, 2024 at 01:51:27 PM EST
    to wait on that big.number for fund raising until it is officially recorded. An abundance of skepticism is prudent on anything coming from the RNC  and anything Trump.
    And, yes on just asking questions trolling.  

    Yes, distrust and verify (none / 0) (#131)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Jun 01, 2024 at 02:27:09 PM EST
    but I expected this to boost his small donations.

    Yes, (5.00 / 1) (#132)
    by KeysDan on Sat Jun 01, 2024 at 02:30:46 PM EST
    More coming as soon as those Socialist Social Security checks come in.

    I have seen (none / 0) (#133)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Jun 01, 2024 at 02:53:02 PM EST
    some interesting takes on this but it seems to me the Trumpers think it's 1998 and Trump is Bubba but always seem to forget that the Jones case was thrown out of court like in 1998 they thought Bubba was Richard Nixon and it was going to be 1974.

    One interesting thing I saw is that if this is the "weakest" case and he was convicted on all 34 counts what does that say about the rest of the cases?


    And (5.00 / 1) (#134)
    by KeysDan on Sat Jun 01, 2024 at 03:10:55 PM EST
    that is why the Republicans  (The Supreme Court, GA legislators, and Aileen Cannon)can't let the DC/J6 and GA/Rico  cases go to trial.   Also,  especially. The FL/ documents/espionage case , which appears to be a slam dunk case.

    I don't think they will ultimately (5.00 / 1) (#136)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Jun 01, 2024 at 04:09:55 PM EST
    be able to stop any of them.  Delay they can do.  

    I still (none / 0) (#137)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Jun 01, 2024 at 05:19:05 PM EST
    think the J6 trial may happen before the election as the DOJ stated the indictments were prior and there is no policy against having a criminal trial during an election. At this point he's already a convicted felon.

    As I understand (5.00 / 1) (#138)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Jun 01, 2024 at 05:33:40 PM EST
    they are likely to either send it back to Judge Chutkan or decide he has no immunity with a foot dragging dissenting opinion from the MAGATs.

    In June.  Right?

    If they send it back judge Chutkan she will immediately begin evidentiary hearings that will be about all the things Trump wants to avoid talking about

    So, good.  Let's do that.


    It's already June. Roberts approved a (5.00 / 4) (#140)
    by Peter G on Sat Jun 01, 2024 at 08:58:36 PM EST
    longer-than-necessary briefing schedule for the immunity appeal, then a later-than-necessary date for the oral argument. Now, it has been an unnecessary five weeks since the argument with no opinion yet issued. Even if Coney Barrett is negotiating a unanimous opinion (which seems possible). They could even have issued an order a few days after argument, marked "opinion(s) to follow," as the Court has done in other urgent cases. There is no question at this point that the Supreme Court is slow-walking it.

    The Supreme Court's (5.00 / 1) (#142)
    by KeysDan on Sun Jun 02, 2024 at 09:04:24 AM EST
    slow-walking, I fear, may be the least of their help to the Convicted Felon.  The masterful ruling  on  presidential immunity  by the DC Circuit Court panel should have been allowed to stand,  but no,  they  decided to.rule "for the ages"., as Gorsuch put it.

    Alito worried that a president would not leave office because of fear of retaliation by political opponents, as if that has been a real problem over the past 250 years.  Coney Barrett  had the brainstorm that it would be a good idea to rule on the case before it,  and given the  likely options , this may do the least damage.

    Not a "balls and strikes" Court .  Six thumbs seem to be on the scale.


    Doesn't the court (none / 0) (#143)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Jun 02, 2024 at 11:01:30 AM EST
    release all opinions by June?  In June.   Whatever?

    This is what I meant (5.00 / 1) (#144)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Jun 02, 2024 at 11:04:52 AM EST

    Question: What's the last day the court will issue opinions?

    Answer: We don't know what the last day of the term will be. The justices normally try to issue all of their decisions by the end of June, but in 2019 and 2020, the term's final opinions came in early July.

    It is (none / 0) (#135)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Jun 01, 2024 at 03:44:09 PM EST
    pretty obvious here in GA that the appeals court should have never taken on the case but every Republican has decided that they want to die on the Trump hill. So let them light themselves on fire

    Downhill (none / 0) (#139)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Jun 01, 2024 at 05:42:20 PM EST
    as in a runaway 18 wheeler with no crash lanes

    1 in 10 is more than enough (5.00 / 1) (#129)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Jun 01, 2024 at 12:50:51 PM EST

    One in Ten Republicans Less Likely to Vote for Trump
    June 1, 2024 at 1:25 pm EDT By Taegan Goddard 41 Comments

    A new Reuters/Ipsos poll finds 10% of Republican registered voters say they are less likely to vote for Donald Trump following his felony conviction for falsifying business records to cover up a hush money payment to a porn star.

    Also important: "Among independent registered voters, 25% said Trump's conviction made them less likely to support him in November, compared to 18% who said they were more likely and 56% who said the conviction would have no impact on their decision."

    Playbook: "The numbers stand as counterpoint to the GOP bravado, led by the Trump campaign, about how Trump's 34 felony convictions and potential jail sentence will have no effect on the election."

    Something to watch (5.00 / 1) (#146)
    by Ga6thDem on Sun Jun 02, 2024 at 11:55:37 AM EST
    for here

    I have not seen it reported that Trump actually released all the sexual harrassment lawsuits that were filed against the 2016 campaign

    Reading that, I see why... (none / 0) (#176)
    by Jack E Lope on Tue Jun 04, 2024 at 08:29:00 PM EST
    ...Drumpf thinks the courts are used mainly for personal vendettas.

    The Way Democrats Should Argue (5.00 / 1) (#152)
    by RickyJim on Sun Jun 02, 2024 at 05:44:45 PM EST
    Instead of just calling Trump a convicted felon, they should keep pointing out that he could have written a personal check to Stormy Daniels in 2016 in return for an NDA. It would have been almost impossible to prove that was a form of election interference.  He did tell Cohen that he didn't want the money to be traceable back to him.  Why?  That probably wouldn't happen until years later, if at all.  Instead, he chose a cockamamie scheme involving violations of campaign finance laws and doctoring business records so that the money would come from the Trump Organization and thus be subject to a tax deduction.  

    Emphasizing what a stupid business decision he made is a way to hurt him with his base.

