Patterico's Pontifications

5/30/2024

Trump Hush Money Trial Open Thread (UPDATED)

Filed under: General — Dana @ 9:34 am



[guest post by Dana]

This is the second day of jury deliberations in the Trump hush money case. Consider this an open thread to discuss anything and everything to do with the courtroom drama while we await the jury’s return.

From Trump, after leaving the courtroom yesterday:

I DON’T EVEN KNOW WHAT THE CHARGES ARE IN THIS RIGGED CASE—I AM ENTITLED TO SPECIFICITY JUST LIKE ANYONE ELSE. THERE IS NO CRIME!

Maybe he should have done less sleeping and more listening while in the courtroom, eh?

UPDATE: The jury finds Trump guilty on all 34 felony charges.

The convicted felon to reporters after the verdict was read and court was dismissed:

I am an innocent man…this was a rigged case…

Same’ol, same ‘ol…

—Dana

293 Responses to “Trump Hush Money Trial Open Thread (UPDATED)”

  1. Hello.

    Dana (8e902f)

  2. Justice Has Been Done

    The first criminal trial of Donald Trump was everything that a society committed to the rule of law can hope for.

    In March of 2023, when the world first began to grapple with the notion that Trump might be indicted in Manhattan on charges of election fraud, people expressed a number of concerns. All of them have been allayed.
    ……….
    (1) The district attorney’s case was frivolous, weak, or unwise. This was overreach. The prosecution presented a detailed, evidence-laden case. The evidence was so substantial that it it now clear that not charging Trump would have been contrary to the interests of justice.

    (2) This application of the law was too novel. The prosecution’s case survived pretrial motions and went the distance to the jury. That base fact means that even if the district attorney’s interpretation of the law was not routine, it was clearly within bounds.

    3) The timing was bad.………

    (4) The trial was about a porn star. The evidence presented at trial, in the form of testimony and contemporaneous documentation, made it clear that this case was not about paying hush money to a porn star. It was about the commission of election fraud: A presidential candidate engaged in a conspiracy to pay for the suppression of information for the express purpose of influencing the election and then falsified records to hide this payment.

    (5) The trial would be a circus.……….

    (6) Trump couldn’t get a fair trial. Both the prosecution and the defense are satisfied that they were able to impanel an impartial jury of Trump’s peers. The Biden administration stayed far away from the case and never gave even the appearance of interference…….And Trump’s lawyers mounted a vigorous defense.
    …………
    We will soon have a verdict. If I had to put odds on it, I’d say 54 percent for a conviction, 2 percent for an acquittal, and 44 percent for a hung jury that results in a mistrial.

    And even if Trump is convicted, he will have the right to appeal this decision.
    ………..

    Emphasis in original.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  3. It is, officially, on the record, per the prosecutor’s theory of the case, and per the judge’s instructions, a “he’s guilty of something” case. So if Trump doesn’t know what that something is, nobody does.

    A word to the wise in Manhattan. Do not throw out your kitchen trash. You could be charged with tampering with evidence of a crime. “What crime?” I hear you ask. I don’t know. What crime could you have committed?

    nk (8691d3)

  4. It is, officially, on the record, per the prosecutor’s theory of the case, and per the judge’s instructions, a “he’s guilty of something” case. So if Trump doesn’t know what that something is, nobody does.

    Trump must have not read the indictment.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  5. @2 “Both the prosecution and the defense are satisfied that they were able to impanel an impartial jury of Trump’s peers.”

    An absolutely unsupported claim. The defense has no option but accept the jury as it is, just as they must accept a judge biased against Republicans. Drawn from a pool which voted 90% against Trump in 2020, there is no rational argument that the jury is impartial. Probability is a thing.

    lloyd (7badfd)

  6. The defense has no option but accept the jury as it is……

    Trump’s defense lawyers (and the prosecution) had up to 10 preemptory challenges each to remove any potential jurors they had objections from the panel. Both sides used all of their challenges. They also could make an unlimited number of requests to the judge to strike a juror for cause, though the judge ruled that not liking Trump’s persona is not enough to remove someone.

    Juror 11 was seated on the jury after Merchan denied Trump’s challenge to the juror for cause. Trump’s lawyers argued she should be dismissed because she said she does not like Trump’s “persona.”

    “I don’t like his persona,” she said. “I don’t like some of my coworkers, but I don’t try to sabotage their work.”

    “He just seems very selfish and self-serving so I don’t really appreciate that in any public servant, so I don’t know him as a person, so I don’t know how he is in terms of his integrity,” she added. “It’s just not my cup of tea.”

    In denying Trump’s challenge, Merchan said it’s not enough that she doesn’t like his persona because she said she was certain she could set that aside to be fair and impartial.
    ………
    Trump’s lawyers successfully petitioned Merchan to remove one woman who was questioned about several strongly worded anti-Trump social media posts. The defense lawyers used Trump’s last few peremptory strikes to remove a woman who had slept at (Trump attorney Susan) Necheles’ home — Merchan denied a challenge for cause for that panelist.

    Both sides got some jurors they wanted and some they don’t. That’s the way jury selection works.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  7. @2 “The Biden administration stayed far away from the case and never gave even the appearance of interference”

    The Biden administration thought it was a great idea to send their goodwill ambassador Robert DeNiro to the courthouse to deliver a bunch of F-ck Yous.

    lloyd (b5c608)

  8. @6 Probability is hard.

    lloyd (7badfd)

  9. Surprised it’s taking this long.

    I still think they’re going to convict.

    whembly (86df54)

  10. lloyd, One of the lawyers her can correct me but IIUC the requirement isn’t a jury free from bias. It’s a Jury that render a verdict based on the facts presented. So it’s not necessary that they have no opinions about him at all, it’s necessary that they be able to put those opinions aside and render a verdict based on the evidence presented. What don’t you get about that?

    Time123 (fbbaff)

  11. Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 5/30/2024 @ 9:44 am

    If I had to put odds on it, I’d say 54 percent for a conviction, 2 percent for an acquittal, and 44 percent for a hung jury that results in a mistrial.

    I said yesterday, before it went to the jury, 52 percent for an acquittal, 30 percent for a hung jury, and 20 percent for a conviction. I expected it to take long, and if it goes on into next week, the odds of an acquittal go up.

    I also said earlier that it depends on the judge’s instructions, and if he gets convicted it’ll be reversed on the grounds that the instructions were wrong,

    My impression, from what little I read and heard, is that the arguments that Trump’s defense counsel made weren’t strong and they focused mostly on defending Trump for responsibility for the record keeping and on Michael Cohen being a repetitive liar. Even there they gave him personal motives for lying, including his stated desire for revenge (also a lie) but I think it is basically that he is stuck with his story, (which didn’t help him stay out of prison)

    I don’t know if all the things pointing to Trump not being guilty (like his refusal to approve the payment of Stormy Daniels in advance) made its way into the trial record, but if the jury thinks and thinks about it, they’ll find him not guilty.

    Sammy Finkelman (c2c77e)

  12. Typo: Correct is: I said yesterday, before it went to the jury, 50 percent for an acquittal, 30 percent for a hung jury, and 20 percent for a conviction.

    It’ll reach 52% if the jury is still deliberating Friday afternoon, and 60% by Monday. The odds of a hung jury are less than that of an acquittal.

    Sammy Finkelman (c2c77e)

  13. I will be shocked if they convict. I expect a verdict tomorrow.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  14. A word to the wise in Manhattan. Do not throw out your kitchen trash. You could be charged with tampering with evidence of a crime. “What crime?” I hear you ask. I don’t know. What crime could you have committed?

    God help you if you enter “party favors” into Quicken after spending the money on cocaine.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  15. Trump must have not read the indictment.

    The underlying crime is not in the indictment, or at least is not limited to what is in the indictment.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  16. @10 Did I argue there was any violation of the law or some legal guideline? You’re responding to a point I didn’t make. The assertion was that the defense was “satisfied” that they were “able to impanel an impartial jury of Trump’s peers.” There is nothing to support that. Rip himself points to a juror that the defense sought to exclude and was denied, and they exhausted their requests to exclude. It hardly appears they are satisfied, nor should they be given the political leanings of the venue. What don’t you get about that?

    lloyd (0b72bf)

  17. A conviction on all counts, or an acquittal on all counts, would take no time at all. It’s when you get into a long deliberation that you get split verdicts, partial hangs, etc. A hung jury on all counts would mean that one of more jurors isn’t listening to the others.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  18. So, it comes to Trump that the jury is split 11-1 on all counts and will he accept the 11 as unanimous? IF he agrees does he waive his right to appeal? If so, based on jury makeup or all appeals?

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  19. I’m explaining what “impartial” means in this context.

    Time123 (aec009)

  20. The jury has a verdict. They are preparing the paperwork so it can be announced.

    BuDuh (4214e4)

  21. Kevin, I hope he’s acquitted, or the jury hangs. As I’ve said before my ideal outcome is his resounding defeat and a widespread rejection of his noxious movement.

    But these jurors know who he is. They’re not stupid, how they vote is a huge deal and they undoubtedly know they need to get it right. I don’t expect that to be fast. The charges are shaky but the prosecution presented good evidence. That makes for a tough decision.

    Time123 (aec009)

  22. As I’ve said before my ideal outcome is his resounding defeat and a widespread rejection of his noxious movement.

    Whether or not Trump is convicted, that is unlikely to happen. Trumpism permeates the Republican Party.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  23. Yup. Here comes the conviction.

    Just waiting to see if the judge is going to put Trump in jail, set bail/house arrest…

    whembly (86df54)

  24. Just waiting to see if the judge is going to put Trump in jail, set bail/house arrest…

    whembly (86df54) — 5/30/2024 @ 1:57 pm

    Any sentencing won’t happen for several weeks.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  25. GUILTY. I’m guilty of thinking this would extend into Friday.

    AJ_Liberty (60652c)

  26. Since Trump was released on his own OR, I doubt there would be any bail pending appeal.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  27. Since Trump was released on OR, I doubt there would be any bail before sentencing.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  28. karma

    AJ_Liberty (60652c)

  29. Trump guilty on all counts.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  30. Toldya.

    Now onto appeals.

    Or, god forbid, redstate prosecutions starts going after Democrats…

    whembly (86df54)

  31. Or, god forbid, redstate prosecutions starts going after Democrats…

    whembly (86df54) — 5/30/2024 @ 2:12 pm

    As long as Democrats have committed crimes in red state jurisdictions, I have no problem with that.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  32. Jurors to appear on CNN or MSNBC in three, two, one……..

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  33. When does the gag order end?

    BuDuh (b32675)

  34. When does the gag order end?

    BuDuh (b32675) — 5/30/2024 @ 2:18 pm

    When did it start?

    Sarcasm aside, it should be vacated since the trial has ended.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  35. @30 You’ll regret this, and you may regret this a lot sooner than you think.

    -Mitch McConnell

    whembly (86df54)

  36. Guilty on all 34 counts. Post updated.

    Dana (8e902f)

  37. The commie left and their allies get to tar the opponents accordingly.

    laurventy beria would be proud.

    NJRob (a4df73)

  38. Todd Blanche asks the court for sentencing to take place in mid to late July.

    Sentencing is set for July 11 at 10 a.m. That will put sentencing four days before the beginning of the Republican National Convention, at which Trump is expected to receive the party’s presidential nomination.

    As expected, Trump will have to receive a probation report, as is standard in state court. That report typically takes four to six weeks.

    The judge excuses the parties, but not before asking about Trump’s bail status. He then releases him on his own recognizance. Trump leaves the courtroom, shaking his son Eric’s hand as he departs. He holds his jaw strong as he walks out.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  39. I think Trump is the big winner here

    steveg (a650c5)

  40. I think the gag order ends when the jury reaches a verdict The trial is then over.

    If mistrial is declared, I don’t know if it continues unless a no prosecution decision is made, or if it would have to be requested and issued again. And for that matter if anything at all continues. Maybe he has to plead guilty or not guilty again should the prosecution choose to proceed.

    Sammy Finkelman (e4ef09)

  41. So, Nikki Haley please.

    Colonel Klink (ret) (96f56a)

  42. He’s been an adjudicated fraud for years, now he’s a criminal fraud.
    If this was the weakest of the four cases, then it doesn’t augur well for Trump if/when the upcoming trials happen.

    Paul Montagu (1e8339)

  43. Trump should get about the same amount of time as Cohen got. Not sure where he’d serve though. Logistics probably make it awfully hard to put a former pres in prison with a secret service detail, so house arrest with a prisoners access to internet/socials/phone etc.

    Colonel Klink (ret) (96f56a)

  44. The Fed charges on the docs case are more explicit.

    Colonel Klink (ret) (96f56a)

  45. ………
    Long before that appeal is heard, however, Mr. Trump will be enmeshed in the gears of the criminal justice system. Mr. Trump has already indicated that he plans to appeal, after months of criticizing the case and attacking the Manhattan district attorney, who brought it, and the judge who presided over his trial. The judge, Juan M. Merchan, set Mr. Trump’s sentencing for July 11. He could be sentenced to as much as four years behind bars, or probation.

    A pre-sentencing report makes recommendations based on the defendant’s criminal record — Mr. Trump had none before this case — as well as his personal history and the crime itself. The former president was found guilty of falsifying business records in relation to a $130,000 payment to Stormy Daniels, a porn star who says she had a brief sexual tryst with Mr. Trump in 2006, in order to buy her silence.

    At the presentence interview, a psychologist or social worker working for the probation department may also talk to Mr. Trump, during which time the defendant can “try to make a good impression and explain why he or she deserves a lighter punishment,” according to the New York State Unified Court System.

    The pre-sentencing report can also include submissions from the defense, and may describe whether “the defendant is in a counseling program or has a steady job.”

    In Mr. Trump’s case, of course, he is applying — as it were — for a steady job as president of the United States, a campaign that may be complicated by his new status as a felon. Mr. Trump will likely be required to regularly report to a probation officer, and rules on travel could be imposed.
    ………..

    Source

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  46. I hope the jurors have protection details

    Colonel Klink (ret) (96f56a)

  47. So, Nikki Haley please.

    Colonel Klink (ret) (96f56a) — 5/30/2024 @ 2:34 pm

    What, becoming VP to a convicted felon? She certainly won’t be nominated for President by a convention hall full of Trump delegates.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  48. At the GOP convention, replace him. The process exists.

    Colonel Klink (ret) (96f56a)

  49. Trump NY trial transcripts:

    https://pdfs.nycourts.gov/PeopleVs.DTrump-71543/transcripts/

    The judge’s instructions are still not available. The closing arguments are the latest available:

    https://pdfs.nycourts.gov/PeopleVs.DTrump-71543/transcripts/5-28-2024/

    You can only see one page at a time and have to keep on clicking on Next to see the next page.

