Patterico's Pontifications


Patterico on Mona Charen’s “Beg to Differ” Podcast

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:51 pm

On Thursday I appeared on the “Beg to Differ” podcast hosted by Mona Charen, politics editor for The Bulwark. I had a great time talking about the Bragg prosecution of Trump, as well as issues about abortion and the failed attempt to impeach Joe Biden.

Having survived the Brett Kimberlin episode and prosecuted Mexican Mafia figures and such, I was not eager to be on camera, so Mona gave me a pass and let me keep my camera off. But you can listen to the audio at the home page for the podcast, here. You should be able to listen without a subscription. The episode can also be viewed on YouTube with a sort of hilarious looking silhouette of a fella in a suit in the shadows to represent me.

My goal was to avoid just blathering without purpose. I wanted any listener to come away knowing some facts or set of facts that they did not know going in. Let me know how you think I did on that score.

33 Responses to “Patterico on Mona Charen’s “Beg to Differ” Podcast”

  1. Whatever you think, I had a great time doing it.

    Patterico (362118)

  2. Even losing the election was his own damn fault.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  3. Excellent. I’ll check it out.
    I still want to see you on Advisory Opinions, give a Sarah a little what-for.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  4. Patterico, I think your voice is calm, clear, and incisive. Like your arguments.

    Simon Jester (c8876d)

  5. Thanks, Simon.

    Patterico (c605b2)

  6. I still want to see you on Advisory Opinions, give a Sarah a little what-for.

    Haha. I did not mention her name, but those paying close attention might have heard references to mistaken premises articulated by “respected legal commentators” and understood what I meant.

    One remarkable thing is how many of her arguments are not just wrong, but are so wrong that the judge has explicitly ruled Trump cannot argue them.

    Unsure whether the underlying crime can be a federal law? Not only has the judge ruled it can be, but Trump is not allowed to argue otherwise to the jury.

    Bowled over by Bradley Smith’s opinion that Trump’s actions are not a FECA violation? That’s nice. Smith (who is on Trump’s witness list as an expert) may not offer that opinion to the jury — and if he does anyway, in contravention of the judge’s order, the judge has threatened to strike his testimony.

    Wowed by the fact that DOJ or the FEC never went after Trump for FECA? Say that on your podcast to your heart’s content. But Trump may not argue that to the jury. As the judge has observed, there could be many reasons for those decisions having nothing to do with Trump’s guilt or innocence.

    One by one, the judge has taken most if not all of Isgur’s arguments and tossed them aside.

    I don’t think Judge Merchan thinks Bragg is cutting down all the laws to get at the Devil Trump. Thomas More’s got nothing to do with it as far as the judge is concerned.

    Patterico (c605b2)

  7. One by one, the judge has taken most if not all of Isgur’s arguments and tossed them aside.

    Well, that does make the issues clear on appeal.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  8. Trump’s best argument was always this: His actions had little to do with the upcoming election, but were his SOP to avoid embarrassment and marital strife.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  9. Yeah, but it’s not a great argument, because the conversations with Pecker and Cohen revolved around the campaign. As Mona pointed out on the podcast, there is an allegation in Bragg’s statement of facts that reads like this: “The Defendant directed Lawyer A to delay making a payment to Woman 2 as long as possible. He instructed Lawyer A that if they could delay the payment until after the election, they could avoid paying altogether, because at that point it would not matter if the story became public.“

    Patterico (c39fb5)

  10. I agree with Patterico that there’s more potentially here than what critics complain about. Obviously there’s still a chance that it flops with the jury and the jury of public opinion. But Trump is fighting awfully hard to stall this case. Obviously that is always his strategy…but I believe that he knows being stuck in that courtroom with only unflattering facts coming out is kryptonite for his campaign. This will not help him with women…and it will not help him with those who still have an ability to be shocked by his antics. Yes, it’s still binary for many…and there’s a lot of shade that can be hurled Biden’s way (inflation, immigration, crime, Afghanistan)….but this case is visceral. Not just the cheating with a porn star, but the hubris of assuming it could be hidden. This is a pattern of behavior thing…and it’s karma…

    AJ_Liberty (5f05c3)

  11. One by one, the judge has taken most if not all of Isgur’s arguments and tossed them aside.

    Well, that does make the issues clear on appeal.

    Kevin M (a9545f) — 4/13/2024 @ 9:31 am


    Sarah Isgur isn’t the one on trial. Her “arguments” are irrelevant.

    Rip Murdock (047daf)

  12. But Trump is fighting awfully hard to stall this case.

    Indeed. But the judge’s rulings may leave him little choice. Most of what our host reports appear to be one-sided and appealable, but the damage would be done. I’d be upset too, although Trump takes “upset” to new levels.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  13. Yeah, but it’s not a great argument, because the conversations with Pecker and Cohen revolved around the campaign.

    According to the lawyer who got a real nice deal on his million-dollar tax case.