    No (5.00 / 2) (#157)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Jun 03, 2024 at 05:42:35 AM EST
    that is too much explanation. Just call him a convicted felon because the other makes people's eyes glaze over.

    I don't agree. There are apparently some (5.00 / 1) (#158)
    by Peter G on Mon Jun 03, 2024 at 09:14:38 AM EST
    19 million Americans with felony records (out of about 79 million with criminal records), most of whom should be welcomed back into society and not demonized. What disqualifies Tr*mp, in this respect, is not the felony conviction, per se, but rather his life-long history of engaging in fraud of all sorts, culminating in the recent felony convictions, all of which he falsely and shamelessly denies because he is a compulsive liar and malignant narcissist, if not actually a sociopath.

    I understand (5.00 / 2) (#163)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Jun 03, 2024 at 10:37:10 AM EST
    what you are saying and agree BUT we're dealing with people who don't pay attention and a party that is running on "law and order" but apparently "law and order" is only for other people not the chosen like Trump

    Simon Rosenberg (5.00 / 2) (#164)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Jun 03, 2024 at 10:40:36 AM EST
    says use "serial criminal". Do you think that is better?

    Colorado is allowing (5.00 / 2) (#182)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Jun 05, 2024 at 02:44:44 AM EST
    inmates to vote at the jails this November.

    I agree (none / 0) (#154)
    by ladybug on Sun Jun 02, 2024 at 06:24:09 PM EST
    and I think that it would be better not to overdo the convicted felon line but rather promote the positive benefits of electing Biden, but alas elections do seem to be won by the negative attacks.

    I think what you say about the stupidity of the NDA is partly why I think T was not consciously trying to commit fraud. I don't think he consciously masterminded this complex, convoluted, brilliant scheme that the DA has put together in the charges. NDA yes, secrecy yes, fraud no. JMO.



    Yes (5.00 / 2) (#156)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Jun 03, 2024 at 05:41:00 AM EST
    he cooked up the entire scheme in 2015 according to David Pecker who is a friend of Trump's and still considers Trump a friend. Do you not realize that everybody that testified against Trump with probably the exception of Stormy was a current or former Trump employee. He did the same thing to his GOP primary rivals. What got him in this hot water is because Pecker refused to pay off Stormy after Trump wouldn't pay him back for buying the story of Karen McDougal and the doorman. You obviously did not pay close attention to the trial nor read the transcripts and are going on "vibes" not facts with your comments

    I don't understand why (1.00 / 1) (#159)
    by ladybug on Mon Jun 03, 2024 at 09:51:02 AM EST
    you keep saying I am uninformed just because we have different views. I have read quite a bit about this case, especially recently, and given you some of my sources. I was thinking I might get the specific evidence that I missed here. I don't see the mens rea proof of T's crime. Since you know the transcripts so well you might point me to the "smoking gun" of Trump's knowledge he was committing a crime. Cohen and Pecker thought they were committing crimes in 2018, but I thought that was not supposed to be used as evidence.

    There are other issues as well. We'll see how the appeals turn out.


    It's not (5.00 / 4) (#160)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Jun 03, 2024 at 10:27:17 AM EST
    different "views" when you are not dealing with the facts of the case. You are viewing this through the lens of a Trump apologist and continually doing just asking questions trolling.

    OK. (1.00 / 1) (#162)
    by ladybug on Mon Jun 03, 2024 at 10:36:19 AM EST
    "Just asking questions" is another one. In the university we encourage asking questions as a way to get information but it has been turned into another partisan slogan. I am well aware I am a guest on this site and am trying not to "troll." But I am willing to continue discussing this if you wish. Or we can just wait to see what happens on appeal.

    Even (5.00 / 3) (#161)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Jun 03, 2024 at 10:34:18 AM EST
    if Trump didn't know he was convicting a crime it doesn't make him less guilty. Trump knew they were cooking the books because testimony from his comptroller said any check over 10K had to be personally approved by Trump. It makes no sense that Pecker and Cohen cooked all this up by themselves. The only person that had anything to gain was Trump. Pecker doing a catch and kill on McDougal did nothing to help the Enquirer. He did it as a favor for Trump and you probably are not aware that the National Enquirer took a deal where Pecker took a plea for campaign finance fraud. So according to you Pecker and Coehn being charged is fine and even Cohen going to jail is fine but not Trump the beneficiary of the scheme. Anyway you are being deliberately obtuse it seems to me

    I accede. (1.00 / 1) (#165)
    by ladybug on Mon Jun 03, 2024 at 10:45:35 AM EST
    I am aware that we as human beings process everything through our own biases.  I have enjoyed this interaction with you and appreciate your sincerity and willingness to debate. But I don't know if we should continue this as it may just boil down to differences in opinion and I don't want to overstay my welcome.

    I do think Trumps mes rea is central to the crime. Perhaps others can weigh in?


    Mens rea is the state of mind (including intent) (5.00 / 3) (#167)
    by Peter G on Mon Jun 03, 2024 at 12:52:40 PM EST
    required to establish a particular crime. Depending on the statute it can range from gross negligence, to recklessness, to knowledge of the nature of one's acts, to intent to commit an act of a certain kind, to knowledge of the illegality of one's voluntary actions, to the specific intent to achieve a particular result, to actual malicious desire to harm. Some (very few) criminal statutes even impose "strict liability" (i.e., no mens rea at all). Each criminal statute has its own mens rea element, as interpreted by the courts of that jurisdiction based on the wording, the history of Anglo-American criminal law, and other factors. Whatever the mens rea, it must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. But that does not require a "smoking gun."  Probably 99% of the time, the jury infers the mens rea (or has a lingering doubt) from the totality of the evidence, employing common sense and their collective human experience in interpreting the actions of others, as we all do every day. (This is one of the key justifications for the jury system, and for employing ordinary citizens as jurors.) The concept that criminal intent can be established by circumstantial evidence and the application of the jurors' ordinary experience is always covered in the jury instructions, by the way. Including the notion that in general it is fair to infer that people "ordinarily intend the natural and probable consequences of their voluntary acts."

    Thank you (none / 0) (#168)
    by ladybug on Mon Jun 03, 2024 at 12:59:27 PM EST
    for answering my sincere question.

    I just want to add (none / 0) (#177)
    by ladybug on Tue Jun 04, 2024 at 09:11:46 PM EST
    that this does explains a lot for me, and it underscores why an unbiased jury (and prosecution) is so important.