    Had Trump been found not guilty, the instructions would never have become available, except independently or maybe through the Internet archive but each page would have had to be saved separately, and what was available would have been removed.

    The New York Times transcripts are better (although behind a paywall) and you can see a whole day at a time and search therefore for some text.

    Page containing links to all days:

    https://www.nytimes.com/article/trump-hush-money-trial-transcripts.html

    Page containing the closing arguments May 28:

    https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2024/05/30/nyregion/trump-hush-money-trial-transcript-may-28.html

    Sammy Finkelman (e4ef09)

  50. President Biden’s campaign spokesman said Trump’s conviction showed “no one is above the law.” “There is still only one way to keep Donald Trump out of the Oval Office: at the ballot box,” said Michael Tyler, the campaign’s communications director. “Convicted felon or not, Trump will be the Republican nominee for president.”

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  51. I

    think Trump is the big winner here

    steveg (a650c5) — 5/30/2024 @ 2:28 pm

    He apparently doesn’t feel that way.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  52. @45 The jurors are anonymous, Klink, as is their party affiliation. All to keep them safe, wink wink.

    lloyd (0b72bf)

  53. Colonel Klink (ret) (96f56a) — 5/30/2024 @ 2:41 pm At the GOP convention, replace him. The process exists.

    It would work because that is before the Ohio deadline of August 7, for a candidate to be on the ballot in Ohio changes its law which it doesn’t seem to be about to without other changes in law unwanted by Democrats (Alabama did)

    But the convention is too late for the Democrats because their nomination comes later. The Democrats decided to officially nominate Biden and Kamala Harris earlier although they still plan on a roll call vote at the convention.

    That just puts the nail in the coffin of switching candidates.

    Sammy Finkelman (e4ef09)

  54. Whembly,

    it’s beyond sad that our nation has fallen into the state it has. How long do you think before it gets worse and it will get worse?

    NJRob (a4df73)

  55. Sammy Finkelman (e4ef09) — 5/30/2024 @ 2:50 pm

    Why would Trump delegates want to replace Trump? The convention will be the biggest group in one room of Trump’s true believers.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  56. Alvin Bragg, the Manhattan district attorney, will hold a news conference at 6:30 to discuss the verdict.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  57. You can read the 34 charges here.

    Dana (f27dce)

  58. @38

    I think Trump is the big winner here

    steveg (a650c5) — 5/30/2024 @ 2:28 pm

    How so?

    whembly (86df54)

  59. @53

    Whembly,

    it’s beyond sad that our nation has fallen into the state it has. How long do you think before it gets worse and it will get worse?

    NJRob (a4df73) — 5/30/2024 @ 2:50 pm

    Yeup.

    The line has been crossed.

    It’s up to AGs in Republican states to start prepping cases against their political rivals. Make Democrats live by the new rules until they beg for mercy.

    This case will likely be appealed under numerous rationales… but, won’t be fully adjudicated till after the election.

    Which is exactly the plan by this partisan prosecution team.

    whembly (86df54)

  60. The jurors are anonymous, Klink, as is their party affiliation.

    Until they start appearing on teevee.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  61. How Trump’s Team Blew It

    The criminal trial of Donald Trump didn’t have to end this way.

    The prosecution’s case had flaws that couldn’t be wallpapered over even with weeks of testimony, over 200 exhibits and a polished and persuasive presentation by Alvin Bragg, the Manhattan district attorney, and his team. If Mr. Trump’s lawyers had played their cards right, they most likely would have ended up with a hung jury or a misdemeanor conviction.

    The defense lost a winnable case by adopting an ill-advised strategy that was right out of Mr. Trump’s playbook. For years, he denied everything and attacked anyone who dared to take him on. It worked — until this case.
    ……….
    Instead of telling a simple story, Mr. Trump’s defense was a haphazard cacophony of denials and personal attacks. That may work for a Trump rally or a segment on Fox News, but it doesn’t work in a courtroom. Perhaps Mr. Trump’s team was also pursuing a political or press strategy, but it certainly wasn’t a good legal strategy. The powerful defense available to Mr. Trump’s attorneys was lost amid all the clutter.

    At the beginning of the trial, Mr. Trump’s team had a clear path to victory. ……..

    ……(T)he only direct evidence of Mr. Trump’s knowledge was the testimony of Michael Cohen — who has pleaded guilty to lying to Congress and charges of bank fraud, tax evasion and campaign finance violation — who hates Mr. Trump and makes money off his public commentary on Mr. Trump’s legal woes.

    ……….The prosecution had to prove that Mr. Trump knew about and caused — or at least was an accomplice in creating — the false business records. But at the time the records were created, Mr. Trump was in the White House. ……..Mr. Trump, his lawyers could argue, was focused on his role as president.

    ………The problem is that the defense made so many other points, and fought so many other things, that it failed to focus the jury on the weaknesses in the prosecution’s case and instead tried to fight everything and everyone, even when it gained little by doing so.
    ……….
    The trial dragged on for weeks largely because of Mr. Trump’s “deny everything” approach. A savvy defense counsel would have stipulated that Mr. Trump had an intimate affair with Stormy Daniels. Instead, the defense forced the prosecution to prove that the affair occurred and proceeded to aggressively attack Ms. Daniels, whom some of the jury likely found sympathetic in her testimony. That attack gained no ground legally for the defense — little turned on whether Mr. Trump had a sexual encounter with her — but distracted from his actual defense.
    ………..
    Because the defense denied everything and attacked Mr. Cohen on every point, prosecutors were able to focus on the many points where Mr. Cohen’s testimony was corroborated by documents, phone records, text messages and a recording. If the defense had narrowly focused on the key points on which that testimony was not corroborated, it could have undermined the prosecution’s advantage.
    ……….
    ……….Mr. Trump’s team went for broke, deciding not to seek a jury instruction that would have permitted jurors to find that Mr. Trump committed a misdemeanor rather than a felony. It’s unclear whether that decision to deny the jury an option that would have given the defense a win was an act of hubris or a refusal to compromise, but both are characteristics of Mr. Trump that don’t translate well into a criminal trial.

    Mr. Trump’s team was a reflection of its client, always attacking and never backing down. That playbook has worked for Mr. Trump again and again. For this trial and in a Manhattan courtroom, the attitude and strategy backfired.
    #########

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  62. Trump’s re-election is now assured. It won’t convince his supporters of a thing. It won’t change the minds of Democrats and #NeverTrump. But anyone who was on the fence is now off of it, and possibly pretty pissed off that the Law can be used in this way to try to affect a presidential election.

    This isn’t the kind of serious case that should be brought against a presidential candidate. At least not in this country. The documents case, the J6 case, the GA case, yeah, sure. But this is just sophistry. Sure, the other cases are delayed, mostly due to stupidity on the part of the prosecutors and/or DoJ foot-dragging.

    But that is no reason to laud a proxy cased of trumped up crap, nor a judge who allowed testimony that should have been out-of-bounds (such as Cohen having pleaded guilty to a related charge and the judge compounding that by saying he was Trump’s accomplice in that crime).

    My resistance to voting for Trump is ebbing. I think I’m not alone in that.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  63. Even Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), who voted to convict Trump in his Jan. 6 impeachment trial, said that while he wasn’t surprised by the verdict, he disagreed with it.

    https://thehill.com/homenews/senate/4694907-senate-republicans-trump-convictions/

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  64. This got misplaced in the above:

    “The jury was led to believe that two misdemeanors make a felony and that a state court could enforce federal law. None of this seems right. The rule of law should apply equally to both parties,” Cassidy said. “I disagree with the verdict.”

    –Bill Cassidy

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  65. And here’s the real takeaway for Trump’s supporters:

    Would a system that used this kind of prosecution to “get” Trump be adverse to a bit of ballot-box stealing if they thought they could get away with it?

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  66. So, Nikki Haley please.

    I will vote for her on Tuesday. I would have said she would do well in New Mexico, where even Republican candidates try not to mention the bad orange man, but now I’m not so sure.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  67. For years, he denied everything

    He shouldn’t have denied that he ever had a tryst with Stormy Daniels and his lawyer shouldn’t have mentioned that. I suppose he did it because Trump insisted.

    And part of the closing argument was that the business records ere correct. Michael Cohen was his lawyer and he did bill him and he even did some things for which he did not get any other pay and it is possible to overpay lawyers. But he should have acknowledged that it was a sweetheart deal – but said that even though it was, Michael Cohen was being paid for what he was doing now. If they agreed it was a retainer, that’s what it was. Like someone deciding to pay someone more because he had lost money. That’s as far as he should have that argument.

    .Mr. Trump’s team went for broke, deciding not to seek a jury instruction that would have permitted jurors to find that Mr. Trump committed a misdemeanor rather than a felony.

    But that was barred by the statute of limitations. They were right here. And there was clear responsibility for the way the payments to MC were booked.

    Sammy Finkelman (e4ef09)

  68. Kevin M (a9545f) — 5/30/2024 @ 3:45 pm

    Bill Cassidy is wrong.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  69. Trump should get about the same amount of time as Cohen got. Not sure where he’d serve though. Logistics probably make it awfully hard to put a former pres in prison with a secret service detail, so house arrest with a prisoners access to internet/socials/phone etc.

    Any sentence that interferes with a presidential campaign would be a bridge too far. I suspect it would create massive civil disorder.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  70. Bill Cassidy is wrong.

    Rip Murdock is often wrong.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  71. My resistance to voting for Trump is ebbing. I think I’m not alone in that.

    Kevin M (a9545f) — 5/30/2024 @ 3:38 pm

    I’m not surprised.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  72. Oh FFS, Trump did it. You know he did it, we know he did it, Trump’s massively expensive defense couldn’t convince the jury to even take it out a week for 34 charges.

    Colonel Klink (ret) (96f56a)

  73. Reports are that Trump’s campaign donation site is crashing.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  74. Oh FFS, Trump did it. You know he did it, we know he did it,

    1) I don’t care, these charges were BS to begin with.
    2) The bar for prosecuting former presidents now becomes “whatever.”
    3) There is a presidential campaign going on and this is an “own goal”; Trump’s re-election is now certain.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  75. Bill Cassidy is wrong.

    Rip Murdock is often wrong.

    Kevin M (a9545f) — 5/30/2024 @ 3:51 pm

    So what if I’m “often” wrong? It is irrelevant in this case as to why Bill Cassidy is wrong in this case. Cassidy is wrong that this case didn’t depend on “enforcing” the Federal Election Campaign Act, in fact Trump wasn’t charged with violating the Act, so how could this case be about enforcing it? FECA was one of three possible violations that Trump could have hide his payments from, there is also a violation of NY state election law or tax law. You frequently change the subject or move the goal posts.

    BTW, who cares what the Senator from Louisiana says?

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  76. Trump’s defense team couldn’t convince 12 Democrats. So incompetent.

    lloyd (78fb9a)

  77. As of tomorrow, any Republican that wants to remain in politics will have to denounce this verdict.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  78. The bar for prosecuting former presidents now becomes “whatever.”

    As it should be-once they leave the Oval Office they’re nothing special. They don’t become saints.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  79. FECA was one of three possible violations that Trump could have hide his payments from

    Do you ever read what you write? Loosey-goosey law does not enhance the image of the Law one little bit.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  80. 1) I don’t care, these charges were BS to begin with.

    The jury didn’t agree

    2) The bar for prosecuting former presidents now becomes “whatever.”

    No, since you don’t care that he did it, seems a weird thing. He did it, was convicted of it. Don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time. If you can find this on Biden, sure go after him, then you have to convince a jury that you have evidense.

    3) There is a presidential campaign going on and this is an “own goal”; Trump’s re-election is now certain.

    For some reason, I don’t think getting convicted of paying illegal hush money to a porn star for sex is a positive.

    He didn’t do a thing wrong, for any of the things, he’s completely innocent. He’s also on the hook for $600M in penalties in the other already closed cases. He’s got 60 other charges pending and so far he’s lost pretty much everything so far.

    Colonel Klink (ret) (96f56a)

  81. As it should be-once they leave the Oval Office they’re nothing special. They don’t become saints.

    No, they just used to get the thanks of a grateful nation and a generous retirement. Everything changes now.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  82. Don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time

    There is no one you know in this life who has not done worse. Did you ever smoke pot?

    This was a crime that was found to GET Trump. Whatever it took.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  83. As of tomorrow, any Republican that wants to remain in politics will have to denounce this verdict.

    Kevin M (a9545f) — 5/30/2024 @ 4:02 pm

    Try today:

    Senate candidate Larry Hogan (R), the former Maryland governor, urged all Americans to “respect the verdict and the legal process” ahead of the verdict’s announcement — immediately enraging top Trump allies.

    “At this dangerously divided moment in our history, all leaders — regardless of party — must not pour fuel on the fire with more toxic partisanship,” Hogan posted on X. “We must reaffirm what has made this nation great: the rule of law.”

    “You just ended your campaign,” Trump campaign adviser Chris LaCivita wrote in response.
    ………..

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  84. GOP should replace him at the convention with Nikki. That would guarantee a win, she’d get my vote, Trump never will.

    Colonel Klink (ret) (96f56a)

  85. As it should be-once they leave the Oval Office they’re nothing special. They don’t become saints.

    No, they just used to get the thanks of a grateful nation and a generous retirement. Everything changes now.

    Kevin M (a9545f) — 5/30/2024 @ 4:06 pm

    Fine with me.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  86. GOP should replace him at the convention with Nikki. That would guarantee a win, she’d get my vote, Trump never will.

    Colonel Klink (ret) (96f56a) — 5/30/2024 @ 4:07 pm

    She certainly won’t be nominated for President by a convention hall full of Trump delegates.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  87. There is no one you know in this life who has not done worse. Did you ever smoke pot?

    Smoking pot is legal in NY. This isn’t, and no, I haven’t done worse, anyone I know that has done worse had serious consequences.

    Cohen was his co-conspirator in this and he went to jail for it already.

    Colonel Klink (ret) (96f56a)

  88. For some reason, I don’t think getting convicted of paying illegal hush money to a porn star for sex is a positive.

    As I said, this will not move #NeverTrump or Democrats. You just don’t get it. It’s not about that at all, it’s about abuse of authority by the State of NY.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  89. I think the reason Trump agreed to doing the reimbursement of Michael Cohen the way he did was to keep the non disclosure agreement tightly held.

    And the reason he paid him so much at all was that he (or Allen Allen Weisselberg) negotiated an agreement with Michael Cohen that wwould satisfy him and that may have been to guarantee his silence.

