The Mahablog

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The Mahablog

Indictment Watch, Day 2

Trump’s lawyers are saying they haven’t been notified of an indictment yet. Trump’s declaration that he would be arrested on Tuesday appears to be about getting some protesters into Manhattan to intimidate the prosecutors. Alvin Bragg says he’s prepared for that. One suspects the NYPD is prepared as well. I understand that if indicted Trump would have to appear at the criminal court building at 100 Centre Street in Manhattan. So, wingnuts, that’s where you’ll want to be on Tuesday. I’m sure the NYPD will be there to greet you.

So what happens if Trump calls for riots and nobody riots? That would be interesting, too.

Today we learned that the Manhattan grand jury may hear from a Trump witness tomorrow. Michael Cohen says he’s been asked to be available as a rebuttal witness. From the New York Times:

Under New York law, a person who is expected to be indicted can request that a witness appear on his or her behalf. Mr. Trump’s lawyers have asked that Mr. Costello testify, but the final decision rests with the grand jury; it is unclear whether they have made a decision. 

The Trump witness is a lawyer named Robert J. Costello.

Mr. Costello is likely to argue that Mr. Cohen can’t be trusted. In 2018, as Mr. Cohen was facing the federal investigation into the hush money, a mutual friend introduced the two men. Mr. Costello offered to represent Mr. Cohen, and they spent hours meeting and speaking by phone.

As a Republican lawyer with ties to Mr. Trump’s legal team, Mr. Costello offered to serve as a bridge between Mr. Cohen and the president’s lawyers. At one point, Mr. Costello contacted one of Mr. Trump’s lawyers to ask if the president might pardon Mr. Cohen.

But the pardon never came, and Mr. Cohen never formally retained Mr. Costello. Mr. Cohen later waived their attorney-client privilege, Mr. Costello has said.

Their relationship worsened as Mr. Cohen broke from Mr. Trump, and became one of his primary antagonists.

One of the things the Manhattan prosecutor’s office is supposed to have been doing is going over all of Michael Cohen’s testimony to corroborate it or otherwise look for weak points or holes. If they’ve done that, I don’t see that Costello would be a problem. And the grand jury might decide they don’t want to hear from him.

And while there is no end of commentary out there about why Alvin Bragg probably has a weak case — based on what, I don’t know — it may not be nearly as weak as Trump and his lawyers think it is.

In other news — the Fetus People are working overtime to make sure the 2024 Republican presidential nominee is unelectable.

Leading antiabortion groups, fresh off their historic victory with the demise of Roe v. Wade, are drawing up plans for a new goal in the 2024 presidential election: Ensuring the Republican nominee promises to back nationwide restrictions on abortion.

One of the most influential groups, Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, is likely to ask candidates to sign a pledge supporting a federal minimum limit on abortion at no later than 15 weeks of pregnancy.

Although 15 weeks isn’t acceptable to the true believers. They’d prefer 0 weeks.

The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, is exploring holding candidate forums or debates, where the issue of abortion would be front and center. And Students for Life Action is developing a survey asking candidates whether they’ll promise to appoint cabinet members who oppose abortion, such as in the justice and health departments; if they’d sign legislation to restrict abortions early in pregnancy; their stances on abortion pills and more.

“Our biggest challenge right now is making sure we get everyone on the record and for them to understand that we expect substantial action to be taken,” said Kristan Hawkins, the president of Students for Life Action. She added: “We want to make sure that every candidate knows that they’re going to have to be ready to make their case for life.”

Go for it, Fetus People. And thanks for showing us once again that the old talking point about “we just want to return the decision to the states” was always a lie. Most of us knew that all along, but it’s nice to see it confirmed.

5 thoughts on “Indictment Watch, Day 2

  1. I wonder how many MAGAts will show up to riot on Tuesday even if there aren't any charges filed by then?

    Them thar there will be the "crap-de-la-crap" of tru paytreeiotic 'Murkin "Morans!!!"

    BTW:  I think I know why the ZDL (Zygote Defense League) idiots are in such a hurry to get abortions banned nationwide ASAP!

    Pope Francis said that celibacy for priests was only supposed to be a temporary ban!

    And so now, after 1,000 years, he may declare that priests can get married.

    Now, you might think that the ZDL idiots would be ecstatic about kids begat by priests.

    And you'd be right.

    But after almost 1,000 years without ever having any sex in their liv…

    Uhm, make that any authorized sex with WOMEN – plenty of altar and choir boys over that millennium could attest to the damages done to them because of that "temporary" prohibition!

    Well, anyway, back to sex!

    Sex & priests – & WOMEN!

    See, most guys aren't Tim Tebows going into marriage:  AKA – Virgins.

    We men like to PRACTICE things in order to maximize our performances!