    Then there is this:

    NEW YORK — A federal judge suggested Wednesday that Michael Cohen committed perjury under oath, giving fresh support to former President Donald Trump’s claims that his onetime personal lawyer — poised to be a star prosecution witness at his upcoming New York criminal trial — is an untrustworthy liar.

    Judge Jesse M. Furman in Manhattan questioned Cohen’s truthfulness in a written order denying his request for early release from the court supervision that followed his three-year prison sentence for crimes including tax evasion, lying to banks and Congress, and violating campaign finance laws.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  14. My problem with this case is not that Trump is involved, but that the case is so highly leveraged to a degree that smacks of animus.

    Now other cases have happened like that, such as going after Capone for tax evasion when you couldn’t prove his many murders. But I don’t think that is the kind of reason behind this particular hatred. Trump inspires anti-Trump partisanship, and true partisanship knows no bounds.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  15. Too bad NY is a hard “no” on cameras in the courtroom:

    Donald Trump says he’ll ‘absolutely’ testify in upcoming hush money criminal trial

    That promise won’t get past his lawyers, if Trump knows what’s go for him.

    Comedy gold!

    Rip Murdock (047daf)

  16. Question for Cohen:

    So, you pleaded guilty to tax evasion, bank fraud and campaign finance violations. Did you or your lawyer discuss dropping the campaign fincance charges? Was a peal deal available without those? Was the proposed sentence greater or less in that event?

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  17. According to the lawyer who got a real nice deal on his million-dollar tax case.

    And, I believe, according to others as well.

    Kevin M, I have said many times that if all prosecutors have is Cohen, they are sunk. But I have also said I think they have more than Cohen. For example, as I blogged in 2018:

    There are many details that go into that conclusion, but let’s review two. Yesterday an agreement was made public between the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York and AMI. The agreement contains this passage:

    In or about August 2015, David Pecker, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of AMI, met with Michael Cohen, an attorney for a presidential candidate, and at least one other member of the campaign. At the meeting, Pecker offered to help deal with negative stories about that presidential candidate’s relationships with women by, among other things, assisting the campaign in identifying such stories so they could be purchased and their publication avoided. Pecker agreed to keep Cohen apprised of any such negative stories.

    If any of this sounds familiar, it’s because the Wall Street Journal reported it on November 9 (credit to Justin Miller for catching this):

    As a presidential candidate in August 2015, Donald Trump huddled with a longtime friend, media executive David Pecker, in his cluttered 26th floor Trump Tower office and made a request.

    What can you do to help my campaign? he asked, according to people familiar with the meeting.

    Mr. Pecker, chief executive of American Media Inc., offered to use his National Enquirer tabloid to buy the silence of women if they tried to publicize alleged sexual encounters with Mr. Trump.

    Now, most of the details of that WSJ story have been corroborated by federal prosecutors in their agreement with AMI. The one key detail federal prosecutors did not yet say explicitly is who the “other member of the campaign” was. If the WSJ is correct, that member was Donald Trump.

    It does not sound like he was worried about Melania.

    Patterico (51f2c1)

  18. “What can you do to help my campaign?”

    Patterico (51f2c1)

  19. Did you or your lawyer discuss dropping the campaign finance charges?

    No, that will not be asked.

    nk (bb1548)

  20. Yeah, but it’s not a great argument,

    How good does it have to be? If it is plausible, that should be enough to have doubt about the charges.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  21. I would very much like to see how Todd Blanche handles Cohen but I expect that all we will get from the media is how Trump and Cohen glowered at each other.

    In a nutshell, “Sure, Cohen is a lying cheat of a slimeball shyster, but he was Trump’s lying cheat of a slimeball shyster.” It will call for legerdemain from both sides.

    nk (bb1548)

  22. Michael Cohen will be ripped to shreds because he is a liar. This we know. It is not a surprise. The corroboration is the issue. And I think they have it. Manhattan DA has good lawyers on this case.

    Patterico (51f2c1)

  23. OK, I listened to it while mowing the lawn today…

    1. I know you’re from TX, Patterico, but I didn’t hear the slightest twang.

    2. Charen pronounced “Patterico” as Puh-TARE-icco, rhymes with Jericho, but I’ve always mentally pronounced it as Pattuh-RICO, sounds like Puerto Rico. Did Charen say it right?

    3. I think Galston is wrong, his claim that a conviction will have no effect on the election, because there are enough Americans who won’t vote for a convicted felon.

    4. Linker sounded like he was mailing it in.

    5. Charen and Chavez were engaging and charming.

    6. I observe that your oral arguments on the show, which I liken to a summation to a jury, hewed closely to what you’ve written. Or another way to say it is that you talk like how you write, which is a good thing.

    7. Once you explained that the underlying crime could come from Cohen, I didn’t have an argument with the substance of the prosecution’s case.