    All we can do now is wait for the appeals process (and perhaps history) to determine which side of the controversy is the correct one.


    ladybug I think (5.00 / 4) (#181)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Jun 05, 2024 at 02:43:42 AM EST
    you have exhausted this topic with your questions. Some of them are good questions, others get too repetitive. Please don't blog-hog the thread. (Thanks for visiting though)

    Thank you (5.00 / 1) (#186)
    by ladybug on Wed Jun 05, 2024 at 10:04:33 AM EST
    for providing this forum and to Peter for being so patient. It has been thought-provoking for me.

    mens rea (none / 0) (#166)
    by ladybug on Mon Jun 03, 2024 at 10:55:50 AM EST

    Dominus vobiscum (none / 0) (#172)
    by jondee on Tue Jun 04, 2024 at 02:04:24 PM EST
    Et cum spiritu tuo.

    What is the Latin (1.00 / 1) (#175)
    by ladybug on Tue Jun 04, 2024 at 08:14:06 PM EST
    for "God save us all?"

    google translate is your friend (5.00 / 1) (#179)
    by leap2 on Tue Jun 04, 2024 at 09:14:35 PM EST

    I'll give it a shot (none / 0) (#178)
    by Peter G on Tue Jun 04, 2024 at 09:14:06 PM EST
    Only 60 years since Mrs. Frost's 8th grade Latin class ... How about "Deus salvenos omnes"?

    Deus nos salvet omnes (none / 0) (#180)
    by leap2 on Tue Jun 04, 2024 at 09:16:06 PM EST

    Yeah, I know (none / 0) (#173)
    by Peter G on Tue Jun 04, 2024 at 04:12:14 PM EST
    what you mean.

    The people who are up (5.00 / 3) (#174)
    by Chuck0 on Tue Jun 04, 2024 at 07:46:00 PM EST
    in arms over the Orange Moron verdict are the same people who say George Floyd got what he deserved.

    If you fly the flag upside down, you are not a patriot. If you refuse to acknowledge the results of an election, you are not a patriot. If you believe the entire judicial system is corrupt, you are not a patriot. If you support a lying, cheating, misogynist convicted felon for public office, you are not a patriot.

    Chances are, you are better described as traitor.

    I would be very interested in (1.00 / 1) (#16)
    by ladybug on Thu May 30, 2024 at 10:38:46 AM EST
    knowing what Jeralyn, a defense lawyer, thinks of the vague wording in the charge "by unlawful means," which does not need to be a unanimous consensus of what the unlawful means were, with the listing of three crimes that were not charged in the indictment and not presented at trial, including four sub-crimes under the falsification of business records by Cohen. Trump has never been  charged for any of these crimes. I am concerned that the case is so complex that the verdict will come down to the political bias of the jurors.  

    Evidence that Tr*mp committed all (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by Peter G on Thu May 30, 2024 at 11:42:48 AM EST
    of those crimes, as the means by which he participated in the charged (complex) offense of falsifying business records, was most definitely presented at trial. There is no requirement that any of them be prosecuted as independent counts. So the claim that he was not "charged" with them is a red herring, meant to imply some sort of unfairness that is simply not present.

    Threars (none / 0) (#27)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu May 30, 2024 at 12:54:01 PM EST

    False Reports About Jury Instructions Fuel Threats
    May 30, 2024 at 12:58 pm EDT By Taegan Goddard 87 Comments

    "False reports about the jury instructions in former President Donald Trump's hush money trial have been spreading across right-wing media, leading to threats against the judge overseeing the case," NBC News reports.

    "Several conservative news personalities, including some affiliated with Fox News, falsely claimed that Judge Juan Merchan, as one Fox News anchor put it in a viral post on X, `told the jury that they do not need unanimity to convict' Trump."

    "That's not true. Merchan instructed the jury on Wednesday that they `must conclude unanimously that a defendant conspired to promote or prevent the election of any person to a public office by unlawful means,' adding that they `need not be unanimous as to what those unlawful means were.'"

    THREATS (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu May 30, 2024 at 12:55:28 PM EST
    really wish we could correct comments here

    Unanimous (none / 0) (#2)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed May 29, 2024 at 02:09:03 PM EST
    You know Trump is already posting that the judge is allowing him to be convicted "without a unanimous decision"

    He seems pretty convinced he is going to be convicted.

    I agree with him.  A first!

    Jury Instructions (none / 0) (#3)
    by RickyJim on Wed May 29, 2024 at 02:15:30 PM EST
    So (none / 0) (#5)
    by coast on Wed May 29, 2024 at 02:58:43 PM EST
    If I'm understanding (which I obviously don't) the above and the instructions, the jurors don't have to agree on the crime that was committed that elevated the misdemeanor records violations to a felony, they can base their verdict on any of the three?  I don't see how that reconciles with "beyond a reasonable doubt" if they can choose differently as to what crime committed.

    From the Instructions: (none / 0) (#6)
    by RickyJim on Wed May 29, 2024 at 03:19:42 PM EST
    "By Unlawful Means"
    Although you must conclude unanimously that the
    defendant conspired to promote or prevent the election of any
    person to a public office by unlawful means, you need not be
    unanimous as to what those unlawful means were.
    In determining whether the defendant conspired to
    promote or prevent the election of any person to a public office
    by unlawful means, you may consider the following: (1) violations
    of the Federal Election Campaign Act otherwise known as FECA;
    (2) the falsification of other business records; or (3) violation of
    tax laws.

    I think "beyond a reasonable doubt" should have been asserted after the word unanimously above.  My guess is that a juror has a choice of 1,2,or 3 to believe BRD that the defendant engaged in. Does this clear things up?

    Oops, BRD on Which Unlawful Means Not Necessary (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by RickyJim on Wed May 29, 2024 at 09:47:01 PM EST
    Harry Litman, who seems to know what he is talking about, says that the means is not an element of the crime, only a means so it doesn't have to be proven BRD.  See this video starting around 10:50.