    I don’t think it was anybody’s opinion that payment to Stormy Daniels amounted to a crime, or that anyone would think so, which the prosecution should have to assert in order to say the purpose of doing things this way was to cover up a crime.

    That was NOT the reason for accounting for it the way they did.

    If Trump would have thought MC paying the NDA with his own money it was a crime, AND agreed to it before it was made, he would have made the payment directly. And he would have signed the NDA.

    And it did not occur to Michael Cohen, a year later, that anyone would think that Michael Cohen funding the non disclosure agreement was a crime when he was discussing with Bob Costello if he had anything illegal he could testify against Donald Trump (The judge wouldn’t allow that in because it was hearsay)

    Sammy Finkelman (e4ef09)

  90. This was a crime that was found to GET Trump. Whatever it took.

    Kevin M (a9545f) — 5/30/2024 @ 4:07 pm

    The floundering Georgia RICO case and this case are peas in a pod.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  91. Should vs will happen. Does the GOP want to win or not. You don’t have to sink or swim with Trump.

    Colonel Klink (ret) (96f56a)

  92. Colonel Klink (ret) (96f56a) — 5/30/2024 @ 4:10 pm

    In that case, it won’t happen. A convention of true MAGA believers will never abandon Trump. They’d rather lose.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  93. Smoking pot is legal in NY.

    It wasn’t at the time Trump did it, and probably not at the time YOU did it. Not so long ago it was a felony.

    This isn’t, and no, I haven’t done worse, anyone I know that has done worse had serious consequences.

    Never borrowed money for a loan down payment? Never used a drug harder than pot? Never drove drunk, even in college? Never put something down on your tax return that was not strictly true?

    Perhaps not. But to say that anyone you know who did any of these things has paid the price is silly. Almost no one is caught doing them.

    Cohen was his co-conspirator in this and he went to jail for it already.

    Cohen, who WAS caught not paying millions in federal tax and other crimes, pleaded guilty to a campaign finance charge because the special prosecutor had to get that to have probable cause for everything else. And then he did less time than he would have done on the tax evasion alone.

    This does not mean that he (or Trump) did what he pleaded guilty to in real life. It just meant that he had to take of leave a package deal (parts of which he now recants).

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  94. The floundering Georgia RICO case and this case are peas in a pod.

    How so? The RICO case is based on things that people care about, for starters.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  95. Reports are that Andrew McCarthy’s head just exploded. But once he collects all the pieces, he can start on the righteous task of building the appeal for his readers…months of riveting analysis ahead to settle their hearts.

    “Oh FFS, Trump did it.”

    Exactly. There’s nothing brave or noble about paying hush money to protect one’s campaign. And he’s done worse on J6 and even more blantant with the classified documents. It’s not Jack Smith’s fault that those cases aren’t proceeding right now. Trump is a rogue and it’s one more opportunity for the GOP to move on….rather than braying on about initiating lawfare and torching the justice system. This is a bad man….you don’t owe him anything….

    AJ_Liberty (60652c)

  96. FECA was one of three possible violations that Trump could have hide his payments from

    Do you ever read what you write? Loosey-goosey law does not enhance the image of the Law one little bit.

    Kevin M (a9545f) — 5/30/2024 @ 4:03 pm

    It’s not my law, it’s the law of the state of New York.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  97. One thing getting lost is that while it might have been a crime for Michael Cohen to advance the money for the payment to Stormy Daniels, it would not have been for Donald Trump. Michael Cohen maybe had no more motive than helping elect Donald Trump but for Trump was not a valid campaign expense.

    And for Michael Cohen to be guilty of making a secret, unrecorded, in kind political contribution or loan to Donald Trump, it would have to be in co-ordination with Donald Trump or his presidential campaign.

    But Donald Trump was the man with the money. Unlike the case with John Edwards.

    Sammy Finkelman (e4ef09)

  98. * It wasn’t at the time Trump did this here, and probably not at the time YOU smoked it. Not so long ago it was a felony.

    confusion of pronouns

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  99. ” You just don’t get it. It’s not about that at all, it’s about abuse of authority by the State of NY.”

    A good number of people would say it’s accountability. You don’t get to whine your way out of accountability. Don’t cover up hush money payments to porn stars to counter the bad press from the Access Hollywood tape. It’s a simple lesson.

    AJ_Liberty (60652c)

  100. “You just ended your campaign,” Trump campaign adviser Chris LaCivita wrote in response.

    And, sadly, he did. Oh, he may get a bit of undecided vote, but Trump’s people who make up 80% of his base will be very unhappy. I’m thinking that his polling showed him losing anyway.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  101. AJ,

    As I said, the people (Democrats, etc) who would never vote for Trump have no problem with this, but anyone who might vote for him now will.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  102. Perhaps not. But to say that anyone you know who did any of these things has paid the price is silly. Almost no one is caught doing them.

    Caught, is the key thing. When this happened Trump was not the President. He knew what he’d done in his life. If you have committed a bunch of crimes and fraud, don’t paint a giant target on your back. And, don’t antagonize the people that would investigate it. Does that mean that Trump was targetted for running, or having been a president? Sure, I guess, but he was aware of the jeopardy, or should have been. He’s an idiot, and thinks he’s smart, the worst kind of idiot, so maybe Cohen and his kids should have convinced him that staying home and to STFU was better for everyone.

    Now he’s been president, so he thinks his BS is validated and he can get away with it because he became a ruler. It was always BS, he should have never been elected because we all knew that Trump was a scumbag. Scumbag was a known known.

    Colonel Klink (ret) (96f56a)

  103. But I could be wrong. I’d love it if Trump’s poll numbers collapsed and the Convention looked elsewhere. But I don’t think they will.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  104. Caught, is the key thing. When this happened Trump was not the President.

    “Caught.” It is one thing if you catch a guy driving drunk. It’s quite another if you have 12 people surveilling him and when he comes out of a bar after 3 drinks and starts his car, whammo! 0.085!

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  105. AJ_Liberty (60652c) — 5/30/2024 @ 4:19 pm

    There’s nothing brave or noble about paying hush money to protect one’s campaign.

    I don’t think that Trump ever agreed to pay the hush money and Michael Cohen did it on his own, crazy as that may sound. But the alternative is even crazier.

    I don’t think Trump was worried it would hurt his campaign more than the Access Hollywood tape already had. I don’t think that Trump thought it was worth the money. Cohen bargained her down from $150.000 to $130,000 but Trump still refused to pay.

    If Trump had agreed to let Michael Cohen pay the money if he wanted to, and to reimburse him, wouldn’t Michael Cohen have tried to protect himself by getting a promise to pay him back in writing, or secretly taping Donald Trump, or when he got David Pecker to argue for him that Trump should reimburse him, told David Pecker to use the argument: “You promised?” I haven’t read the testimony but I didn’t read that anything like that was said.

    Sammy Finkelman (e4ef09)

  106. Klink, this would go over better if both the state’s AG and the city’s DA had not run on platforms of “getting Trump.”

    They could not get him on the hush money payment itself — statute of limitations — but they could get him on putting the wrong memo on his check.

    Kevin Murphy (a9545f)

  107. Come on, we know he did it. I don’t even see anyone arguing that he didn’t do it.

    Colonel Klink (ret) (96f56a)

  108. What someone at MSNBC wrote before the verdict:

    https://www.msnbc.com/opinion/msnbc-opinion/alvin-bragg-trump-case-legal-theory-rcna154413

    Sammy Finkelman (e4ef09)

  109. From the Open Thread:

    Wouldn’t matter-Trump would still be President.

    If he were somehow jailed, the 25th Amendment’s bit about “inability” would be meaningful and I’d expect Nikki to use it. I’d also expect Congress to affirm the inability. It’s the Cabinet I’m not sure of.

    Kevin M (a9545f) — 5/30/2024 @ 10:27 am

    Too bad it’s the Cabinet that makes the decision. And Nikki (for the reasons I mentioned before) will not be the VP, especially if there is a chance that Trump would be unable to serve out his full term. The convention would want to make certain another “true believer” (JD Vance, Josh Hawley, Katie Britt, Tim Scott; Byron Donalds, Elise Stefanik, etc.) would be in charge.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  110. Trump had bad lawyers, and both he and the judge put limitations upon them.

    Sammy Finkelman (e4ef09)

  111. Not he convention: Trump

    Sammy Finkelman (e4ef09)

  112. What do British bettors think about the verdict? That it makes it less likely the Loser will be elected president this November.

    Be interesting to see what the bettors think in a day, and in a week.

    (I prefer betting markets to polls and pundits this far out.)

    Jim Miller (20bc20)

  113. I know Vance, personally he’s not the guy he plays on TV. I don’t know if that’s better or worse, he’s much less MAGA in his personal life.

    Colonel Klink (ret) (96f56a)

  114. Trump had bad lawyers, and both he and the judge put limitations upon them.

    I think it was probably the other way round for the lawyers, they had a bad client that forced them to do some stupid stuff and wouldn’t STFU.

    Colonel Klink (ret) (96f56a)

  115. I know Vance, personally he’s not the guy he plays on TV. I don’t know if that’s better or worse, he’s much less MAGA in his personal life.

    Colonel Klink (ret) (96f56a) — 5/30/2024 @ 4:47 pm

    Unfortunately politicians are defined by their public persona.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  116. Jim Miller (20bc20) — 5/30/2024 @ 4:45 pm

    Love the headlines:

    Home Alone 2 Star Found Guilty on all 34 Counts in Criminal Case

    Trump taken down by a porn star and a Pecker

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  117. Heh, Lock him up.

    Colonel Klink (ret) (96f56a)

  118. @65, they were saying that anyone. A can of peas could expire in their pantry and it would be proof of whatever conspiracy has their blood pressure up at the moment.

    Time123 (06ec87)

  119. @65, they were saying that anyone. A can of peas could expire in their pantry and it would be proof of whatever conspiracy has their blood pressure up at the moment.

    Can you link to someone in power saying this?

    Colonel Klink (ret) (96f56a)

  120. @119 So, gift them a legit reason to claim the election was stolen? That’s really some deep thinking right there.

    lloyd (78fb9a)

  121. Too bad it’s the Cabinet that makes the decision.

    Unless the Congress establishes an alternative group by statute. Could still happen.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  122. What do British bettors think about the verdict? That it makes it less likely the Loser will be elected president this November.

    About as meaningful as who American bettors think will be the next Prime Minister. Many would vote for “Thatcher.”

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  123. I’ve often said that Trump is made more repulsive by the statements of his supporters, but today his opponents are taking their turn.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  124. So, tell me, is it legal to use campaign funds to pay hush money, if it arguably helps the campaign?

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  125. Appropriate today:

    We Are Starting to Enjoy Hatred

    The country has long been divided, but estrangement has become alluring in the age of Biden and Trump.

    I’m seeing something and maybe you are too.

    We talk in our country about political polarization and it’s real: We’re split into a thousand pieces within two big camps of left and right. We decry the harshness of our political discourse, particularly online, where outrageous and dehumanizing things are said.

    But what I’m seeing is that we don’t mind disliking each other now. We like it. That’s the new thing, that we’re enjoying the estrangement.

    Nobody’s trying to win anybody over. The biggest recent example of this is the story about the Supreme Court justice’s wife who didn’t understand that flying the American flag upside down outside her home during a crisis might be experienced by others as unhappily weird and possibly alarming, and her neighbor who didn’t understand that when engaged in a political dispute it’s not really nice to spew lewd and ugly epithets unbidden, or put them on lawn signs.

    That was a local and particular expression of a larger trend we’re all witnessing. Bill Maher wrote of it in an essay last month: “Would anyone ride the New York City subway wearing a MAGA hat, or go to a NASCAR race in a Biden T-shirt? That’s where we are now: Other parts of the country are seen as no-go zones.”

    It’s shocking that that’s true, but it is.

    When was the last time you saw anyone try to address the other side with respect and understanding, and venture something like, “I think you’re seeing it this way, but I want to explain why I see it so differently, and that way we might both understand each other and proceed with respect.” Instead we accuse each other and put each other down and it doesn’t feel merry and high-spirited, like political business as usual, it feels cold.

    Both sides have an equal but different sense of superiority. Both sides enjoy looking down on the other.

    The left leans toward condemnation. It is going from “Trump is a criminal” to “Trump supporters are criminal.” They understand things the other dopes don’t. Class is involved. I have quoted the friend who said recently, with no bitterness, that Democrats see Trump voters as toothless, smelly Walmart shoppers. The left does look down, sometimes from a privileged economic position, which makes it the more shameful.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  126. Congrats guys. The lawfare many of you support has radicalized Hinderaker and now he’s on board with defeating Biden and those that have turned our court system into Soviet Russia.

    NJRob (a4df73)

  127. This just shows you have zero clue what Soviet Russia was like.

    Not knowing things is on brand though.

    Colonel Klink (ret) (96f56a)

  128. Klink,

    you are boring. You desire the victory of the left. You will not succeed.

    NJRob (a4df73)

  129. The WSJ editorial

    A Guilty Verdict for Trump and Its Consequences for the Country
    District Attorney Alvin Bragg inaugurates a new and destabilizing era of American politics.

    Twelve New York jurors have found Donald Trump guilty of falsifying business records, a total of 34 felony counts, in history’s first criminal conviction of a former President. What a volatile moment for the country. Will the judge jail Mr. Trump? Will voters re-elect him in November anyway, in disgust of this concocted case? What if it’s thrown out on appeal? Will Republicans retaliate? The nation might soon regret this rough turn.

    Thursday’s guilty verdict wasn’t entirely surprising, given the jury pool in Manhattan. If Mr. Trump had lucked out, he might have drawn one or two stubborn skeptics, like the Henry Fonda character in “12 Angry Men,” resulting in at least a hung jury. Instead the fortunate one was Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, who filed the weakest of the four indictments of Mr. Trump, but who managed to drag his case first over the finish line.

    Normally a felony conviction would be politically fatal for a candidate appearing on the ballot in five months. But normally a prosecutor wouldn’t have brought this case. Mr. Bragg, an elected Democrat, ran for office as the man ready to take on Mr. Trump. When the new DA didn’t indict shortly after winning office, his top Trump prosecutors loudly quit, increasing the pressure on Mr. Bragg to do, well, something. Even after a guilty verdict, the case he ended up filing looks like a legal stretch.

    The evidence from the six-week trial fleshed out some of the facts. Stormy Daniels testified that she and Mr. Trump had a sexual rendezvous in 2006, which he keeps denying, if implausibly. In the runup to the 2016 election, Mr. Trump’s fixer Michael Cohen paid Ms. Daniels $130,000 to keep quiet. Mr. Trump reimbursed him, and then some, in 2017. According to the DA, the crime was disguising this repayment as legal fees to Mr. Cohen for work under a retainer that didn’t exist.

