We’re Now in Full Goat Rodeo Mode in the NYC Trump Trial

News & Politics

How many catastrophic yet entertaining courtroom fails can one team of prosecutors suffer before the judge calls a halt to this goat rodeo? It’s time to dismiss this case against Donald Trump after Friday’s testimony. But don’t get your hopes up. The bulldogger of this rodeo is the judge. 

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Now, before we get to the testimony of Hope Hicks, who just removed–yet again—the prosecution’s foundation for a conspiracy they allege but didn’t charge, let’s appreciate what we’ve got so far (roughly in order): 

  • Misdemeanor bookkeeping charges announced
  • A DA hinting that federal election laws were broken to steal the 2016 election, though this was not charged
  • Motions by team Trump to dismiss, forestall, change venue, and keep out prejudicial evidence are denied
  • The Republican presidential nominee defendant gagged to silence him from talking about participants and the judge’s Democrat activist daughter making money on the trial
  • An unstated felony to which 34 misdemeanors are attached to make them felonies 
  • Allowing in salacious evidence that doesn’t pertain to stealing an election
  • Speedily selecting jurors
  • Announcing after the trial started the unstated felony is a state conspiracy and election violation charge, though no conspiracy is charged

That’s how we started. How’s it going? A guilty verdict is likely foreordained by Judge Juan Merchan, who’s all-in on the prosecutors’ Jenga legal theory of this case and is allowing in witnesses—David Pecker of the National Enquirer, former Trump campaign communications director Hope Hicks and others—to help, as Andy McCarthy puts it, “tell a story to the jury.” 

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The story is that Trump paid his former attorney, Michael Cohen, legal fees in 2017 to steal the 2016 election. However, the judge allowed prosecutors to call witnesses to create in the minds of jurors an uncharged conspiracy. Only in the minds of D.A. Alvin Bragg and the judge can a local lawman bring a federal case. But here we are. The New York bar is mum.

     Related: Trump Just Made Huge Point About ‘Unconstitutional’ Gag Order in His NYC Case

Maybe an expert in federal election law could explain to them why the Federal Election Commission and the DOJ said these legal payments were neither illegal nor election expenses and declined to prosecute. Alas, the judge denied Team Trump the ability to call their federal elections expert. More on that in an upcoming post.

How do you go on offense against this ever-changing target? Get out the Gatling gun and pray and spray in hopes of hitting the moving target. This is what’s happening on cross-examination by the defense.

On Friday, former Trump campaign press secretary Hope Hicks was on the stand. She perhaps will be recalled on Monday. She teared up on the stand, which was gleefully reported by the MSNBC crowd, but in the end she undermined the contention that Trump was moved to buy the silence of two women because he was trying to steal the 2016 election by paying his attorney in 2017. Hey, I don’t make the rules; this is the legal Jenga being played here. And the judge is letting it happen.

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Hicks testified that when the story of the nondisclosure payment to adult film copulator Stormy Daniels came out in 2018, when Trump was in the White House, he said “it was better to be dealing with it now, and it would have been bad to have that story come out before the election.” This is supposed to buttress the claim of Trump’s mindfulness of the illegality of the payments that he paid to steal the 2016 election, which is why they’re campaign expenses. Let me add parenthetically, for that is how the prosecution is treating it — none of this was ever illegal. 

Hicks testified Trump was more concerned with what his wife and kids would say about it, however. Methinks an angry Melania is not something to be trifled with.

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

“Absolutely…I don’t think he wanted anyone in his family to be hurt or embarrassed about anything on the campaign. He wanted them to be proud of him,”  Hicks said on the stand, exploding the prosecution’s foundation that it was a diabolical plot to steal the 2016 election. 

Indeed she testified Trump was “concerned about the story, he was concerned about how it would be viewed by his wife, and he wanted me to make sure that the newspapers weren’t delivered to their residence that morning.” 

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Now that’s quite a stemwinder of a tale of stealing the 2016 election with attorneys payments in 2017, eh?

This extortion happened after the planned October surprise leak in October 2016 of the years-old “Access Hollywood” secret recording with Billy Bush, in which TV star Trump marveled in locker room terms about how famous people can easily get with women. The prosecutors tried to get the leaked video entered as evidence in hopes of having a boffo show and tell for the jury, but the judge said they’d have to settle for the jury seeing a transcript instead. This transcript of course reveals Trump’s diabolical conspiracy to steal the 2016 election. Yeah, the judge did that. The defense objected to it all.

Mind you, the prosecution is selling these payments to the adult film copulator and former Playboy bunny as breaking the law, which they are not. Indeed, Michael Cohen’s jailing on unrelated charges and his guilty pleas on election issues to get a better deal, which was to become a witness against Trump, were disallowed by the judge. But as McCarthy points out, in opening statements prosecutor Matthew Colangelo, the former DOJ man sent to Get Trump, was allowed by the judge to say that Cohen even went to jail! for this illegal act. 

But this is how the story is being framed to the jury without charging it. And the judge is letting them.

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

Gregg Jarrett, an attorney, summed up this bizarre drive-by prosecution for Fox News:

The payments made were not illegal.  Non-disclosure contracts in exchange for silence are not unlawful. Killing negative stories violates no statutes.  More to the point, it is not a crime for Trump to know about a non-crime. That would be a senseless syllogism.  

Bragg should turn himself into authorities for impersonating an honest lawyer. To fulfill his campaign promise to nail Trump, the D.A. has manipulated the law and mangled evidence to engineer a wrongful conviction. He targeted Trump in a textbook case of selective prosecution. This is an affront to the principles of fairness and equal justice.

But fairness and justice don’t matter. The radical, activist left is prosecuting this case. This is their avowed lawfare by any means necessary. This is about keeping Trump in court while Joe Biden is campaigning. This was the plan. It is election interference, which we have been assured is very bad. Indeed, while most criminal trials would be winding down or at least into the defense case at this point, the Trump trial is going into week four and we still haven’t gotten deeply into the perfectly legal payments to Michael Cohen yet, which we were assured were at the heart of the bookkeeping case. 

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