    Sorry, Starting at 10:25 (none / 0) (#13)
    by RickyJim on Wed May 29, 2024 at 09:49:31 PM EST
    (3) Violation of Tax Laws (none / 0) (#15)
    by RickyJim on Thu May 30, 2024 at 08:13:29 AM EST
    While the jury instructions discussed the particular unlawful means the prosecution has accused Trump of with respect to (1) and (2), I didn't see the details concerning tax law violations. I have no doubt they were presented during the trial. Can anybody fill me in on them?  TIA

    This is a good question. (none / 0) (#17)
    by ladybug on Thu May 30, 2024 at 10:48:46 AM EST
    Throughout the trial the judge told the jury that they could only consider Cohen's FECA plea in terms of Cohen's credibility, not Trump's guilt. So how can this be in the jury instructions? Confusing.

    Cohen's guilty plea is an admission that (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by Peter G on Thu May 30, 2024 at 11:38:20 AM EST
    he committed a crime, but is not evidence that anyone else did. That did not stop the State from proving by independent evidence that Tr*mp himself committed either election law or tax crimes, or both, by his own actions and participation in those events, or (more to the point) that his criminal conduct in falsifying business records was undertaken for the purpose of violating tax and/or election laws. And from my attempts to follow the trial (admittedly not all day every day), the prosecutors did a good job of proving both.

    There are three choices (none / 0) (#8)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed May 29, 2024 at 03:50:56 PM EST
    They can choose one or all three.  And they don't have to agree which of the three.

    They only have to agree another crime was involved.


    Request for Justification (none / 0) (#7)
    by RickyJim on Wed May 29, 2024 at 03:27:07 PM EST
    The jurors have been give a laptop containing copies of all the exhibits.  Somebody give the reasoning behind not including the transcripts and instructions also.  TIA

    Most defense lawyers consider (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by Peter G on Thu May 30, 2024 at 11:51:00 AM EST
    a written version of the instructions to be a sort of roadmap to conviction. In a jury trial, the verdict, in truth, is not a mechanical application of the law to the facts, but the considered, unanimous judgment of twelve ordinary citizens, after discussion and deliberation, based on the evidence they heard at trial and guided by the instructions, but tempered by common sense and conscience. We may pretend otherwise, but that's the "magic" of the jury system. On appeal, the court then upholds that verdict if it determines that any rational jury, applying the instructions (the law) to the facts as the jury may have found them, could have reached the announced verdict (whether or not the jury actually reached its verdict in that mechanical and rational way).

    I Might Have Half of the Answer (none / 0) (#9)
    by RickyJim on Wed May 29, 2024 at 05:16:43 PM EST
    On CNN a lawyer, Mr. Parlatore?, said that the transcripts have not been checked yet for errors. I wonder how long that takes and who does the checking.

    It is very unlikely that a reliable transcript (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by Peter G on Thu May 30, 2024 at 11:54:35 AM EST
    already exists. Real-time transcripts are often riddled with errors. Once the trial is over, and everyone has had a chance to rest up and catch their breath, both sides' lawyers are offered a chance to offer corrections to the draft transcripts (a right that is rarely exercised, because it is so time-consuming) and then the judge certifies the transcript as official (again, likely to be pro forma, rather than the result of actual word-by-word checking).

    You know (none / 0) (#10)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed May 29, 2024 at 05:31:58 PM EST
    he is a former Trump lawyer and current shill?



    Written Instructions Against the Law (none / 0) (#22)
    by RickyJim on Thu May 30, 2024 at 12:12:13 PM EST
    Giving written instructions to deliberating jurors was forbidden by a 1987 NY Court of Appeals decision.  For me, this is based on the underlying assumption that jurors are as likely as infants to misuse whatever is given them.  But of course, lay juries are still much better than mixed panels of judges and lay assessors, used by the rest of the world. snark!

    Not exactly. Providing the jury with (none / 0) (#24)
    by Peter G on Thu May 30, 2024 at 12:20:31 PM EST
    the instructions in writing is prohibited in New York state courts unless both parties agree to it. Here, the defense understandably did not agree. In federal court, on the other hand, providing the instructions in writing is in the discretion of the judge alone. No idea about other states' systems.

    Might Not be Done Even With Defense's Consent (none / 0) (#25)
    by RickyJim on Thu May 30, 2024 at 12:25:52 PM EST
    From the link I gave:
    Marc F. Scholl, who served in the Manhattan district attorney's office for nearly four decades, specializing in white-collar crimes and appeals, said: "Recently, there has been some slight loosening about whether it can be done with the defense's consent, but it remains a minefield that judges do not want to risk."

    I can only find summaries (none / 0) (#26)
    by ladybug on Thu May 30, 2024 at 12:44:55 PM EST
    case, such as this one:
    In People v. Owens (69 N.Y.2d 585, 587-588), decided June 2, 1987, the Court of Appeals held that, "[w]here defense counsel objects, it is improper for a trial court, after reciting its instructions orally, to distribute only certain portions of that charge in writing to the jury for use in its deliberations."

    If the defense doesn't object, could it provide the whole thing? I would be interested to read the whole decision.


    Thanks so much for your reply. (none / 0) (#23)
    by ladybug on Thu May 30, 2024 at 12:14:52 PM EST
    I understand that the judge and prosecutors are following NY state law, and whether there were any errors may come out on appeal. But as you say, the verdict will rest on the jurors, people like us, deciding on the facts. It may be a legal red herring, but it is concerning to me as a layperson that the "unlawful means" are so vague and numerous but not charged. The NDA was legal but the evidence of T's unlawful involvement rests on Cohen's testimony. Or am I wrong? I am worried that we all view this through a political lens.


    The evidence of Tr*mp's involvement (5.00 / 3) (#30)
    by Peter G on Thu May 30, 2024 at 02:00:10 PM EST
    rests on Cohen's testimony, as corroborated by many documents and numerous witnesses. Not on his testimony alone.

    Yes, (none / 0) (#31)
    by KeysDan on Thu May 30, 2024 at 02:29:55 PM EST
    Cohen's testimony is almost  icing on the cake.  The plot was hatched  by the two principals, Pecker and Trump. Cohen was  present at the beginning as staff.  Corroboration,  besides Cohen's testimony, is thick and deep.

    What is fuzzy to me (none / 0) (#32)
    by ladybug on Thu May 30, 2024 at 02:34:33 PM EST
    is the evidence: isn't the most damaging bit Cohen's call with Trump about MacDougal and Weiselberg's notes that the payment was partly a reimbursement? What other evidence is there that Trump knew about and directed Michael Cohen to lie or engage in any crime? I wish we had the transcript of the closing arguments.