    And sure, we "practice" alone. 

    But most guys aim to practice sex with women as often as possible!  

    We practice begetting to better begat.

    And this is what those zygote worshipping fanatics are afraid of:  Priests practicing sex – WITH WOMEN!

    See, while the Pope is signaling a possible end of priestly celibacy, the man didn't say nothin' 'bout OKing birth-control!!!!!


  2. As I mentioned yesterday, I doubt Trump's lawyers want him to assemble a mob in his defense. On the other hand, I have no problem with freedom of assembly or freedom of speech. Trump designed J6 to be an insurrection. Convictions of major players for sedition confirm that. (DOJ has to bridge the gap between the violence that happened and Trump's support for and awareness of the sedition. I know it's true – I don't know if DOJ can prove it.) 

    IMO, it's important for progressives to show both sides of the coin. YES – Trimpsters have a right to believe lies and advocate for those lies. Peacefully. There's a recent history proven in the courts that some Trump supporters are eager to cross the line into riots and assault. That's not constitutionally protected. 

    The problem I have when I speak or write, especially with an informed group, is that I speak about the counterparts to the J6 riots who I think (opinion) is the intended audience in Trump's calls to "protest." My words could easily be twisted to sound like I am FOR the suppression of legal speech and legal assembly. Which my audience knows is not my position if they know me. 

    Trump may not know when it's gonna drop. (Or he is/was connected in NYC for a lot of years. He may have sources.) My suspicion is that Trump wants to assemble a mob before charges drop and if they do NOT happen on Tuesday, claim that their presence demonstrating for Trump prevented charges on Tuesday. And Trump will call for bigger demonstrations ("Will Be Wild!") to further intimidate Bragg. And Bragg may not have anything planned for this week re Trump. 

    Last time I visited NYC, it wasn't cheap. Some Trumpsters have loot but J6 was externally funded to some degree. People with stuff to lose who participated in J6 got clipped for a lot of cash, whether they got prison time or not. Many of the "minor" players were locally identified, lost jobs, etc. There are some Trumpsters who live in/near NYC but I do not see thousands (or even hundreds) descending on NYC on Tuesday. I'd like it if counterprotesters outnumber Trumpsters on Tuesday – bigly.

    Regarding Costello: Sounds to me like he was then Trump's lawyer, working to manipulate Cohen into taking the fall for Trump while dangling the prospect of a pardon that Trump did not intend to grant. (Yes, Trump did pardons in the closing days of the presidency but Cohen would have done years in jail before Trump cut him loose if Manifort's experience is a yardstick. Cohen wanted and expected a pardon from Trump with NO jail time for his silence. When Cohen was thrown under the bus by Trump, he did not take it well.) 

    So Costello takes the stand and says you can't believe Cohen. Cohen takes the stand and says Costello was a stooge for Trump all the time he tried to get Cohen to trust him and hire him. Which would have given Trump inside info on what Cohen was or was not saying. This a monstrous violation of legal ethics, to be representing Trump while getting paid to represent Cohen. My suggestion would be paranoid speculation except it's exactly what happened for many witnesses to J6 – "free" legal representation paid for by Trump (in secret) and advice from counsel to lie to the J6 committee. I think Cohen could come out ahead in terms of credibility. But this is a preview of Trump's defense – discredit Cohen. (How will they explain the checks to Cohen that Trump signed? I say "they" because Trump won't take the stand.) We will see Costello again at trial, I'm sure.

    Regarding the Fetus People: I should have seen it coming. My expectation was that with Roe struck down, they'd take their victory and withdraw. Stupid me. They belive the decision indicates they have license from the USSC to force their morality on all women. If they shut up and worked behind the scenes, they might expand on gains in some places. Doing it quietly would be no fun. The public declaration of what they are doing will be their undoing. Women like control over their sexuality – they've had if for half a century. Women vote more than men and a lot of men see women as full equals in US society. This is the issue we want 2024 to be about.

  3. "So what happens if Trump calls for riots and nobody riots?"

    Well that would be the best, though if more than seven people show up our corporate bobble-heads will turn into a popular uprising! I really wish Georgia would have gone first, the charges there are much more serious.

    I saw this over at DU yesterday, it's an excellent summary of exactly who and what lil-donnie is, and more importantly every last one of his supporters! Complete with a stunning portrait!

    • That is your leader. That is to whom you give your money. That is who you follow and laud. That is whose banner you willingly carry. Why? Because he is a mirror, not a lighthouse. You see yourselves in him. He is what you would be, if you had inherited money and could shed the last vestiges of conscience and shame.

      Ain't that the truth!

      • Agreed, great rant, I love it. It's a gift to explain how rotten Trump is without sullying yourself!



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