    On the law, though, the case was a bizarre turducken, with alleged crimes stuffed inside other crimes. By the time Mr. Bragg showed up on the scene, the Stormy business was old enough that Mr. Trump couldn’t be hit with misdemeanor falsification of records, because the statute of limitations had expired. To elevate these counts into felonies, the DA said Mr. Trump cooked the books with an intent to commit or cover up a second offense.

    What crime was that? At first Mr. Bragg was cagey. He eventually settled on a New York election law, rarely enforced, that prohibits conspiracies to promote political candidates “by unlawful means.” This explains why prosecutors spent so much trial time on David Pecker, the National Enquirer boss. His outfit paid $150,000 in 2016 to silence another woman, Karen McDougal, who also says she had an extracurricular affair with Mr. Trump. Mr. Bragg’s argument is that they were all in cahoots, more or less, to steal the election.

    Yet what “unlawful means” did this alleged conspiracy use? The DA’s argument was that there were three: First, the hush money was effectively an illegally large donation to Mr. Trump’s campaign. Second, more business filings were falsified, including bank records for Mr. Cohen’s wire transfer to Ms. Daniels. Third, false statements were made to tax authorities, since Mr. Trump’s repayment of Mr. Cohen was structured as income and “grossed up” to cover the taxes he would need to pay on it.

    In some ways this Russian nesting doll structure, to use another analogy, defies logic. Did Mr. Trump falsify business records in 2017 to cover up an illegal conspiracy to elect him in 2016, whose unlawful means included false information in Mr. Cohen’s tax return for 2017? There was hardly any direct evidence about Mr. Trump’s state of mind. Federal prosecutors squeezed a guilty plea out of Mr. Cohen but notably didn’t pursue Mr. Trump. One news report said the feds worried that his “lack of basic knowledge of campaign finance laws would make it hard to prove intent.”

    The conviction sets a precedent of using legal cases, no matter how sketchy, to try to knock out political opponents, including former Presidents. Mr. Trump has already vowed to return the favor. If Democrats felt like cheering Thursday when the guilty verdict was read, they should think again. Mr. Bragg might have opened a new destabilizing era of American politics, and no one can say how it will end.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  130. Mr. Bragg’s argument is that they were all in cahoots, more or less, to steal the election.

    Note that there will be those that insist that this proves that the 2016 election was stolen.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  131. Anyone who is cheering this verdict is a partisan.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  132. you are boring. You desire the victory of the left. You will not succeed.

    Cool, I’ll take boring over stupid any day.

    Colonel Klink (ret) (96f56a)

  133. A supporter of a so-called conservative who *actually tried to steal an election* is claiming that stolen elections are the end result of leftism?

    It’s hilarious.

    aphrael (1797ab)

  134. > But what I’m seeing is that we don’t mind disliking each other now. We like it. That’s the new thing, that we’re enjoying the estrangement.

    We are dividing into two different nations, and each nation has strong sympathies for members of their own nation who are trapped in the territory controlled by the other nation.

    aphrael (1797ab)

  135. > it’s about abuse of authority by the State of NY.

    It’s an absolute abuse of authority for the law to require honesty in official paperwork and to impose penalties on those who are dishonest in official paperwork. There’s no legitimate reason for expecting official paperwork to be honest, after all.

    aphrael (1797ab)

  136. Again, this is an own goal. More than that as it will empower a newly elected Trump to use similar tactics (as he sees them) against his enemies (as he sees them).

    Maybe it is all for the good, as the country NEEDS an object lesson in giving too much power to the central government and its not-so-titular head. But the Trump lesson is going to be served cold.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  137. It’s an absolute abuse of authority for the law to require honesty in official paperwork and to impose penalties on those who are dishonest in official paperwork. There’s no legitimate reason for expecting official paperwork to be honest, after all.

    If it showed that it actually cared one whit about such things, and enforced them against all comers including those in high office in the city, sure. But this is more like “What do we have to get Trump with?”

    I suspect that the tax records of NY city officials are going to get accidentally released for crowd-sourced honesty checking.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  138. > There is no one you know in this life who has not done worse. Did you ever smoke pot?

    Are you seriously claiming that using a mild intoxicant is worse than lying in official paperwork?

    I am baffled by your value system.

    aphrael (1797ab)

  139. > I suspect that the tax records of NY city officials are going to get accidentally released for crowd-sourced honesty checking.

    Good, and then we can put pressure on prosecutors to prosecute corrupt city officials, too. NYC would be better off for it.

    aphrael (1797ab)

  140. Mobys are boring.

    This brings us 1 step closer to midnight. And fools are cheering it on.

    NJRob (a4df73)

  141. I agree, the fools are cheering it on.

    I think maybe you don’t know who is cheering (ahem), and who is horrified.

    Colonel Klink (ret) (96f56a)

  142. Are you seriously claiming that using a mild intoxicant is worse than lying in official paperwork?

    I am baffled by your value system.

    Official paperwork? We’re talking about memo lines on checks.

    But anyway, pot was a felony in many states well into the 90s. It is fully illegal still in several states and will get you jail time there. Possession of 61g is a felony in Montana. Possession of 8 ounces is a felony in New Mexico although small amounts are legal.

    In fact, had Trump’s payment been about covering up marijuana use, it might have been a felony under this asinine NY law.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  143. And there seems to be a pretty strong demand for much stronger drugs in the US of A. Even pot today can hardly be called “a mild intoxicant.”

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  144. Cool, do you think he did it, yes or no?

    Colonel Klink (ret) (96f56a)

  145. I mean democrats could just take money and gold bars and cars from foreigners and there’s no way a democratic justice department would prosecute it.

    Colonel Klink (ret) (96f56a)

  146. Or Dems could just disable requiring credit card donations to be from Americans and no one would prosecute it.

    Oh, wait…

    NJRob (a4df73)

  147. Cool, do you think he did it, yes or no?

    Clink, I’m a process guy. You seem to be a results guy, screw the process. This makes that meaningless to me and important to you.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  148. *Klink

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  149. I mean democrats could just take money and gold bars and cars from foreigners

    Obama was faulted for a donation site that did not validate the location of donations. But no charges were filed.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  150. So you think he did it but don’t care because he was convicted by democrats. Not a question.

    Colonel Klink (ret) (96f56a)

  151. “I mean democrats could just take money and gold bars and cars from foreigners and there’s no way a democratic justice department would prosecute it.”

    A Senator who, if he stood down, would be replaced by a Democrat appointed by the Democrat governor is your best example?

    lloyd (a1df1d)

  152. Kevin does not appear to be about guilt or innocence. He’s concerned about political implications and that this will win the election for Trump. Just as his numbers went up with the other indictments, this will just cement Trump’s support.

    I’m not so sure. It just doesn’t help his cause to be found guilty of yet one more thing. Sexual assault, defamation, business frauds, and now more business fraud. Is Melania standing by her man? How abount Ivanka? This is not a look you want going into a close election. And once the gag order is off, we will get the full uncensored Trump….who we know is his worst enemy. Plus down the stretch you will see a full court political push on J6 and the classified documents mess. It’s chaos versus doddering….I’m not sure people want chaos.

    What is Trump’s good news? Yeah Biden remains old and doddering…but he’s not a felon…nor is he indicted in any other court…and he’s not pledging retribution….or dissolving NATO…or making his co-conspirators cabinet members. Do we need Jeffrey Clark as acting attorney general? Michael Flynn at Defense?

    This is a wakeup that Trump isn’t teflon Don…and more to it, that we don’t need someone like that. Trump created this mess. If you always do whatever the hell you want, this is sometimes where you find yourself…

    AJ_Liberty (60652c)

  153. Diversions noted

    –squirrel–

    Colonel Klink (ret) (96f56a)

  154. “You just ended your campaign,” Trump campaign adviser Chris LaCivita wrote in response (to Larry Hogan).

    And, sadly, he did. Oh, he may get a bit of undecided vote, but Trump’s people who make up 80% of his base will be very unhappy. I’m thinking that his polling showed him losing anyway.

    Kevin M (a9545f) — 5/30/2024 @ 4:24 pm

    Hogan’s fall in the polls is probably more due to his abortion campaign conversion than anything else, moving from vetoing an expansion of abortion access less than two years ago to now pledging to enshrine abortion rights into federal law.

    Nobody is fooled.

    Rip Murdock (363127)

  155. Republicans: We need law and order! Tough laws and court restrictions to stop these ACLU 5th amendment lawyers from having a defense against using the criminal justice system to convict these criminals! OK! if thats what you want mass incarceration of republicans.

    asset (29a190)

  156. David Pecker’s testimony killed Trump, why has Trump been so nice to him, the gag order? Or all the other stuff in the safe?

    Colonel Klink (ret) (96f56a)

  157. Like J. Edgar, Pecker probably had dirt on everyone.

    Rip Murdock (363127)

  158. Far as I can tell, the only things Trump has won in court are delays. Actual verdicts, not so good for him. Maybe there’s something there there, like, maybe he really is a criminal and a fraud, yet this is what my party nominated.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  159. …won in court since 2020

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  160. AllahNick seems to agree with much of what I’ve said today, although perhaps from a different perspective.

    And worse:

    Our friend David French recently envisioned a political nightmare in which Trump is convicted in Manhattan, Biden wins narrowly in November, and then the conviction is reversed on appeal afterward. The degree to which that turn of events would shake the faith of Trump voters in the fairness of the system is hard to overstate, but one thing that could plausibly make it more destabilizing than it otherwise might be would be if Biden had placed the fact of that conviction at the heart of his victorious campaign.

    It’s really too much to quote, but the main thrust is that Biden is thinking about leaning into this verdict with an address from the WH about just how terrible Donald Trump is.

    So what will be achieved by having the president himself address the matter publicly, except to seemingly confirm Trump’s suspicions that the trial was all about giving Democrats a talking point in the campaign?

    Nothing Biden says is likely to make swing voters more inclined to hold a guilty verdict against Trump. In Quinnipiac’s survey, just 6 percent of those who currently prefer the Republican for president said they’d be “less likely” to support him if he’s convicted. And “less likely” doesn’t tell us much: If you’re 100 percent certain to vote for Trump if he’s acquitted and 99 percent certain to do so if he isn’t, you’re technically “less likely” to support him even though your vote is in the bag.

    As with so many of Trump’s moral failings, the outcome of the trial simply might not hurt him…. But it could hurt Biden. The spectacle of the president trying to capitalize politically on a conviction might convince some persuadable voters that Trump was right to view the trial as dirty pool manufactured by Democrats. If that were to happen, it’d be a triple whammy for the left. Voters might be more inclined to dismiss the verdict as illegitimate; they might feel a modicum of sympathy for Trump, God help us; and they might view the gap between him and Biden in terms of their respect for “norms” as less meaningful than it is.

    and this:

    If Trump wins, important officers in federal law enforcement will be purged and replaced by fascist sycophants. When you frame the stakes that way, you can understand why Democrats are keen to use any political cudgel within reach to keep him out of power, including a conviction in Manhattan.

    Or maybe fudging vote totals?

    But that brings us to the same place we arrived at the last time I wrote about this. If the end of keeping postliberals out of power justifies the means of ditching liberal norms, then we’re arguing over which flavor of postliberalism we prefer long-term. If we fear and loathe Trump for setting fires for the justice system, as we should, we should not want Joe Biden adding any fuel by making political hay out of what happens there.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  161. So you think he did it but don’t care because he was convicted by democrats. Not a question.

    No because the game was rigged from the outset, where the prosecution could win without much argument, proofs could be vague or based on convicted liars, that extraneous details that were embarrassing to the defendant but meaningless to the case were allowed, subjects barred to the defense were allowed for the state, and the judge made several statements that were, at best, prejudicial (e.g. Cohen being Trump’s “accomplice”).

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  162. > But anyway, pot was a felony in many states well into the 90s.

    So? I’m not talking about *legality*. You said smoking pot was *worse*. It’s a ridiculous claim and i’m going to mock you for it.

    aphrael (1797ab)

  163. I’m not so sure. It just doesn’t help his cause to be found guilty of yet one more thing.

    Why? Quinnepac polled leaners and 6% said a guilty verdict would make them “less likely” to vote for Trump. My argument today is that the bulk of them fall for Trump and his 5% margin goes up to 10%.

    Sure, I could be wrong and by Convention time Trump is trailing in Arkansas, but I don’t think so.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  164. > If the end of keeping postliberals out of power justifies the means of ditching liberal norms, then we’re arguing over which flavor of postliberalism we prefer long-term.

    Way back in 2016 I was sitting here arguing that the problem with Trump was that electing him would cause serious harm to the Republic because *he* would cause serious harm to the Republic *and* because the things people would do to try to minimize or reduce or prevent the harm would *itself* cause serious harm to the Republic.

    Nothing’s changed in the intervening eight years, and I don’t know why you are blaming the people reacting to the situation rather than the person who created the situation.

    aphrael (1797ab)

  165. Quinnepac polled leaners and 6% said a guilty v

    I took that from Cataggio, but now I look at the actual poll numbers and I think he’s wrong.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  166. Nothing’s changed in the intervening eight years, and I don’t know why you are blaming the people reacting to the situation rather than the person who created the situation.

    Because we are in it now. The world would have been a better place if 2016 was President Romney’s re-election campaign. But it wasn’t, Trump wasn’t struck by lightning, and we have what amounts to a conman versus a huckster. In many ways Joe Biden is Trump’s proper nemesis as he isn’t very principled either. But perhaps unprincipled within normal bounds.

    In this case here, though, we see that, in order to save us from Trump, the defenders of Camelot will reach for some pretty nasty cudgels and they convince Trump’s supporters that they are just seeing the quiet part out loud.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  167. We have this diary, plus updates, plus 161 comments, yet not a single observation that our host, Patterico himself, nailed it.

    Despite what legal “experts” critical of this case may tell you, this was a solid case. Chances of a reversal on appeal are slim. Justice prevails in the United States of America.

    Didn’t he coin a phrase, something like, always trust content from Patterico? I think he earned a victory lap today.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  168. Way back in 2016 I was sitting here arguing that the problem with Trump was that electing him would cause serious harm to the Republic because *he* would cause serious harm to the Republic *and* because the things people would do to try to minimize or reduce or prevent the harm would *itself* cause serious harm to the Republic.

    Nothing’s changed in the intervening eight years, and I don’t know why you are blaming the people reacting to the situation rather than the person who created the situation.

    aphrael (1797ab) — 5/30/2024 @ 8:40 pm

    So because leftists spit on the rule of law and rig a system that would make soviets jealous, you blame Trump.