    The defense attorneys (5.00 / 1) (#77)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri May 31, 2024 at 06:47:05 AM EST
    screwed the pooch as I understand it. In their opening and closing statements they said that Trump never even had sex with Stormy but yet Trump filed suit in CA signing a legal document that he paid Stormy 130K. So the defense basically promoted Trump's talking points in court and turned themselves into a laughingstock. These lawyers had a good reputation prior to this as I understand it.

    What convicted Trump were the documents and the testimony of David Pecker and his own comptroller. Cohen just backed up all the evidence. There were phone logs too that were used in court. Robert Costello was nothing short of a disaster. I'm sure that calling him was Trump's idea too. There are plenty of people who actually practice law in NY that you can listen to find facts about the case not conservative media that has lied to you about this case 24/7


    Thank you for yor reply. (1.00 / 1) (#81)
    by ladybug on Fri May 31, 2024 at 10:02:21 AM EST
    Yes, that is why I came to this site, looking for clarity. All the evidence you cite is a lot but seems circumstantial to me, which I understand is enough to convict him. Truthfully, 34 felony counts on an expired misdemeanor backed up by a vague charge seemed like an overreach to me. So I am wondering what damning evidence I missed. I don't watch cable TV so maybe you can steer me to a good printed discussion of the facts of the case. TIA.

    Everything and anything you might want (5.00 / 2) (#82)
    by Peter G on Fri May 31, 2024 at 10:16:52 AM EST
    to know is here, at Marcy Wheeler's "Emptywheel,"with meticulous accuracy and thoroughness.

    For a reliable journalistic overview (5.00 / 1) (#94)
    by Peter G on Fri May 31, 2024 at 02:15:22 PM EST
    of how the case was proven, try today's Washington Post, if you can access.

    Thank you. (none / 0) (#96)
    by ladybug on Fri May 31, 2024 at 02:47:43 PM EST
    I was able to access the article and I have been looking through the Emptywheel site. I think the paper trail for the hush money payments was well-documented but what is not clear to me is the evidence of a crime that elevates the misdemeanor to a felony (if we even accept that T knew about the labelling and intended to commit fraud). I read Mark Pomerantz' inside account of the investigation, and he at the time was trying to argue that the second crime was that T committed money laundering by paying extortion money to Stormy but he couldn't make that one stick legally.  Everyone agrees that hush money was paid, but I am still flummoxed as to the evidence that convicted him of a felony. The election interference charge, the strongest, seems weak to me.

    I'm wondering what you think (none / 0) (#119)
    by ladybug on Fri May 31, 2024 at 11:15:45 PM EST
    of Elie Honig's article in NY Magazine.

    He calls it a "Frankenstein Case,"

    <cobbled together with ill-fitting parts into an ugly, awkward, but more-or-less functioning contraption that just might ultimately turn on its creator.>

    Interesting read.


    I will quote someone who (5.00 / 1) (#121)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Jun 01, 2024 at 09:58:49 AM EST
    practices law in NY:
    That's absolutely silly and it's just ridiculous to cling to an argument that has been rejected by a federal judge.

    At the end of the day this is just vibes analysis from the skeptics- including bmaz, Greenfield and Honig. There simply isn't any actual legal reasoning presented.


    That "someone" is Armando (5.00 / 1) (#125)
    by Peter G on Sat Jun 01, 2024 at 11:05:16 AM EST
    a former co-host of this blog.

    I'm familiar with the legal reasoning by (none / 0) (#122)
    by ladybug on Sat Jun 01, 2024 at 10:52:20 AM EST
    other skeptics like Turley and Dershowitz but have not been about to find yet the legal reasoning on the Emptywheel site. I only fond a couple of short posts. Perhaps you can steer me to more legal analysis of the facts of the case? Thanks!

    I should have (none / 0) (#123)
    by ladybug on Sat Jun 01, 2024 at 10:54:29 AM EST
    looked for typos before posting but I think you can get my meaning.

    A complex and sophisticated case, yes (5.00 / 1) (#126)
    by Peter G on Sat Jun 01, 2024 at 11:09:00 AM EST
    but hardly a "Frankenstein's monster."  The prosecution theory was unusual because the criminal conduct was unusual (and complex), arising in (blessedly) unusual circumstances and context.

    That is a generous way (1.00 / 1) (#141)
    by ladybug on Sat Jun 01, 2024 at 10:05:54 PM EST
    to put it. Considering how "complex" this case is, and how skeptical so many were, it is hard to see how political bias didn't play a role in this trial. Both left and right are appalled at the politicization of the courts...on the other side.

    Thanks for the conversation!  


    You (5.00 / 1) (#145)
    by Ga6thDem on Sun Jun 02, 2024 at 11:51:33 AM EST
    are repeating the talking points of the Trump apologists and people who don't know NY criminal law.I suggest you read the court transcripts if you are so concerned. I find a lot of conservatives are very ignorant on the facts of this case but refuse to read the unfiltered transcripts

    Thanks again (1.00 / 1) (#147)
    by ladybug on Sun Jun 02, 2024 at 12:29:09 PM EST
    for your reply. I am very concerned to get the facts which is why I keep asking for more legal analysis of the evidence. The trial transcripts are very long and I only came across them when I saw Jeralyn's post, but I am looking at them. Your pointing to bmaz and scott greenfield was helpful and I found them on Twitter, but they are skeptics. I also read some Just Security articles describing the charges. I read Mark Pomerantz' book years ago and I may read Elie Honig's book now too. I am piecing together the facts and I will continue to research this. I think it is unfair to say that the skeptics are just vibing; they seem to present valid legal arguments to me. As always, I am open to more legal analysis that you want to share. Personally, I am not a "Trumper" or conservative. I try to be an independent thinker but, like everyone, I am sure I have biases since our brains are wired to work this way.    

    P.S. I have also (1.00 / 1) (#148)
    by ladybug on Sun Jun 02, 2024 at 12:42:29 PM EST
    been reading some interesting articles by Quinta Jurecic on Lawfare. We can discuss all this if you would like.

