Well, Well, Well, Guess Whose Name Just Came Up in the Trump NYC Trial

We were expecting this moment, and it came on Friday, the eleventh day of the Hush Trump trial in New York City. 

It was the moment when Donald Trump’s attorney looked at the judge and invoked the name of destroyed, defiant, and disgusting movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, the poster boy of the #MeToo movement. It was, in baseball parlance, a brushback pitch by the Team Trump. 

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Only last week, Weinstein’s 2020 conviction on rape charges was overturned by a New York appeals court because the prosecution had piled on unaffiliated ”evidence,“ resulting in an unfair trial. It was a reversible error. And, the vote may have been 4-3, but oh, boy, did they reverse it. 

The New York Times reported that the ”Court of Appeals agreed with Mr. Weinstein’s defense team that the trial judge who presided over the sex crimes case in Manhattan, Justice James Burke, made a critical error.“ 

And what was that error? He let witnesses testify who gratuitously piled on Weinstein, prejudicing the jury when law enforcement were either unable or unwilling to bring charges against Weinstein based on their allegations. The Times reported, ”[Burke] let prosecutors call as witnesses several women who testified that Mr. Weinstein had assaulted them, even though none of those allegations had led to charges.”

“Under our system of justice,“ the ruling reads, ”the accused has a right to be held to account only for the crime charged, and thus, allegations of prior bad acts may not be admitted against them for the sole purpose of establishing their propensity for criminality,“ 

Related: It’s Hard to Imagine a Worse Day for Stormy and the NYC Prosecutors in the Hush Trump Case

“It is our solemn duty to diligently guard these rights regardless of the crime charged, the reputation of the accused, or the pressure to convict…“ wrote Appeals Court Judge Jenny Rivera for the majority. 

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From her mouth to Trump’s ears.

Judge Juan Merchan has allowed extraneous information and prior bad acts into the testimony to “Get Trump” on something before the election. Merchant previously ruled that the notorious ”Access Hollywood“ video could not come into the trial — and why would it since it’s not germane to this case? — but he allowed the transcript and a photo from the video to be introduced to the jury

Fox News reported that Merchan may have quibbled but in the end wouldn’t let in the photo. 

Merchan said the appeals court decision “doesn’t really factor into this” case, noting the ruling had not laid out any new law, but nevertheless agreed to block prosecutors from introducing the photograph.

Prosecutors had said the image would help establish the timeline of the revelations about the “Access Hollywood” tape, in which Trump could be heard bragging about grabbing women without permission.

Merchan has previously ruled the 2005 tape cannot be played in court for jurors, but said prosecutors can still question witnesses about the recording.

This is exactly what Matt mentioned in his story about how Stormy Daniels’ own lawyer blew up the case against Trump. I reported that this issue has a second-order effect on Stormy herself. While it won’t torpedo this prosecution unless Judge Merchan has a frisson of probity, it will help on appeal. Trump’s lawyers don’t want to have to appeal a conviction, but it’s Manhattan.

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Both law professor Jonathan Turley and lawyer and author Gregg Jarrett told Fox News that Merchan may have already committed acts of reversible error based on telling jurors the case concerns federal election law without charging it in the 34-count indictment. 

Jarrett said the first two weeks of the trial were full of titillating, but beside-the-point witnesses who were there to sell the sizzle but not the steak. 

RelatedThe Conspiracy to Allege Conspiracy Against Donald Trump in NYC Trial

As Matt reported, Jarrett said the first two weeks of the Trump trial had echoes of what the judge did in the Weinstein case. ”Nothing in the courtroom last week dealt with the actual charges. None of the witnesses actually testified about any relevant crime recognized by law,” he said on ”Fox and Friends.“ 

Weinstein was accused by multiple women, including Hollywood actresses, of sexually assaulting them. He was accused of forcing women into sex to get a part in an upcoming movie. Harvey Weinstein didn’t have so much of a casting couch as he had ”meetings“ in hotel rooms, to cut out the travel time between the meeting and the couch

In hopes of sending a message to the Trump team, prosecutors in New York announced on Thursday that they would retry Weinstein again. 

One of our crafty commenters coined this the “Hush Trump” case. When a judge shuts up the defendant but not the other trial participants, you can’t help but wonder if the fix is in. Where else will you read that in this censorious media world we’re living in? 

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