    Interesting choice.

    Kinda like the husband beating his wife because she made him mad.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  169. So because leftists spit on the rule of law and rig a system that would make soviets jealous, you blame Trump.

    Again? Educate yourself man. Ignorance isn’t bliss.

    Colonel Klink (ret) (96f56a)

  170. @170 Because righties spit on the law and rigged the system first with their law and order for minorities and court packing. This is self defense against the right or what ever trump is.

    asset (29a190)

  171. Klink and asset. Peas in a pod.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  172. Throwing everyone in a single box marked “Enemy” how very very…Soviet of you.

    Colonel Klink (ret) (96f56a)

  173. Didn’t he coin a phrase, something like, always trust content from Patterico? I think he earned a victory lap today.

    While I value his observations, when he talks about a prosecution, it is from a prosecutor’s viewpoint. He is not, for example, going to worry unduly about unjust advantages the prosecution has in a case.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  174. I don’t know anything about anything but I do have a question. When Harry Reid said that Mitt Romney did not pay income taxes, how far do you think the “ideological left” would have taken it to keep the course correction that, apparently, the United States deserved?

    Hitch your wagons…

    BuDuh (b32675)

  175. Pat was shocked when I suggested that the defense might blurt out something that the judge had ruled off limits. And yet, a prosecution witness did exactly that (on the same subject) and not only did the judge not exclude it, the matter tainted his jury instructions (“accomplice”).

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  176. @176: Well, it worked.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  177. @176 Harry reid was a corporate establishment stooge for the donor class. The ideological left were to busy trying to stop Obama from being the deporter in chief and complaining about corporate democrats saying the economy is great for their donor class. Again you confuse corporate establishment third way democrats like the clintons for the sanders/AOC wing of the party. As Sun Tzu says no your enemy or you will always lose!

    asset (29a190)

  178. Again you confuse corporate establishment third way democrats like the clintons for the sanders/AOC wing of the party.

    Now, we just prefer them to the economic illiterates.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  179. Can we have a math test for voting? Nothing too difficult. Maybe taking a square root in your head.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  180. Well, Trump would surely lose if you did.

    Colonel Klink (ret) (96f56a)

  181. This is all reminds me of when prosecutors went after Al Capone with a ticky-tacky tax evasion charge instead of focusing on his more serious crimes. And, naturally, the country’s response was to unite in outrage at the guilty verdict and elect Al Capone President.

    Turd Ferguson (5bd03c)

  182. Well, Trump would surely lose if you did.

    Because all Trump’s voters are stupid? Shows you to be thew partisan you are. Not a lick of understanding why other people do what they do. Or much caring (which is part of that “why”).

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  183. The only math Bernie can do is “97% of yours is mine.”

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  184. Klink and asset. Peas in a pod.

    NJRob (eb56c3) — 5/30/2024 @ 9:08 pm

    You and asset, peas in a pod (though he lacks your proclivity for insults and personal animosity.) You two should get a room, or maybe a hammock connecting your tips of the horseshoe.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  185. Kevin does not appear to be about guilt or innocence. He’s concerned about political implications and that this will win the election for Trump. Just as his numbers went up with the other indictments, this will just cement Trump’s support.

    AJ_Liberty (60652c) — 5/30/2024 @ 8:20 pm

    That’s what I would have thought, but it seems at odds with thisthis:

    My resistance to voting for Trump is ebbing. I think I’m not alone in that.

    Kevin M (a9545f) — 5/30/2024 @ 3:38 pm

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  186. While I value his observations, when he talks about a prosecution, it is from a prosecutor’s viewpoint. He is not, for example, going to worry unduly about unjust advantages the prosecution has in a case.

    Kevin M (a9545f) — 5/30/2024 @ 9:15 pm

    Patterico has written thousands of words, here and elsewhere, all of which I suspect you’ve read, meticulously detailing his legal analysis of this prosecution. If you disagree with it, I believe you’re more than capable of critiquing it on the merits. TL:DR’ing it with “he’s just being a prosecutor” strikes me as hand-wavy and disrespectful.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  187. What effect if any will trump’s felony conviction have on his ballot access.

    asset (29a190)

  188. @180 What is economic illiterate about sanders pointing out that when obama and clinton say the economy is doing great! They mean for the donor class that funds them. One of the marx brothers talked about the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer some years ago. That is why clinton lost the midwest. Now biden is saying the same thing the economy is doing great for his donors while food prices raise every time the poor go to the market. People on fixed incomes are being priced out of their housing with many older people becoming homeless.

    asset (29a190)

  189. The trial of Donald Trump on jerry-rigged charges produced the foreordained outcome. Trump was found guilty by a Manhattan jury of 34 felony charges. It couldn’t have been otherwise. This was a show trial.

    It would have been more efficient — it would have saved a day or two in show time — if Judge Merchan had simply directed a verdict of guilt and sent the jury home when the parties’ rested. It would not have been more unconstitutional than having the jury pick from Column A, Column B, or Column C for the “other crime” that was vital to the case.

    Instead Merchan let the prosecution run wild. He constrained the defense. He all but stripped Trump’s defense to the charge of federal election misconduct to which Michael Cohen had pleaded guilty.

    He gagged the defendant. He excluded evidence that might have helped the defendant, say with respect to the allegation of misconduct under federal election law. He crafted jury instructions that adopted the show-trial theory of the case.

    And the jury performed predictably under the circumstances. In this case its role was ministerial. The guilty verdict on each of the 34 charges was for show.

    The show trial lacked certain elements of the Stalinist show trials of old. Most notably, the defendant did not confess or repent. He has not professed to accept the opinion of his accusers. He may even prevail at some point on appeal after the election.

    But appeal is irrelevant. As in the show trials of old, the point of the case is political, not legal. Democrats have achieved their immediate political objective. Trump is now a convicted felon.

    As if to put an exclamation point on this aspect of the case — for dummies — Judge Merchan has scheduled sentencing four days before the Republican convention this coming July. The finality of the verdict on each of the charges yesterday is only seeming. The show’s not over in this show trial.

    The Democrats are guilty of every sin they attribute to Trump. Election interference — this is how it’s now to be done, with a strong dose of humiliation, a patina of legality, and the threat of incarceration. The threat produces an erotic effect on the Democrats and their media allies, but that is not the point. The point is to take down a political adversary. The point is the electoral effect — the point is political

    Looks like Scott Johnson has come around as well. The Stalinists on the left and rheir supporters will not succeed.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  190. Posted this at TD

    Should a candidate be allowed to conspire and pay to suppress negative stories and then use his business to launder the payments? For those saying it’s all political, I can only assume their answer is “yes”. We’ve gone from expectations of beyond reproach and avoiding even the appearance of corruption, to what’s a Don to do. Sadly, if you ain’t cheating, you ain’t trying seems to be the de facto ethos of many I shared a political party with for most of my life.

    I’m not alone in hating that this judgment had to come before the J6 or documents cases. Those are cases that involve serious abuses of power and, with the latter, obstruction. Those are the alleged criminal actions that needed to be adjudicated prior to a national election, yet here we are with more business fraud to hide questionable judgment. In past times, this would be enough for a party to part ways and find a new champion. Now, we are debating whether it might even be a net positive. I wish I could Rip Van Winkle my way out of this nightmare.

    Objectively, does it bother me that the NY law is so broad and that the elevating crime so unspecific? I think the appeals court has a real question there. Due process might demand better. Should the jury have been sequestered to better insulate it from outside influences…like a raving lunatic defendant? I have less problem here but it does bring up what is fair in such high profile cases. Do we get to a point where the process is so odious that it’s not possible to prosecute a former President? Two tiers indeed.

    As a free society, we should struggle with these questions. But as a free society, we should also choose much better leaders. There’s no excuse for nominating this guy again. We truly have seen the death of shame…..

    AJ_Liberty (2d978f)

  191. To those who’s spiking the football on Trump’s conviction…

    Would you support/agree/pick up that football if this case is overturned on appeal?

    Second question: and I think this is more impactful – this case “taints” the other remaining, much stronger, case.

    Politically, whether you agree or not, this will likely turn Trump into a martyr.

    Have fun with that….

    whembly (86df54)

  192. whembly, it’s wasted effort.

    They would all cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil.

    lloyd (a1df1d)

  193. If you want to check election betting odds regularly, this is a good place to start.

    Lott and Stossel explain why betting odds are better than polls here:

    Why trust these odds?
    Studies find that political prediction (betting) markets tend to be better at predicting elections than polls. Some reasons:
    – Bettors take into account important factors besides polls. In 2020, for example, the virus, mail-ins, and “shy voters” shook things up in unpredictable ways.
    – Unlike pundits, bettors put their money where their mouths are.
    – People involved in the event might trade before news breaks publicly
    – The “wisdom of crowds”.

    (Links omitted.)

    Jim Miller (09f17d)

  194. That’s what I would have thought, but it seems at odds with thisthis:

    My resistance to voting for Trump is ebbing. I think I’m not alone in that.

    The two are connected. I am faced with two lawless regimes now. As Cataggio put it, which illiberal ruler do I want? The one who I agree with on policy or the one I oppose?

    I am not given a free choice, and the result of the election will have significant power over my life, so it’s NOT an academic exercise. Further, I’m in a state which I believe will come into play — the recent 55-45 statewide spit in NM has little historical basis and is usually much closer than that.

    I will go today and vote early in the June 4 primary, and cast my vote for Nikki Haley and such GOP candidates who are reasonable. But in November, I have to look to MY interests, not yours, and “the rule of law” is now rather further down the checklist than it was before.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  195. If you disagree with it, I believe you’re more than capable of critiquing it on the merits

    He has spoken of his view of the strategy and meaning of the case. I have disagreed with him on detail on several points and see no reason to rehash that. What he has not done is review the actual conduct of the trial. I suspect he’ll be OK with the result and most of the trial, but I would hope that he has issues with parts of it.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  196. @197

    He has spoken of his view of the strategy and meaning of the case. I have disagreed with him on detail on several points and see no reason to rehash that. What he has not done is review the actual conduct of the trial. I suspect he’ll be OK with the result and most of the trial, but I would hope that he has issues with parts of it.

    Kevin M (a9545f) — 5/31/2024 @ 8:20 am

    I think he’s cheering the outcome and is hammering away on Twitter imploring folks to “respect the process”.

    But, we all should give Mr. Frey some grace – prosecutors are incredibly biased.

    Mr. Frey moreso with his obvious Trump animus.

    I’m just curious what his reaction would be when this case is overturned.

    whembly (86df54)

  197. AJ,

    Taken by itself, without reference to other things that Trump may have done, does this case seem like a good idea in prosecuting a former president (or even a former presidential candidate)?

    If W’s DoJ had gone after Bill Clinton like this (or Trump’s after Hillary) I’m sure that the same objections would be raised by the other side if the charges were of the same level of legal pedantry.

    Heck, they didn’t even go after Lois Lerner for document destruction which showed much more criminality that this banality, and she wasn’t even President.

    “No one is above the law” is not only wrong, but moronic. The prosecutors who used false evidence to get Senator Stevens were not charged. Not even disbarred afaik. That affected more than just an election — if allowed Obamacare to pass. And again Bill & Hillary, Lois Lerner, several NY governors and many others?

    Lots of people are above the law. Sometimes though it’s inconvenient, like now.

    (Did Governor Spitzer sign any document to hide his use of hookers? Just wondering)

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  198. Mr. Frey moreso with his obvious Trump animus.

    While it doesn’t diminish my respect for him, I think he’s long since decided which tribe he’s in when it comes to Donald Trump. Everyone has their hard-core positions. Talk to me about gun control, for example.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  199. But what is this “Twitter” of which you speak?

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  200. Jim Miller (09f17d) — 5/31/2024 @ 7:59 am

    Betting odds posted by people with no fing clue about the issues, based solely on personality and the filtered information they get from their local press?

    That is not the same as “betting odds” in general. What do you suppose that betting odds posted in California on the Indian elections would predict?

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  201. In my experience, lawyers think that the (lower-case) law is of paramount importance in public life. The other 95% of us put policy and observed ethics* first.

    ——
    * generally unrelated to official “ethics” rules, which seem more guidelines for sociopaths than actual ethics.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  202. (Did Governor Spitzer sign any document to hide his use of hookers? Just wondering)

    The patronizing of prostitutes was more serious.

    According to the New York Times, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg searched the statute books to find a New York sate law law he could charge Trump with violating. WOR radio talk show host Mark Simone says no one has ever been convicted of falsifying business records where the records were not shown to someone else,

    Spitzer resigned from office in exchange for not being prosecuted and Spiro Agnew got no jail time in exchange fir resigning. I think if the Democrats had some idea like this in mind they thought better of it because that would only greatly increase Biden’s chance of losing, And should they want to make Donald Trump’s choice for vice president, ppresident?.

    Sammy Finkelman (c2c77e)

  203. “We are dividing into two different nations, and each nation has strong sympathies for members of their own nation who are trapped in the territory controlled by the other nation.”

    – aphrael

    I find myself thinking about this more and more and more, and I think it is important that people across the political spectrum begin addressing it as a serious policy consideration.

    There are two ways to have a divorce – amicable, or not amicable. If our country finds itself in a state of irreconcilable differences (and I believe it does), then the mature thing would be to begin discussing a divorce the terms and tone of which prioritize the best interest of the kids.

    Leviticus (802cd1)

  204. The communists around the world trump up charges around the world to stop opponents they cannot defeat fairly ay the ballot box.

    We see it in Russia. We see it in Venezuela. We see it here.

    NJRob (8dc5ae)

  205. There are two ways to have a divorce – amicable, or not amicable. If our country finds itself in a state of irreconcilable differences (and I believe it does), then the mature thing would be to begin discussing a divorce the terms and tone of which prioritize the best interest of the kids.

    The Soviet Union did that. And for years I have suspected that Putin planted Trump on us to be our Yeltsin.

    Now, me, I have a slightly different view, seeing as I am from the land of Lincoln, not Lenin. 160 years ago, a million Americans died to keep the nation united. One Trump in the pokey is a freebie. The kids will be all right.

    nk (df7516)

  206. I have a lot of thoughts about this:

    1) I was predicting a hung jury and was wrong.

    2) I think the situation is bad for America.

    – I followed the case closely, I think the jury came to the right verdict, I think the judge did an admirable and fair job in judging, I think the DA, while partisan, wasn’t crazy in bringing the charges.

    – I’m most annoyed with President Trump for putting us here. He broke the law. He’s been doing tawdry and immoral things for years, and decided that he should be president. The fallout and culpability for this situation rests with him.