    The Key Reason for the Skepticism (none / 0) (#149)
    by RickyJim on Sun Jun 02, 2024 at 12:55:51 PM EST
    is that the jury convicted Trump of causing false business records to be created in order to cover up his interference with the 2016 election by unlawful means and the law doesn't require the jury to agree on what the illegal means were.  Apparently the prosecutors and judge were able to make the jurors understand exactly what their task was.  The fact that there are lawyers, TV personalities and politicians that still don't get it shows more about their intellectual laziness and biases than the complexity of the actual charges.

    What is interesting to me (1.00 / 1) (#150)
    by ladybug on Sun Jun 02, 2024 at 01:04:46 PM EST
    is that most of the skepticism happened before the verdict and a lot of it was because people were worried that T would not get convicted. But I think the legal problems did not go away. Personally, I do think the Manhattan charges were an overreach and the trial politically motivated. But I was not following this case closely until now, so I have a lot of catching up to do. From what I have seen of the evidence it is underwhelming to me as to Trump's state of mind but I see several legal issues.

    It was not politically (5.00 / 1) (#151)
    by Ga6thDem on Sun Jun 02, 2024 at 03:25:15 PM EST
    Motivated. Bragg continued the investigation that was ongoing from the previous AG. He found a crime and charged Trump. People also forget that Bragg declined to file charges on Trump's tax crimes but I know facts will never convince a Trump apologist.

    The inside story (1.00 / 1) (#153)
    by ladybug on Sun Jun 02, 2024 at 05:51:43 PM EST
    of these investigations is interesting. It took a long time but they finally were all ready to go right before an election.

    Here is just one headline from the NY Times:

    "How a `Nerdy' Prosecutor Became the First to Try Trump
    Alvin Bragg, the Manhattan D.A., campaigned as the best candidate to go after the former president. Now he finds himself leading Trump's first prosecution -- and perhaps the only one before the November election."

    The fact that the Democrat judges and prosecutors are elected and the jury comes from deeply blue Manhattan lends to at least the suspicion of political motivation. The indecorous cheerleading after the verdict lends even more.

    There are arguments on both sides. I know that is called "bothsidesism" today but it is a core staple of a university to teach students to view both sides of an issue. I try to do that.

    I appreciate your willingness to engage in this interaction. I am pretty well aware of the facts of this trial now and am learning more every day. The fact that the prosecutions are so heavily stacked with Democrats or anti-Trumpers (word?) is hard for some non-partisans to accept. I wish it was more neutral.


    Clarification (none / 0) (#87)
    by coast on Fri May 31, 2024 at 11:35:25 AM EST
    DA Bragg stated in his comments after the verdict that "Their deliberations led them to a unamious conclusion beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendent, Dnoald J Trump, is guilty of 34 counts of falsifying business records in the first degree to conceal a scheme to corrupt the 2016 election"

    I don't think that's correct.  Because there were three choices as to what the predict crime was, we don't know which crime was the basis for each individual juror's decision.

    So to say that it was a "scheme to corrupt the 2016 election" is not accurate IMO.  You can correctly say that he was found guilty of falsifying documents in furtherence of another crime.

    But it is (5.00 / 2) (#90)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri May 31, 2024 at 11:40:07 AM EST
    a major big lie project of the MAGA morons.

    It's a lie and we need to push back


    It seems (5.00 / 1) (#91)
    by KeysDan on Fri May 31, 2024 at 12:07:00 PM EST
    that Bragg and you are saying the same thing.

    The indictment charged Tr*mp with 34 instances (5.00 / 5) (#108)
    by Peter G on Fri May 31, 2024 at 05:15:04 PM EST
    of making false entries in business records. As the judge instructed the jury, in order to convict on any count, the jury had to find unanimously and beyond a reasonable doubt the particular false statement charged in that count. In addition, in order to establish that making the false statement was a felony, the jury also had to find, unanimously and BARD, that the false statement was  made "with intent to defraud." (The defense opted for an all-or-nothing approach, felony or not guilty, rather than give the jury the middle-ground option of conviction for one or more misdemeanors.) According to NY law, there is "intent to defraud" if, along with the intent to cheat, the defendant intends "to commit another crime" or "to aid or conceal the commission of another crime." The DA charged that in fact the false statements had a single objective -- "to conceal a scheme to corrupt the 2016 election." But that is not a description of a crime; it is a statement of fact, which of course the D.A. proved by the testimony of numerous witnesses who were directly involved, including Pecker. That single objective was accomplished, the evidence showed, by the intentional commission of one and only one crime: violation of NY election law, to wit, conspiring to procure the election of a candidate by unlawful means. And again, the jury was instructed that it would have to find this element (that is, "by unlawful means") unanimously and BARD. Finally, three levels down, so to speak, the judge said the jury could find any of three "unlawful means," to wit, violating federal election law, violating state election law, or violating federal tax law (filing a false return). It was only as to those "means," which are not themselves elements of the offense, that the jury was told (correctly, under controlling precedent) that it need not be unanimous. You might disapprove of that precedent, as I do, but the judge followed the law in instructing the jury, and did not commit a reversible error.  

    Thanks! (5.00 / 1) (#155)
    by coast on Sun Jun 02, 2024 at 08:07:41 PM EST
    Peter always good to get your perspective.  I'm just a bean counting accountant.  

    Thank you for the parenthetical clarification, (none / 0) (#116)
    by Jack E Lope on Fri May 31, 2024 at 06:52:09 PM EST
    (The defense opted for an all-or-nothing approach, felony or not guilty, rather than give the jury the middle-ground option of conviction for one or more misdemeanors.)

    Something I thought about, right after hearing about the verdict, was that I had not heard about any attempts to differentiate the 34 charges from one another. I'd expect a defense to at least chip away at some of the specific instances.

    But the defendant gets to make choices about their defense.


    Election subversion (3.50 / 2) (#95)
    by BGinCA on Fri May 31, 2024 at 02:17:22 PM EST
    Of the  three possible underlying crimes to elevate the falsification of business records to a felony, two involve election subversion, either state or federal,  and the third is tax fraud.

    There Was Only One Underlying Crime (5.00 / 1) (#98)
    by RickyJim on Fri May 31, 2024 at 03:53:18 PM EST
    that elevates falsification of business records to a class E felony: NEW YORK ELECTION LAW§ 17-152.:
    provides that any two or more persons who conspire to promote or prevent the election of any person to a public office by unlawful means and which conspiracy is acted upon by one or more of the parties thereto, shall be guilty of conspiracy to promote or prevent an election.
    The judge continues:
    In determining whether the defendant conspired to promote or prevent the election of any person to a public office by unlawful means, you may consider the following: (1) violations of the Federal Election Campaign Act otherwise known as FECA; (2) the falsification of other business records; or (3) violation of tax laws.