    8. This case would be a good opportunity to return to the show, and provide Mona & Co. some legal updates. Charen appears to be the only one who trained as a lawyer.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  24. 2. Charen pronounced “Patterico” as Puh-TARE-icco, rhymes with Jericho, but I’ve always mentally pronounced it as Pattuh-RICO, sounds like Puerto Rico. Did Charen say it right?

    No. I didn’t even notice it, but a good friend pointed it out afterwards. I’m used to it.

    I love your feedback. Thanks very much for it.

    Patterico (51f2c1)

  25. Just listened to it on my drive home. Seems like you laid out a good case re: Trump (you clearly wowed all of the non lawyers on the podcast) and I think you helped clear up a lot of questions regarding how and why he is being prosecuted.

    I wanted to address the abortion debate, because I felt that until you chimed in it was rather insipid. Both Mona and Linda seemed to be participating in a silly and performative debate about which one of them thinks the GOP was the most extremely extreme about their extremism on abortion, as if abortion fanaticism is a one-sided matter. And Linker was happy to vehemently agree. Mona helped by teeing up the question for our host, but I was pleased that Patterico gently reminded the panel that Democrats have a very fanatical abortion wing too. President Biden has gone from nominally pro-life 50 years ago to demanding taxpayer-funded abortions throughout pregnancy today. Democrats are the party which facilitated the butchery of Kermit Gosnell because, as the Attorney General of Pennsylvania acknowledged, pro-choice activists and their Democrat allies intimidated Philadelphia officials into stop checking to ensure that abortion clinics were following proper medical codes. And of course it was an elected Democrat governor, Ralph Northam, who came up with the astounding claim that if during the process of aborting a child it was somehow delivered alive from the womb, the child would be left aside to quietly die on its own, with no medical intervention to keep him or her alive.

    It’s quite true that under the present circumstances the Republicans have far more territory to defend than Democrats do, but don’t discount the Democrats’ predilection for pissing away their advantage by calling for taxpayer funded abortions for all birthing people at any time throughout pregnancy and even in the immediate thereafter under certain circumstances. They might even be blinkered enough to pair it with a call for an expansion of legalized suicide — or “physician-assisted death,” as they like to style it — which might leave some people legitimately conflicted about the ethical quandary of abortion and euthanasia believing that perhaps the Democrats are somewhat of a misanthropic party.

    But anyway, cheers to Patterico for reminding the panel that extremism isn’t so one-sided in the abortion debate.

    JVW (b02843)

  26. I enjoyed hearing our host opine and clarify on Mona Charen’s show. He kept it straightforward, and that’s always appreciated by me. I would expect nothing less. And I agree that he should make a follow-up appearance. It would be very beneficial for listeners.

    Dana (8e902f)

  27. I agree with JVW too that it was refreshing to hear the abortion extremities on the left pointed out. Both edges of the Republican and Democratic parties are nuts. Also, the left’s old claim about abortion (Safe, legal, and rare) has been disproved and was obliterated once the Party began to embrace abortion up until birth.

    And one more thing, I appreciated both Charen’s and Chavez’s comments. They’re smart, well informed and obviously keep up on current events in some depth. I feel the need to defend them because women of that age are frequently ignored and/or pushed out of the public space into irrelevancy. They clearly demonstrate the foolishness of that societal reaction to silver-haired women. Women in their 20’s, 30’s, or 40’s simply don’t have it all wired. Not by a long shot.

    Dana (8e902f)

  28. I learn something new every time I listen. You addressed every topic carefully and on point, giving us all (including the panel) a lot to think about.

    How does it feel to be so persuasive and thoughtful that, by the end of the podcast, the panel was so impressed that they were almost speechless after you spoke?

    DRJ (886f8c)

  29. I hope they invite you back k to explain what happens in the trial.

    DRJ (15a926)

  30. If this were televised, I think people would watch it the way we watched the OJ trial decades ago.

    Pity it isn’t.

    DRJ (15a926)

  31. Dang, you guys are way too nice.

    But don’t stop!! 🙂

    Patterico (63789d)

  32. This is a political trial. Politicians can be successfully tried on graft and corruption. OJ simpson said at his first trial one juror said this is for rodney king as he walked by. In the south the klan were routinely found not guilty. The jan. 6 rioters were forced to plead guilty or face an all black jury who found hinkley not guilty by reason of insanity. Jury nullification by trump supporters and guilty by never trumpers. The evidence will not be what jury in political trials base their verdict on. Some will lie their way on to jury to help or hurt trump. To many pretend this will be like a trial for regular people. (who would not be tried for political crimes) NY even says to local businesses they wont be prosecuted others for property evaluations like trump is.

    asset (c27b39)

  33. @Pat…

    First time I’ve heard your voice…

    I don’t agree on everything, but gosh darn it, you make compelling arguments nonetheless.

    You really should have your own podcast, or be a frequent guest. You’re great at this.

    Also woe to any criminal who finds themselves opposite to Pat in a court room.

    whembly (86df54)

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