    3) I do in fact worry about partisan prosecutions. Laws being used selectively in ways they aren’t used against other people to attack disliked politicians. Conversely I don’t want politicians to be above the law.

    This is a situation in which either you were going to have the first time ever a President was prosecuted and for a rather mundane crime OR have to have his crimes shoved in the face of the public and ignored. Once Michael Cohen went to jail (in part) for his part of the crimes, it became hard to ignore. Again, I have a hard time being more angry at the people struggling with what to do with the situation than the criminal who committed crimes.

    4) I feel the same way about Clinton in 2016 and Hunter Biden now. I worried about whether the laws were being applied to her as they would be with anyone else. But if she went to jail for crimes she committed, well that’s on her. I worry about whether Biden would be being prosecuted if his dad weren’t president, but I’m not gonna be too upset if someone gets consequences for laws they broke.

    5) The hand wringing over Trump’s trial is by people who cheered on “Lock Her Up” chants that helped elected him. It’s hard for me to have too much sympathy for this particular criminal when he ran on that.

    6) Conversely, Biden has largely stayed out of his opponent’s trial and not cheered it on.

    7) I think there is a reasonable legal issue that can be brought up on appeal:
    In the jury instructions, it was a difficult issue to resolve about whether the jury needed to agree on which underlying crime was committed for the step up to go into effect. To me the judges ruling made the most sense, but there are various legal precedents going in different direction and a higher court could definitely come down differently.

    Nate (cfb326)

  207. “160 years ago, a million Americans died to keep the nation united. One Trump in the pokey is a freebie. The kids will be all right.”

    – nk

    I get the sentiment, certainly.

    I would prefer, though, that my own kids not be two of the next million-plus Americans who die to keep the nation “united.” They’ll be of fighting age by the time this thing comes to a head (not that they have be of fighting age to be of dying age).

    Not being sarcastic. I think we’re quickly approaching a very difficult crossroads.

    Leviticus (802cd1)

  208. Nate (cfb326) — 5/31/2024 @ 10:08 am

    A very well thought out post, Nate.

    Rip Murdock (363127)

  209. > So because leftists spit on the rule of law and rig a system that would make soviets jealous, you blame Trump.

    Not at all; I don’t see this case as spitting on the rule of law. I view a lot of the conservative opposition to this case, and the rough dismissal of the facts, and the outrage expressed at perfectly normal ways of doing things which have been in use for longer than i’m alive, as spitting on the rule of law. Your sense of victimization has gotten so strong that it’s blinding you.

    But … like I said elsewhere, we’re separating into two nations, and that’s clouding everyone’s judgment.

    aphrael (218b1f)

  210. > Judge Merchan has scheduled sentencing four days before the Republican convention this coming July

    Trump’s lawyer *requested a date in mid-July*. If you define mid-July as running from the 10th through the 20th, Trump’s lawyer requested a date that would either be immediately before or during the Republican National Convention.

    How is that timing *Merchan’s* fault? He is simply giving Trump’s lawyer what Trump’s lawyer asked for.

    aphrael (218b1f)

  211. Great post Nate. You nailed a number of things that are also on my mind. Thank you for articulating it so well.

    Time123 (316585)

  212. Leviticus, I share your worries. People who shout their reflexive nuttiness are not the ones who will be in harm’s way.

    I see this on my own campus, in a way. Faculty who are too young to have seen the late 60s and early 70s riots, but apparently felt that they wish they had been there, are getting students all revved up, shouting slogans, and breaking rules and laws….including assault.

    …and then everyone is upset when those students are held to account.

    Notice the faculty who are cheerleading this are not the ones who face sanctions.

    My favorite question for students these days: who was Robespierre and what is his story? Extra credit: does his story have any resonance to today?

    I wish you and your family the best.

    Simon Jester (c8876d)

  213. >I do in fact worry about partisan prosecutions.

    Yeah, this is a real danger, now.

    Trump was rightly prosecuted, from what I can see. I believe the jury got it right, and I expect Trump to be convicted in Georgia and Florida, as well, when those cases finally reach trial.

    But there’s a real question here — would we as a nation have been better off to turn a blind eye to Trump’s crimes, *thereby enshrining the principle that the President can recklessly and routinely break the law and face no consquences*, or are we better off prosecuting them, *thereby creating a situation where each side will engage in retaliatory tit-for-tat prosecutions until the fall of the Republic*?

    I blame Trump and his supporters for putting us in a position where we had to ask the question.

    aphrael (218b1f)

  214. > In the jury instructions, it was a difficult issue to resolve about whether the jury needed to agree on which underlying crime was committed for the step up to go into effect.

    I don’t think this is a difficult issue at all.

    Let’s look at burglary as a comparison. The definition of burglary under California law:

    > Every person who enters any house, room, apartment, tenement, shop, warehouse, store, mill, barn, stable, outhouse or other building, tent, vessel, as defined in Section 21 of the Harbors and Navigation Code, floating home, as defined in subdivision (d) of Section 18075.55 of the Health and Safety Code, railroad car, locked or sealed cargo container, whether or not mounted on a vehicle, trailer coach, as defined in Section 635 of the Vehicle Code, any house car, as defined in Section 362 of the Vehicle Code, inhabited camper, as defined in Section 243 of the Vehicle Code, vehicle as defined by the Vehicle Code, when the doors are locked, aircraft as defined by Section 21012 of the Public Utilities Code, or mine or any underground portion thereof, with intent to commit grand or petit larceny or any felony is guilty of burglary.

    The basic idea is that if you enter certain kind of structures with intent to commit a felony, you are a burglar.

    Imagine a case where everyone on the jury agrees that someone broke into a house, but some jurors think he broke in to use the house to sell heroin while some jurors think he broke into the house to have sex with an underage minor.

    Does the jury convict? Everyone agrees he broke into the house to commit *some felony*. Or does it acquit because, even though everyone agrees he broke into the house and everyone agrees he intended to commit a felony, they can’t agree on *which* felony?

    The more natural reading of the statue, IMO, is to convict.

    aphrael (218b1f)

  215. What effect if any will trump’s felony conviction have on his ballot access.

    asset (29a190) — 5/31/2024 @ 12:50 am

    None. And even as a convicted felon, he will still be able to vote in Florida.

    Under Florida law, residents convicted of crimes in other states lose their ability to vote in Florida only if they are barred from voting in the state where they committed their offenses, according to the U.S. Vote Foundation. In New York, where Trump was convicted, felons are barred from voting only while they are incarcerated, according to the foundation and Loyola Law School professor Justin Levitt.

    Rip Murdock (363127)

  216. Seconded — states won’t be able to exclude him from the ballot based on this, that’s settled law now. And we already have an example of a presidential candidate getting a million votes while in jail for sedition (in 1920; dude was in prison for anti-WW1 protests under laws which would now be considered unconstitutional)

    aphrael (218b1f)

  217. Let’s just face facts: both Team D and Team R have odious candidates for POTUS.

    Whose fault is that? I think we know the answer. We just don’t like it.

    Simon Jester (c8876d)

  218. > The other 95% of us put policy and observed ethics* first.

    If that were actually true, Trump would have no more than 5% support, as his conduct has been openly and notoriously unethical for decades.

    Most people are now putting tribal affiliation first, ethics second.

    aphrael (218b1f)

  219. Under Florida law, residents convicted of crimes in other states lose their ability to vote in Florida only if they are barred from voting in the state where they committed their offenses, according to the U.S. Vote Foundation. In New York, where Trump was convicted, felons are barred from voting only while they are incarcerated, according to the foundation and Loyola Law School professor Justin Levitt.

    Maybe not, but maybe, I can’t find where it defines the grey area that Trump will be in, convicted, maybe sentenced to time, but in the process of appeal. He’d be convicted, sentenced, but technically not in jail, but also not post incarceration. I’d guess he’d be able to vote until the appeal is heard, but someone with more info might be able to answer.

    Plus, I don’t think one vote in Florida is going to change much.

    Colonel Klink (ret) (96f56a)

  220. The floundering Georgia RICO case and this case are peas in a pod.

    How so? The RICO case is based on things that people care about, for starters.

    Kevin M (a9545f) — 5/30/2024 @ 4:19 pm

    The fact that the case is based on something people “care about” shouldn’t be the standard. It’s more complicated than the NY case, with 19 defendants that didn’t necessarily work in concert, but operated independently. And the Fulton County DA is just as partisan as Bragg.

    Rip Murdock (363127)

  221. Plus, I don’t think one vote in Florida is going to change much.

    Colonel Klink (ret) (96f56a) — 5/31/2024 @ 11:11 am

    It’s the symbolism.

    Rip Murdock (363127)

  222. @215 “I blame Trump and his supporters for putting us in a position where we had to ask the question.”

    We were is a position to ask the question in 2017, and no I’m not referring to the Weissmann expedition. Nate brings up the “lock her up” chant, but there was a moment on national teevee where Trump made an attempt at de-escalation amid a cycle of escalation that started way before he emerged on the scene. I could dig up his exact words but it was something to the effect that Hillary suffered enough and it was time to let it go. If there was an acknowledgment of that gesture of de-escalation and any sort of reciprocal gesture, I’m not aware of it. Of course, the escalation train plowed onward after that, to where we’ve gotten to this point. Blaming Trump and his supporters just adds more fuel to keep that train going.

    lloyd (eb39b5)

  223. Either you’re incarcerated or not, there’s no gray area. So if Trump gets probation (highly likely), or is sentenced to prison (highly unlikely) but free pending appeal, he can vote.

    Actually the most important vote in Florida is not for president, but on their constitutional amendment to enshrine abortion in their constitution.

    Rip Murdock (363127)

  224. I see it a lot like Nate does @208. Kevin seems to be arguing that it wasn’t a BIG ENOUGH law and it’s not a law that is generally being enforced. In spirit I agree, but in practice I’m underwhelmed.

    As I said, I thought the J6 trial should have been first. But none of this is done by internet poll….and there was no conspiracy for Bragg’s case to go first…and there was no referendum that would have moved it. Bragg thought he could prove what the law required….and the jury ended up siding with the prosecution’s case. And now Trump’s team has recourse in the appeals process. That’s our system.

    Trump’s team understands that the fact patterns in both of Jack Smith’s cases don’t favor them. So delaying was in their interest…even though it probably wasn’t in the country’s interest to delay those cases…in at least having the matter deposed to a point where the electorate could be well informed. The Supreme Court didn’t help by taking the opportunity to expound on Presidential immunity rather than expediting review or sticking with the lower court opinion. Who knows how Smith’s cases would have shaken out, but the exercise would have been an important civic cleansing. We might still be broken as a people, but facts would be clarified.

    Bragg’s case doesn’t help in that regard. People can hide behind the relative complexity and novelty and smallness while shaking their heads. But do you just ignore it then? Let Trump off so he faces no criminal charge out of four? That seems distinctly wrongly too. If the judge erred, the appeals process should correct it. If the law itself is defective, then the appeals process can address that too. It strikes me as unfair to say that Trump alone should get special consideration. I’m OK with raising the bar for the behavior that we expect out of individuals pursuing our highest offices of trust. Some here want the bar lowered….

    AJ_Liberty (5f05c3)

  225. I’m most annoyed with President Trump for putting us here. He broke the law. He’s been doing tawdry and immoral things for years, and decided that he should be president. The fallout and culpability for this situation rests with him.

    It could have happened without millions of GOP primary voters in 2016. Why did they choose a man who was so manifestly unsuited? Some would have it that they’re just “toothless stinky Walmart shoppers” with room-temperature IQs. As we know, rednecks are much stupider and less educated than the average inner-city Democrat voter. But I digress.

    Ans why would they still want to send him back to the Oval Office? Passionately. A LOT of people pretend there are no reasons, but there are plenty and Joe Biden and his coterie are prefect poster kids for all they see that is wrong. Same ol, same ol, kick the can down the road Joe is not going to get their vote even with a substantially less appealing opponent than Trump.

    So you could also blame the establishment before 2016 that allowed problems in the fly-over states (and in America generally) to fester until Trump happened. The same establishment that wrings its hands and calls all these problems “the new normal” as if that will help.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  226. Lloyd,

    they will ignore all of Hillary’s transgressions, their support for her and the legitimate double standard.

    And they will wave it all away in Rip’s case saying, “you should’ve prosecuted her.”

    If it wasn’t for double standards…

    NJRob (8dc5ae)

  227. The hand wringing over Trump’s trial is by people who cheered on “Lock Her Up” chants that helped elected him

    Applied to me, that’s slander.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  228. Leviticus, I share your worries. People who shout their reflexive nuttiness are not the ones who will be in harm’s way.

    Everyone who thinks a civil war would be cool should stream Civil War. Jesse Plemon’s character, in particular, is coldly terrifying.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  229. Whose fault is that? I think we know the answer. We just don’t like it.

    A) Those other misinformed voters.
    B) The two party system which is DESIGNED to create a bimodal distribution.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  230. The fact that the case is based on something people “care about” shouldn’t be the standard.

    Said the lawyer, not understanding that what lawyers care about and what the rest of us care about are manifestly different. Laws are there to order liberty, but when they attempt to do more than that real people ignore them at will. See speed limits, drug laws, nearly anything about sex, etc.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  231. A civil war will be *awful*. But so will the catastrophe if either side tries to go for total victory and eliminate the other.

    And yeah, I don’t think we’re far from seeing eliminationist rhetoric at this point — and that rhetoric, when it comes, will be wildly and enthusiastically supported.

    An amicable divorce is probably the least bad possible outcome at this point. If it isn’t too late for that, which it might be.

    aphrael (218b1f)

  232. lloyd (eb39b5) — 5/31/2024 @ 11:18 am

    Trump announced after he won in 2016 that he wouldn’t lock Clinton up as he had promised to do so while campaigning (much to the chagrin of his supporters).

    He later changed his mind.

    Rip Murdock (363127)

  233. Kevin M, did you ever read “A Canticle for Leibowitz“? After the nuclear war, the survivors said this:

    “Simpletons! Yes, yes! I’m a simpleton! Are you a simpleton? We’ll build a town and we’ll name it Simple Town, because by then all the smart bastards that caused all this, they’ll be dead! Simpletons! Let’s go! This ought to show ’em! Anybody here not a simpleton? Get the bastard, if there is!”

    It’s true on both sides. And I have no solution. The odd part is how, compared to human history, life is so good. I guess that we are doomed to learn, once again, why we cannot have nice things.

    Simon Jester (c8876d)

  234. Kevin M (a9545f) — 5/31/2024 @ 8:39 am

    . What do you suppose that betting odds posted in California on the Indian elections would predict?