    Notice he says "may consider" before giving the list of three.  I interpret that as saying you may believe that he conspired to promote his election by other unlawful means, as long as you believe beyond a reasonable doubt that he violated NY §17-152.

    A Bit More Precisely (5.00 / 1) (#106)
    by RickyJim on Fri May 31, 2024 at 04:45:58 PM EST
    You must believe beyond a reasonable doubt:
    That the defendant did so {cause false business records to be created} with intent to defraud that included an intent to commit another crime {viz 17-152} or to aid or conceal the commission thereof.

    Do you think this is clear? (none / 0) (#105)
    by ladybug on Fri May 31, 2024 at 04:44:52 PM EST
    The jurors were unanimous that T conspired to influence an election "by unlawful means" and then for "unlawful means" there was a choice of three sub-crimes with four sub-sub-crimes. The unlawful means hinges on the sub-crimes, which is an important element of the verdict. What about the argument that a state prosecutor cannot charge for federal election crimes? That was a point that Mark Pomerantz brought up in his book about the investigation.  

    There is no such thing as a "sub-crime" (5.00 / 1) (#117)
    by Peter G on Fri May 31, 2024 at 06:55:37 PM EST
    and it does not help, in my opinion, to invent vocabulary. Those three were alleged to be the means of accomplishing a single crime, that is, conspiring to procure an election result by unlawful means. The prosecutors charged that all three means were to be employed, but under the law any one would suffice. The means had to be "unlawful," that is, contrary to some law, but not necessarily criminal. Most laws are not criminal laws, including most election law and tax regulations.

    You are right. (5.00 / 1) (#118)
    by ladybug on Fri May 31, 2024 at 07:24:08 PM EST
    Thanks for the correction.

    Please Read My Postings in this Thread (none / 0) (#107)
    by RickyJim on Fri May 31, 2024 at 05:01:11 PM EST
    The "means" used to commit a crime are not "elements" that you must believe happened beyond a reasonable doubt.  The judge's list were suggestions on what those means might have been. You might not be sure that any of them in particular were used but you must be sure that something unlawful was done.  An example is, a murderer was successful in hiding a victim's body so it wasn't clear how the murder was done, but circumstances showed the accused was the murderer.

    I didn't mean "element" as a (none / 0) (#115)
    by ladybug on Fri May 31, 2024 at 06:49:50 PM EST
    legal term, but nonetheless Peter gave us an excellent summary that clarified how the "unlawful means" was an element of the offense as opposed to the three underlying crimes, which were the means from which the jury could choose from to make their decision. I think the prosecutors did a brilliant legal maneuver here, but I am just not sure what it is. They could not charge a federal election crime or use Cohen's guilty plea against T but they found a way to put them into the trial and evidence. T clearly wanted to pay an NDA but whether he intended fraud by it is not so clear to me from the evidence. Elections are routinely about promoting  oneself and damaging opponents and AMI and others routinely did and do these kinds of deals. And the false records came about after the election. Confusing!

    You are mistaken about unanimity (none / 0) (#89)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri May 31, 2024 at 11:38:45 AM EST
    Hopefully Peter will explain this better that I can.  

    I hope so, too (5.00 / 2) (#109)
    by Peter G on Fri May 31, 2024 at 05:19:27 PM EST
    Please see RickyJ @ #98 and mine @ #108.

    Disbarred (none / 0) (#97)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri May 31, 2024 at 03:49:30 PM EST

    Giuliani should be disbarred over election case, DC ethics board says

    Then gelded and pilloried on the sidewalk in front of Trump Tower

    He warned us (none / 0) (#99)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri May 31, 2024 at 04:18:10 PM EST
    Mike Johnson, (none / 0) (#100)
    by KeysDan on Fri May 31, 2024 at 04:18:54 PM EST
    Republican Speaker of the House said that the Supreme Court should "step in" on the NY Trump case.  Presumably, to overturn the verdict.

    It's (5.00 / 3) (#103)
    by FlJoe on Fri May 31, 2024 at 04:42:52 PM EST
    a cult, Republican after Republican lining up to mouth the same Trumpian talking points, it's kind of creepy when you think about it.

    Soon they will be chanting "witch hunt" under an upside down flag and a burning cross while shooting bud light cans


    but (5.00 / 2) (#104)
    by FlJoe on Fri May 31, 2024 at 04:44:50 PM EST
    enough about Alito

    Does Alito (none / 0) (#111)
    by KeysDan on Fri May 31, 2024 at 05:34:22 PM EST
    or Martha Ann know the Confederate flag looks the same upside down or right side up?  

    Which, of course, the Supreme Court of (5.00 / 3) (#110)
    by Peter G on Fri May 31, 2024 at 05:22:22 PM EST
    the United States has no authority whatsoever to do.

    Before entering (5.00 / 1) (#112)
    by KeysDan on Fri May 31, 2024 at 05:46:58 PM EST
    politics, Johnson was  said to be a constitutional.lawyer. But in fairness, Johnson devoted most of his legal career  to promoting sodomy laws  and criminalizing homosexuality. (Preparing an amicus brief in Texas v Lawrence).  So there is that.

    To be more clear, the authority of the (5.00 / 2) (#124)
    by Peter G on Sat Jun 01, 2024 at 11:01:05 AM EST
    US Supreme Court over legal matters arising in a state court is extremely limited, unlike its authority over the lower federal courts. An issue can get to SCOTUS from a state court case only if (a) it involves a question of federal law, whether constitutional or statutory; (b) that may control the outcome of the case; and (c) has reached the stage of a final judgment or is otherwise "final"; and was (d) presented to and decided on the merits by the highest state court that has jurisdiction to consider it. The verdict of a jury after a criminal trial in a state trial court is not remotely any of that.

    It's going to be (none / 0) (#102)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri May 31, 2024 at 04:35:14 PM EST
    a very interesting summer

    I Can See Why Johnson Would Denounce the Verdict (none / 0) (#114)
    by RickyJim on Fri May 31, 2024 at 06:01:40 PM EST
    But I don't get why Mike Pence and RFK Jr would also do so.    