    BJP, unless there was a substantial number of people betting their hopes. That would only distort things by about 10% prrobably against BJP. I don’t want to forecast the number of seats, People would rely on news articles,

    Sammy Finkelman (c2c77e)

  235. The fact that the case is based on something people “care about” shouldn’t be the standard.

    More to the point: The GA cases are about attempting to subvert the Electoral College and undermine confidence in national elections. This is an actual tort, as opposed the the NY thing where documents that were presented to (..checking notes) no one were the basis for the “crime” of beating Hillary.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  236. BJP

    Less than 10% of Californians know who or what that is and only have other people’s guess to base their bets on. So, to say that a betting pool that FOLLOWS media guessing is more reliable than media guessing is unlikely to be true.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  237. Failing to prosecute HRC is an example of Trump promising something but failing to follow through. He could have legally ordered the DOJ to conduct an investigation into her conduct with an eye toward prosecuting her for mishandling classified information.

    Rip Murdock (363127)

  238. Kevin M (a9545f) — 5/31/2024 @ 11:50 am

    Good luck proving that with a partisan DA and jury pool that mirrors New York. And we’re not even discussing whether the prosecution can go forward with Willi’s ethics issues.

    Rip Murdock (363127)

  239. In spirit I agree, but in practice I’m underwhelmed.

    And from what I read here, you and everyone else in the “GOOD!” camp are basing that largely on “it’s Trump we are talking about.” Which underlines my point that it was Trump they were trying to “get” and the prosecution was political. It would have been unsupportable (“No prosecutor would indict”) against another presidential candidate. But here, well, it’s Trump.

    I’ve long believed that the ONLY time it is really important to demand civil rights (here, due process) be followed is when the civil rights of an absolute asswipe are being trampled. I said that about Larry Flynt long ago, so I’m being consistent on that.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  240. This is exactly what i’m talking about — conservatives now routinely believe that it’s impossible for conservatives to get a fair trial in cities.

    But *one of the jurors on the Trump trial said their primary source of news was TruthSocial*, and that juror still voted to convict.

    So at this point the theory is based on nothing other than rank prejudice against urbanites, the presumption that not a single juror in a city will actually weigh evidence and render a fair verdict based on the evidence.

    That presumption is a sign of the fact that we’re fissioning into two *different* nations, and obviously members of the enemy nation wouldn’t be procedurally fair, because they’re all enemies and enemies are presumed hostile.

    aphrael (218b1f)

  241. Failing to prosecute HRC is an example of Trump promising something but failing to follow through

    The Clintons probably had something on him.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  242. Said the lawyer, not understanding that what lawyers care about and what the rest of us care about are manifestly different. Laws are there to order liberty, but when they attempt to do more than that real people ignore them at will. See speed limits, drug laws, nearly anything about sex, etc.

    Kevin M (a9545f) — 5/31/2024 @ 11:46 am

    I’ve never said I was a lawyer-I can read and understand court documents and draw conclusions; and if it’s complicated (like the NY laws at issue in the Trump case), I seek out opinions of those who know more than me.

    Rip Murdock (363127)

  243. Kevin M (a9545f) — 5/31/2024 @ 12:00 pm

    It’s not the only thing Trump failed to follow through on.

    Rip Murdock (363127)

  244. That presumption is a sign of the fact that we’re fissioning into two *different* nations, and obviously members of the enemy nation wouldn’t be procedurally fair, because they’re all enemies and enemies are presumed hostile.

    I disagree. What we have are national leaders who are leading their followers away from the “others.” We were bitterly divided in 1968, and not much healed in the 1970s. We came together, relatively speaking in the 80s and 90s, then the 2000 Florida mess was a wedge. W tried to be bipartisan, but Obama and Trump weren’t interested, spurning anything the other side might want. Biden has continued this as well.

    We can come together again, but it will take leadership. Nikki Haley might have been that leader, but that’s not to be. I refuse to be a defeatist here though.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  245. It’s not the only thing Trump failed to follow through on.

    Trump had no clue how anything worked and would not listen to the people who did. Apparently he’s done some listening in the last 3 years.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  246. @234 Trump changed his mind nearly fours years after his conciliatory gesture was rejected. Rip, did he need to give it more time?

    lloyd (734cb0)

  247. I’ve never said I was a lawyer-

    You’ve never said you were not and implied that you were, speaking fairly arrogantly on those topics. But I won’t make this mistake again.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  248. @242 As we found with the Roger Stone trial, some jurors will lie to get selected. Too bad we won’t be able to know the truth with these jurors, unless they break anonymity to sign book deals.

    lloyd (734cb0)

  249. Trump, a “martyr”? No.
    A victim? No.
    He’s a bully and a fraud who finally got his comeuppance. There should be three more criminal cases of comeuppance.

    Paul Montagu (d4d407)

  250. The hard right is weighing in

    Susan Collins:

    Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), a leading Senate GOP moderate who voted to convict Trump on the impeachment charge of inciting the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol, criticized Bragg on Thursday for waging a politically motivated prosecution.

    “It is fundamental to our American system of justice that the government prosecutes cases because of alleged criminal conduct regardless of who the defendant happens to be. In this case the opposite has happened. The district attorney, who campaigned on a promise to prosecute Donald Trump, brought these charges precisely because of who the defendant was rather than because of any specified criminal conduct,” Collins said in a statement Thursday evening.

    “The political underpinnings of this case further blur the lines between the judicial system and the electoral system, and this verdict likely will be the subject of a protracted appeals process,” she said.

    Mitch McConnell:

    Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.), who has steadfastly refused to comment about the presidential race or his long-running feud with former President Trump, came to his defense Thursday night.

    Hours after the jury rendered its guilty verdict, McConnell declared that Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg (D) should never have brought the case and predicted the conviction would be overturned.

    “These charges never should have been brought in the first place. I expect the conviction to be overturned on appeal,” McConnell wrote in a post on the social platform X.

    John Thune:

    “I’ve been on a flight, but just landed and saw the news. This case was politically motivated from the beginning, and today’s verdict does nothing to absolve the partisan nature of this prosecution,” said Senate Republican Whip John Thune (S.D.), who opposed Trump’s effort to block the certification of Joe Biden’s 2020 election victory and whose career Trump later tried to end in an act of retaliation.

    “Regardless of outcome, more and more Americans are realizing that we cannot survive four more years of Joe Biden. With President Trump in the White House and a Republican majority in the U.S. Senate, we can finally end the disastrous Biden-Schumer agenda that’s crushing American families and businesses,” Thune said in reaction to the verdict.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  251. Trump, a “martyr”? No.
    A victim? No.
    He’s a bully and a fraud who finally got his comeuppance. There should be three more criminal cases of comeuppance.

    I’ll just point at @241 Paul. You are no less partisan about Trump than NJ Rob.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  252. @233 “And yeah, I don’t think we’re far from seeing eliminationist rhetoric at this point”

    “eliminationist rhetoric” is a buzz term I first heard used by Krugman in his column attacking Palin for her bullseye map a decade ago, a column that didn’t age well especially after the softball shootings.

    It’s projection, of course. With Krugman, and with folks like aphrael. Trump and his supporters, despite the “lock her up” chants, were content to defeat Hillary. With the Left and their Nevertrump allies, it’s not enough that Trump and Trumpism is defeated, it must be destroyed. Let’s face facts. It was the Left who took “lock him up” eliminationist rhetoric and actually acted on it.

    lloyd (734cb0)

  253. Note that I am not in any way saying *anything* about *who* is going to pick up eliminationist rhetoric; i’m describing a pattern of cyclical one-upmanship on both sides and it’s not at all clear to me which side is going to cross that particular line first.

    But obviously i’m being a partisan attacking conservatives when I’m describing a pattern I’m seeing in both sides, because i’m a liberal, and a liberal can only be attacking conservatives whenever they say anything.

    aphrael (218b1f)

  254. > “lock him up” eliminationist rhetoric

    “lock him up” or “lock her up” is not eliminationist, and it deeply misunderstands the scope of the problem to say that it is.

    Based on the ongoing cycle of retaliatory escalation, I think within a decade we will see one side or the other calling for the murder of the opposition on a large scale. Not the candidates themselves, perhaps, but people working for the candidates.

    I wish this were *not* the case, but since we’ll get there by a series of iterative smaller steps which will be reosundingly accepted by both sides as only appropriate given the perfidy of the other side, I no longer see a way ot stop it.

    aphrael (218b1f)

  255. And of course it will be excused as a joke or something not to be taken seriously until one side or the other actually does it.

    aphrael (218b1f)

  256. > it’s not enough that Trump and Trumpism is defeated, it must be destroyed.

    A political movement which is based on maliciously undermining public confidence in the integrity of elections by spreading *lies* about election administration, and which involves an active public attempt to steal an election, *must* be destroyed. It is an active threat to the system and to the liberty of all Americans.

    But it can’t be destroyed through lawfare, it can only be destroyed through either (a) persuading the voters or (b) the movement winning power and then eventually being overthrown after the damage has been done.

    The Democrats have comprehensively failed at (a), so it’s almost certainly going to be (b). Most of us here won’t live long enough to come out the other side.

    And so, seeing this, not being able to prevent it, and feeling like cassandra, i’ve basically withdrawn from paying attention to politics at all. I’ll concentrate on fantasy fandom and raving and try to preserve a piece of paradise for me and mine while the country burns itself down, because *that’s all i can successfully do*.

    aphrael (218b1f)

  257. > Blaming Trump and his supporters just adds more fuel to keep that train going.

    On the one hand, I see what you are saying —- especially the bit about blaming his supporters; that just further feeds the cycle of tit-for-tat escalation.

    On the other hand — Trump is an extreme outlier in terms of his rank lack of morality and ethics, his self-centered narcissism, his unwillingness to be bound by any sort of code of decent public conduct, etc.

    He is responsible for his own actions, and it’s fair to blame him for them and for the impact they have on the Republic.

    And his supporters, in deciding to ignore them, have *in my view* abandoned any fidelity to the rule of law.

    So it’s really hard *not* to blame them — they’re looking at an obvious catastrophe and either blinding themselves to it or deciding they’d rather burn the system down. It’s their legal right to do so, and their moral right to make the choice if that’s the choice they want, and at the same time, their choice is deeply hurting the republic, so how do I not hold them responsible?

    aphrael (218b1f)

  258. @234 Trump changed his mind nearly fours years after his conciliatory gesture was rejected. Rip, did he need to give it more time?

    lloyd (734cb0) — 5/31/2024 @ 12:07 pm

    I wish he had never made his 2016 statement at all and followed through on his campaign promise.

    Rip Murdock (363127)

  259. Kevin M (a9545f) — 5/31/2024 @ 12:18 pm

    It just goes to show how Trump has captured those who previously opposed him and are falling into line.

    Rip Murdock (363127)

  260. Well said, Nate.

    Paul Montagu (d4d407)

  261. @258 Stop the Steal 2020 was an escalation of Election Meddling Collusion 2016. And, Oh Lookee Here Hush Money Felony 2024 is a further escalation. But, if you think 2020 was the only escalation worth outrage, I don’t think yelling “both sides” is going to spackle over your partiality.

    Romney had a good suggestion for once, a variation on Trump’s conciliatory gesture after 2016. It wouldn’t impact the Bragg case, but Biden could show he’s the Big Man and Unifier, and make little Trump your b*tch, by pardoning him for the federal trials. Break the cycle of escalation. But, he won’t, because he’s small, and his supporters are too.

    lloyd (734cb0)

  262. I’ll just point at @241 Paul. You are no less partisan about Trump than NJ Rob.

    So what, Kevin. At least I’m rational about it.

    Paul Montagu (d4d407)

  263. You’ve never said you were not and implied that you were, speaking fairly arrogantly on those topics.

    Right back to you. You’ve posted odd legal theories; at least I back up my claims with sources. Your comments are just backed by your imagination.

    Rip Murdock (363127)

  264. 2020 crossed a red line when it involved people *falsely presenting themselves as official electors* and *the president of the united states putting pressure on state government officials to fabricate election results*.

    i’d be fine with a pardon if it were part of a package deal to set up guidelines to ensure that neither of these ever happen again and that, if it does, the penalty be so severe as to deter any rational actor.

    otherwise a pardon just encourages such behavior in the future.

    aphrael (218b1f)

  265. aphrael (218b1f) — 5/31/2024 @ 12:29 pm

    Based on the ongoing cycle of retaliatory escalation, I think within a decade we will see one side or the other calling for the murder of the opposition on a large scale. Not the candidates themselves, perhaps, but people working for the candidates.

    The Atlantic has an article that in part, is accusing Trump of having done that, although it doesn’t accuse him explicitly (It is a favorite trope of the left – and the argument they use for gag orders that Trump is calling for violence, and Trump likes to play into that and other things, supposing I suppose that it will backfire on the people attacking or accusing him, or maybe it’s an attempt to make the accusations against him sound irrational.)

    https://www.theatlantic.com/newsletters/archive/2024/05/the-jury-deliberates-and-trump-posts/678536

    I could list other dangerous and nonsensical recent statements, but I’ll end with this one: Trump’s Memorial Day rant came just a little over 24 hours after he shared a video of a man furiously raving at MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough—and liberals in general. The man declares that Trump will “get rid of all you fucking liberals. You liberals are gone when he fucking wins. You fucking blow-job liberals are done. Uncle Donnie’s gonna take this election—landslide.”

    The New Republic’s Greg Sargent noted that this apparent endorsement of the idea that “liberals” will be “done” if Trump wins “should be placed alongside Trump’s other recent threats, such as his vow that news organizations will be ‘thoroughly scrutinized’ if he wins, his promise to persecute his ‘vermin’-like political foes, and his threat to prosecute a range of enemies without cause.” Taken together, as Sargent points out, these threats paint a clear picture of how Trump intends to treat ideological adversaries once in office.

    The gravity and volume of Trump’s concerning statements, and the ways that they interconnect, are not always reflected back by major media coverage. A November study by Media Matters for America found that major news outlets gave “dramatically less coverage” to Trump’s description of his enemies as “vermin” earlier that month than they devoted to Hillary Clinton’s remark about a “basket of deplorables” in 2016. Among other findings, the Media Matters review notes that the Big Three broadcast-TV networks “provided 18 times more coverage” of Clinton’s comment than of Trump’s.

    Meanwhile, Trump tells lies, or irrational statements. which are NOT disputed anywhere

    Sammy Finkelman (e4ef09)

  266. aphrael (218b1f) — 5/31/2024 @ 12:34 pm

    But it can’t be destroyed through lawfare, it can only be destroyed through either (a) persuading the voters or (b) the movement winning power and then eventually being overthrown after the damage has been done.

    The Democrats have comprehensively failed at (a), so it’s almost certainly going to be (b). Most of us here won’t live long enough to come out the other side.

    This attack against the integrity of elections hasn’t thoroughly penetrated the Republican Party to the point were it will need to be overthrown. Much worse is the crusade against illegal immigration, which also has an element of accusations of vote cheating (i.e. the Democrats want more illegal immigration because they want to register them to vote. As if, if you’re going to cheat you need real people to vote in person once per person. A little more rational is the accusations of wanting to get higher numbers in the Census, but that wouldn’t affect anything until the Election of 2032.)

    Sammy Finkelman (e4ef09)

  267. A post and then the first half went into moderation. The usual reason for this is a typo but I can’t find it.

    Sammy Finkelman (e4ef09)

  268. 238. Kevin M (a9545f) — 5/31/2024 @ 11:52 am

    So, to say that a betting pool that FOLLOWS media guessing is more reliable than media guessing is unlikely to be true.

    People who wager read media articles more carefully, and read articles on various sides
    and try to weigh them. They do not get widely wrong, just like sports betting doesn’t usually get things widely wrong, even though few people overall, know the statistics or troubles and advantages of any specific team, because even if some people bet randomly, and this happens more with horse races, people who know more bet more where they feel it is wrong. The only thing you can generalize is that the odds at the extremes are not high enough usually.

    Sammy Finkelman (e4ef09)

  269. “And from what I read here, you and everyone else in the “GOOD!” camp are basing that largely on “it’s Trump we are talking about.” ”

    I’m not celebrating this, but I’m also not bemoaning it. Trump had more than adequate counsel and had the opportunity to present a defense or testify. Any questions about the judge and his rulings will be examined upon review…as will the constitutionality of the law itself. Personally, I think states get wide birth to address issues like financial fraud and election fraud how they see fit. And if they want a broad statute and give their DA’s broad latitude, why should my opinion or your opinion drive them in a different direction? At this point, I don’t see anything that screams reversal.

    Trump’s team did not persuade this jury on the facts. The justice system is in uncharted territory with Trump. He’s someone who does not like following the rules and regularly conveys his contempt. He’s corrosive to a system that he wants to once again lead. As such, he doesn’t get a lot of deference in my view. He’s engaged in fraud most of his business career…and that’s attested to by people who have worked with him. For me, it comes back to karma. At some point you get caught.

    AJ_Liberty (5f05c3)

  270. “An amicable divorce is probably the least bad possible outcome at this point. If it isn’t too late for that, which it might be.”

    – aphrael

    I don’t know that it too late for the outcome to manifest. And it’s certainly not too late for the *conversation* to occur, which is in a sense more important. I continue to hold out some hope for a best-case scenario where the conversation begins in earnest, the terms are explored in detail, and the sheer shocking nature of the conversation and its implications sets the stage for a form of reconciliation, or at least a detente. This sometimes happens in divorce scenarios, when the parties participate in good faith.

    I generally hate to use the term Overton Window (because it is generally overused and abused), but I think it’s applicable here: the important thing is the expansion of the Overton Window to include this topic – not a “secession,” not a “rebellion,” but an amicable divorce rooted *ostensibly* “irreconcilable differences.” I think that allowing this conversation to occur as part of the acceptable public discourse may be the best chance we have a last-minute reconciliation, but if we continue to avoid the conversation the resentments are going to get explosive in a hurry.

    I think it is also the last best hope of folks like you (and me, and probably Simon and others) to avoid the path you subsequently articulated:

    “feeling like cassandra, i’ve basically withdrawn from paying attention to politics at all. I’ll concentrate on fantasy fandom and raving and try to preserve a piece of paradise for me and mine while the country burns itself down, because *that’s all i can successfully do*.”

    I know that feeling. I’m close to that path. But I feel like what I *can* do, just before embracing that path, is to try to promote the conversation around the amicable (amicable!) national divorce.

    Leviticus (802cd1)

  271. C’mon guys…

    Conversation regarding a “divorce” or “secession” or “rebellion” is just hyperbolic fan-fiction.

    We’re no where close to any of that.

    We all should step away from politics and go do the things we love.

    whembly (86df54)

  272. I was just going to say what whembly said.

    Paul Montagu (383f45)

  273. I want to congratulate the commenters here on the best thread I’ve seen in a long while.
     
    👏

    Of particular note, Nate was very articulate with his thoughts after following the case so closely, and aphrael’s example of a burglary with various possible intentions was illuminating.

    My political opinions are continuing to evolve, and I thank you all for helping shape them.

    I’m with Kevin and whembly when it comes to having hope for our republic. Between social media and video footage of extremists doing crazy things, it’s easy to assume that our nation is fractured. However, every time I get out of the internet/TV bubble, and interact with people (I’m something of an extrovert.
    Just yesterday my neighbor called me a social butterfly), I am reassured that there are a sufficient number of citizens out there who oppose both violence and a partition of the country.

    norcal (adf421)

  274. I agree completely here with whembly. I often think aphrael has well thought out opinions but this one leaves me scratching my head.

    The country has gone through worse times before, and God willing will go through worse times in the future.

    Nate (cfb326)

  275. nk (8691d3) — 5/30/2024 @ 9:46 am

    It is, officially, on the record, per the prosecutor’s theory of the case, and per the judge’s instructions, a “he’s guilty of something” case. So if Trump doesn’t know what that something is, nobody does.

    I think everybody and Trump’s lawyers maybe got it wrong.

    There was some other crime specified. That something (that the jury had to sign off on) was a conspiracy to elect Trump by “unlawful means”

    Just what it was that was unlawful, they didn’t have to determine, just that Trump was willing to break the law, and did.

    The prosecution pointed to a meeting in July 2015 in Trump Tower, as establishing the conspiracy.

    But even if what the National Enquirer agreed to do at that time was unlawful, because it amounted to illegal coordination with a campaign, what the National Enquirer agreed to do then did not include making enormous payoffs to suppress stories.

    All that it agreed to was run favorable stories about Trump and bad stories about his opponents. (like the one about Ted Cruz’s father possibly being a friend of JFK assassin Lee Harvey Oswald)

    All the 3 payoffs testified to at the trial were decided individually and were not on autopilot.

    The National Enquirer did one, for $30,000, of a doorman who told a story they did not believe was true – that is did not believe was factually based even if he thought so. That was that, in the 1980s. Donald Trump ad been the father of an illegitimate girl. The girl knew who her father was and there was no basis to believe it was Donald Trump. However Donald Trump apparently wanted to kill that story. (maybe he had been with the mother)

    The second story was that of Karen McDougal, the former Playboy bunny who had had a 10-month affair with Donald Trump, starting in September
    September 2006 that continued until Donald Trump wanted to introduce her to Melania (whether as his mistress or with some excuse I do not know.)

    AMI signed a contract with her, and I think that to get them to do so, Michael Cohen had to promise the National Enquirer they would be reimbursed. And it was only then after the contract with Karen McDougal had been signed, that Michael Cohen set about persuading Donald Trump to reimburse the National Enquirer. Donald Trump was willing – after all, one day David Pecker might one day be hit by a truck and the National Enquirer change its policy, nd everything they had on him might be made public. but he wanted to do by simply writing a check, but Michael Cohen told him, no no but that Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg had figured out a way to do it, and the tape cuts off before Michael Cohen can get into detail, but presumably it was similar tp what he later did with the Stormy Daniels payoff. Michael Cohen testified that the taping (which was being done by his cellphone) stopped after a call came throuuh on the call waiting)

    In the end. the National Enquirer decided not to do that and to swallow the expense because to take the money would be to confess to having made an illegal corporate campaign contribution.

    The third one was from Stormy Daniels. The National Enquirer did not want to buy the story because she had already talked about it in 2011 (at that time Michael Cohen threatened her with a lawsuit to get her and the publication it was in to withdraw it. Michael Cohen could not get the National Enquirer to pay Stormy Daniels $150,000, as she was demanding.

    (And she had the same lawyer as Karen McDougal and her one night stand, which she was describing as an affair, had been at the same Lake Tahoe celebrity golf tournament where the affair with Karen McDougal started – now how did all that happen and what does that signify? It might be that someone was trying to set up Donald Trump then for purposes of blackmail and Michael Cohen helped maybe by supplying information on the whereabouts of Donald Trump)

    Michael Cohen prepared a NDA but he could not get Donald Trump to agree even after he bargained Stormy Daniels down to $130,000. Stormy Daniels was getting nervous. The election was approaching and the value of her story could disappear like Cinderella’s coach at midnight, especially Trump lost the election, as many expected..

    Then, for whatever reason, Michael Cohen made the payment himself with his own money without getting the agreement of and without telling Donald Trump. This may sound crazy but it would be even crazier for Donald Trump to expect Michael Cohen to advance the money. They were not that close. nd Michael Cohen lied about making a call to Donald Trump telling him that the payment had ben made. That ws demonstrated on cross examination.

    Bob Costello speculated that Michael Cohen had ambitions of being named Attorney general or at least White House Chief of Staff – Michael Cohen said in the trial that he wanted to be >i> offered the job as White use Chief of Staff but didn’t want to take it — he just wanted it to be known he had a close connection to the president, and was in and out, (presumably, we can reason, so that he could charge large legal fees.)

    The Manhattan DA charged Donald Trump with using false bookkeeping an ongoing criminal conspiracy to get someone elected (himself) by unlawful means, (which to an ordinary mind should mean something like ballot ox stuffing) but in reality his reimbursing of Michael Cohen (and giving him whatever more money he would accept as enough) was not part of any larger scheme.

    Sammy Finkelman (e4ef09)

  276. * The Manhattan DA charged Donald Trump with using false bookkeeping crime number 1) to cover up an ongoing criminal conspiracy to get someone elected (himself) by unlawful means. (crime number 2)

    Sammy Finkelman (e4ef09)

  277. So what, Kevin. At least I’m rational about it.

    Not going to argue that part, other than your knee jerks just like his, except it’s the other knee.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  278. If it wasn’t for executive branch and the US DOJ going after Trump’s attorney’s for these things, Donald wouldn’t have been the 3rd person charged and convicted in this mess.

    Colonel Klink (ret) (96f56a)

  279. There are many countries (Canada, UK, Germany, Australia…) a convicted felon can’t visit.

    Trump doesn’t like travelling anyway so maybe that’s not as big of an issue.

    Colonel Klink (ret) (96f56a)

  280. Not going to argue that part, other than your knee jerks just like his, except it’s the other knee.

    I’ll let

    The Dude

    speak for me on this one, and I’m just going to ignore your repetitive whining about it.

    Paul Montagu (383f45)

  281. It just goes to show how Trump has captured those who previously opposed him and are falling into line.

    No, it goes to show how I am repelled by the left here. There are two fascists running, with two different sets of “good” people who they favor, and two different ideas on how to regiment society. I am real clear about what Trump is. I’m just a bit surprised that people don’t see what up with Biden (or at least his handlers). I guess he’s just better at camouflage.

    Let me say this again (I’ve een saying it since 2016) I DO NOT LIKE THESE CHOICES. But that does not mean I’m down with cosigning Biden’s bullsh1t, just as I’m not cosigning Trump’s.

    But give a choice of two illiberal candidates, I will pick the one least intolerable. It’s perhaps a plus that one of them is so bad at hiding his evil that there will be a reaction. So maybe we can stop giving so much power to people like these.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  282. The Dude

    Paul Montagu (383f45)

  283. There are many countries (Canada, UK, Germany, Australia…) a convicted felon can’t visit.

    Trump doesn’t like travelling anyway so maybe that’s not as big of an issue.

    Colonel Klink (ret) (96f56a) — 5/31/2024 @ 2:59 pm

    This is where being famous can be a detriment. Everyone now knows that Trump is a convicted felon.

    U.S. citizens can visit all of those countries without a visa, AFAIK. If one checks “no” on the felony conviction question on the arrival form, I doubt those countries have the inclination or wherewithal to prove one wrong, unless one is a well-known felon.

    norcal (adf421)

  284. I was flying into Victoria BC on the Helijet from Seattle and they busted a guy. There were only 5 people on the flight and the customs folks had our names pre-supplied, so when they ran everyones names, I guess it was easy.

    I bet it wouldn’t happen at a busy border crossing though. If you were OJ though, they’d notice.

    Colonel Klink (ret) (96f56a)

  285. Kevin M (a9545f) — 5/31/2024 @ 11:50 am

    : The GA cases are about attempting to subvert the Electoral College and undermine confidence in national elections. This is an actual tort,

    This is NOT a tort. It’s a bad thing, but not criminal in itself.

    as opposed the the NY thing where documents that were presented to (..checking notes) no one were the basis for the “crime” of beating Hillary.

    And Trump had a defense that the documents were in fact, truthful. But Trump’s lawyers should have acknowledged that that was a seemingly paradoxical statement.

    Also Trump never conspired with Cohen to pay Stormy Daniels – he did agree to reimburse him but not as part of a larger conspiracy

    He wanted to keep the NDA tightly held,

    Sammy Finkelman (c2c77e)

  286. It just goes to show how Trump has captured those who previously opposed him and are falling into line.

    No, it goes to show how I am repelled by the left here.

    My response was to your post about how Republican Senators were falling in line behind Trump, and didn’t contain any comments from yourself.

    But like Trump, you’ve now made it about yourself.

    Rip Murdock (d9c6d3)

  287. > I continue to hold out some hope for a best-case scenario where the conversation begins in earnest, the terms are explored in detail, and the sheer shocking nature of the conversation and its implications sets the stage for a form of reconciliation, or at least a detente.

    I was there in 2017. I was even, barely, still there in 2020. But now … I no longer believe it is possible to shock people out of their reflexive tribalism.

    Trump said, in 2016, that he could kill someone on fifth avenue and people wouldn’t care. I now believe that’s true. Moreover, he could nuke Tehran, or for that matter Monterrey, and his supporters wouldn’t care.

    There are no bright lines I trust Trumpists to respect, any more, because of all the bright lines that Trump has *already* run over without them caring — and with them instead hating the people who *do* care.

    I hate this *so very much*.

    aphrael (218b1f)

  288. US and world newspaper headlines announcing Trump’s conviction.

    Rip Murdock (d9c6d3)

  289. More foreign reaction.

    Rip Murdock (d9c6d3)

  290. More US front pages.

    Rip Murdock (839852)

  291. I think Bragg deliberately picked a weak case because:

    1) He didn’t want a case that could be used against anyone else – as the property evaluation case could have”2) He didn’t want to send

    I think he took the advice of the man the Biden Administration sent there,rump to jail..

    Sammy Finkelman (c2c77e)

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