    Spin Cycle (none / 0) (#169)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Jun 03, 2024 at 04:53:16 PM EST
    Like Molly, (none / 0) (#170)
    by KeysDan on Mon Jun 03, 2024 at 08:45:54 PM EST
    my sense is that MAGAts were devastated upon learning of Trump's guilty verdict X34, falling into a funk, propping each other up and trying to re-assure one another that Trump will be OK.  That they will be OK.

    Then came Lara Trump's misinformation machine (formerly known as the Republican Party) to the rescue.  All MAGAts were granted honorary law degrees from someplace like Trump University and, instantly became legal scholars.

      Voila!  With all the authority of a professor emeritus, they proclaimed that Soros-supported DA Bragg knows nothing, the jury heard nothing, and the judge was nothing.  After all, the judge is an immigrant from Colombia (at age six).  Hostile witnesses were "Democrats" such as his long-time attorney, his dear friend at his favorite tabloid, his WH personal assistant, and that porn  star,  with whom he never had an encounter.  All those incriminating documents, including signed checks were a hoax.  A witch-hunt orchestrated by President Biden.  Maybe Hillary, whom he never chanted "Lock Her Up".  Ever.

    He again last night (5.00 / 1) (#187)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jun 05, 2024 at 10:30:55 AM EST
    On NEWSMAX I think said he would put Hillary in prison.

    It's almost cartoonish.


    and even Avenatti (none / 0) (#183)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Jun 05, 2024 at 02:46:28 AM EST
    now defends him on X while serving his own decade plus jail term.

    Now that (none / 0) (#171)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Jun 04, 2024 at 01:46:44 PM EST
    Trump is a convicted felon and the hush money case is done, is anyone paying attention to the Hunter Biden case in DE? I guess we shall shortly see what the evidence is.

    yes, I have 3/4 of a post written (5.00 / 3) (#184)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Jun 05, 2024 at 02:49:01 AM EST
    coming soon

    I'm getting the feeling (5.00 / 3) (#185)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jun 05, 2024 at 09:11:49 AM EST
    Hunter could be acquitted.  

    I can't wait to see the response.


    Hunter's (5.00 / 1) (#188)
    by KeysDan on Wed Jun 05, 2024 at 10:33:44 AM EST
    Step-mom, Step-sister  and Wife.have been attending the trial every day.  His Dad  is in France commemorating the 80th anniversary of D-Day., but if he attended the trial, sitting  in the back row with other Court observers, heads would explode.  (Not a good idea and Biden won't do it, but still).

    Wasn't it just a .38 pistol? (5.00 / 1) (#189)
    by fishcamp on Wed Jun 05, 2024 at 03:07:23 PM EST
    Which of course can be dangerous, but it wasn't an automatic rifle.  He wasn't truthful on the application, which I assume is a worse offense.  It seems to me they are pushing it too hard.

    25 (none / 0) (#191)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jun 05, 2024 at 04:31:46 PM EST

    Nah. 25 years may be the statutory max (5.00 / 1) (#194)
    by Peter G on Wed Jun 05, 2024 at 07:18:07 PM EST
    but the recommended sentence (in the doubtful event of a conviction) would be 15 months or less, and no reason the defendant would not receive probation rather than any imprisonment.

    No but it makes the point (none / 0) (#195)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jun 05, 2024 at 07:38:40 PM EST
    that they are pushing too hard.  IMO

    What's going on in the Florida classified (none / 0) (#190)
    by desertswine on Wed Jun 05, 2024 at 03:29:37 PM EST
    documents case?  This doesn't look good.  Is Cannon looking for a way out?

    U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon on Tuesday said she would allow third parties to argue about the appointment of Jack Smith as special counsel in Donald Trump's classified documents case.

    The highly unusual decision means partisan representatives with no other involvement in the case will be allowed to attend a June 21 hearing and opine on Trump's push to have Smith's powers curtailed.

    I don't know. I'm just getting a real (5.00 / 2) (#196)
    by desertswine on Wed Jun 05, 2024 at 10:59:05 PM EST
    bad feeling about this case.

    I have been hoping Peter and the other (5.00 / 1) (#197)
    by vml68 on Thu Jun 06, 2024 at 11:27:17 AM EST
    lawyers here would share their opinion on this case.
    Everytime Cannon makes a ruling or avoids making one, I read article after article saying Jack Smith is close to filing to have her removed from the case. It has yet to happen.

    Of all the cases against Tr*mp, I was hoping this one would go to trial before the election. Cannon is making sure that it won't happen on her watch.


    Supposedly (5.00 / 1) (#198)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Jun 06, 2024 at 12:40:21 PM EST
    she is specifically avoiding making a ruling.  
    So Smith has nothing to go to the circuit court with.

    The judge I mentioned said this whole draw out thing about the constitutionality of the special counsel is to delay as much possible making a ruling of any kind.

    She is giving each participant 30 minutes to speak.  Legal bobbleheads say this is very unusual.  It's meant to kill time.


    Sorry I know this thread is filling up but (5.00 / 1) (#199)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Jun 06, 2024 at 12:44:13 PM EST
    Before she "shuffled the schedule" she was supposed to hear arguments about the gag order.  

    No hurry there, just the safety of law enforcement.  It can wait until she hears from Ed Meese about special counsels.

    Hopefully we will get another thread so people who know can discuss this.  If they wish.


    Judge Cannon (5.00 / 3) (#200)
    by KeysDan on Thu Jun 06, 2024 at 03:05:34 PM EST
    appears to entertain any excuse for delays.   Cunning and cleverness beyond her pay grade.  It would be unsurprising if she was not amenable  to  a little help from  more experienced and diabolical hands.

    I just heard an interesting bit about this (none / 0) (#192)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jun 05, 2024 at 04:36:41 PM EST
    A former judge explained how she is just shamelessly trying to delay now.  That one reason for this weird hearing (with Ed Meese!?) is just so she won't have to make an actual ruling while it's happening.

    Because this guy says the next time she makes a ruling, on apparently anything, Smith will use it to take to the circuit court and have her removed.

    Be curious what the legal folks here think of that.

    The clip will be up tomorrow if it's not not.  It was on Nicole Wallace show.


    Yeah, (none / 0) (#193)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Jun 05, 2024 at 06:03:30 PM EST
    several lawyers that I have seen on TV have said the same. She knows she is in trouble and Smith is just waiting.