Trump Sits in the Witness Chair and Talks a Lot

Trump “testified” today, and according to the reviews it must have been a mess.

Aaron Blake at WaPo has three early takeaways. No paywall; just read it. In brief, Trump ignored questions and just delivered a diatribe about how unfair the whole things is. He probably lied quite a bit. And he basically served notice that he will continue to try to bulldoze the legal process.

At Politico, see Trump, on witness stand, derides judge, denies fraud and talks of castles and windmills. Do read all of that one, too. Here’s just a snip:

Asked to name properties he believed were over- or under-valued, for example, Trump responded by saying his Trump Tower triplex apartment had likely been overvalued, then launched into a soliloquy about brand value.

During one heated exchange, Trump attorney Alina Habba snapped at the judge, telling him: “You are here to hear what he has to say.”

Engoron shouted in response, commanding her to “sit down.”

“No, I am not here to hear what he has to say!” he yelled. “I am here to hear him answer questions.”

From the witness stand, Trump interjected, leaning into the microphone: “This is a very unfair trial — very, very — and I hope the public is watching.”

Also, too.

At times, Trump sprinkled his testimony with some of the signature subjects and phrases likely familiar to anyone who has observed one of his political rallies.

“I’m not a windmill person,” he said at one point.

“I have a castle,” he said at another.

Of his golf course in Aberdeen, Scotland, he said: “At some point, maybe in my very old age, I’ll go there and do the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen.”

You can read through the blow-by-blow account at the New York Times here. No paywall.

I’m sure there will be more commentary later. Ivanka will testify Wednesday.

Update: Jack Smith ain’t kidding around. See Josh Kovensky at TPM. 

Special Counsel Jack Smith hit back at Donald Trump’s attempt to have the Jan. 6 case against him dismissed in a stark Monday reply, characterizing the former president as committing crimes without parallel in American history.

Smith is trying to persuade U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan for the District of Columbia to allow the Jan. 6 prosecution to go forward. Trump filed motions to dismiss last month in which he asked Chutkan to toss the case.

Trump argued in part in the briefs, and more broadly in public in the years since the Capitol insurrection, that his behavior in 2020 was nothing out of the ordinary. All he was doing, Trump has argued, was questioning the election results, a right granted to him under the Constitution.

“But the defendant stands alone in American history for his alleged crimes,” Smith shot back in the filing. “No other president has engaged in conspiracy and obstruction to overturn valid election results and illegitimately retain power.”

Well, yeah.

11 thoughts on “Trump Sits in the Witness Chair and Talks a Lot

  1. Trump and his lawyers whining about a fair trial is sickening. Judge Chutkin defined what a fair trial is  It entails a fair process that ensures that not only the defendant is giving an open chance  to defend themselves, but that the administration of justice also gets to present their prosecution in the open and that the American public also gets to oversee that the process is done in the open.  The American people are entitled to fairness just as much as that crybaby Trump. And I'm seeing fairness! He has to answer for his crimes.

    No one is above the law.

  2. The trial is all about the appeal now. Trump lost before the trial opened with the summary judgment. We will all have to sit through the defense phase but Trump is gonna get slammed at the end. Damages and dissolution in NY. Trump will file an appeal, which will require Trump put up the full amount of the damages. That's gonna hurt because Trump will be without that money for the duration of the appeals process all the way to the USSC, which will probably not hear the case.

    One question I have is who will control the business empire during the appeals. 

    An appeal has to state a reason (or reasons) with some legal foundation arguing that the decision of the lower court was flawed. IMO, Trump and his lawyers have been goading the judge in the hope he will make a misstep. This is interesting because it suggests that Trump's lawyers don't see a serious flaw in the prosecution. James' brought a case so tight that Trump's lawyers don't see an avenue for reversal on the facts or the law.

    If it pans out as it looks to me, the grounds for the appeal will be that the prosecutor and the judge had it in for Trump. So even if he's guilty as charged, it wasn't fair because they didn't like Trump. That won't work but the relentless attacks on the prosecutor and the judge stand out in the absence of a legitimate defense. 

  3. Another day and another joust with a windmill.  Such a hearo to his base, his show goes on.  His base does not care about his dishonesty and fraud.  They love his lance, his horse and his fancy attire.  His lawyers were quick to spin his perfect court performance.  It is their job.  

    To those of us lucky enough not to be in his base, he showed little to show his real estate business is under control and he is willing and able to provide honest data to banks and insurance companies or to the judge.  The judge is the one to set the penalty for his fraud.  Silly to treat the judge and the law clerk like another windmill to be jousted with to us.  Just another rerun of the crazy and aggressive act.  When your accountant fires you as a client, the sane thing to do is to question your competence in running your business.  By now we should know not to expect sane behavior from Trump.  Just more jousting with those who interfere with his reality distortions.  More reruns. 


  4. Somewhat OT headline; "Mike Johnson Installed Porn ‘Accountability’ App On His And His Son’s Devices".  Hmmm, something out there he doesn't want his son, the biological one, to see? 

    Anyway good that there was no such thing as porn before the internet existed, so that would be the only way they possibly become demonized by it.  Also, no way either of them could get their hands, or even just one hand, on another device that didn't have the 'accountability' app – those guys are safe and so morally superior!

    • "Hmmm, something out there he doesn't want his son, the biological one, to see? "

      Thing is the software goes two ways, it alerts him if the boy is looking at naughty bits and his son gets alerted of what the speaker is looking at as well? Seems like somebody isn't "master of his domain"!

    • Either you have trust or you don't. There is something sick in Mike Johnson's relationship with his son. Whatever it is we know that trust doesn't exist between father and son in Johnson's case.

      • Maybe the "speaker" doesn't trust himself? Why else would he need someone else (his son) to monitor his internet habits?

    • Exactly what Joyce Vance said, the plan was to push Engoron over the edge, and that's what Habba's client instructed her to do, and that's how she would earn her pay if it succeeded.  I don't think she's going to get paid.  As Homer Simpson would say, Engoron is "Judge, Judy, and Executioner".

  5. Mike Johnson doesn't care if his son knows what Dad is up to. But note his wife is not in on the monitoring.

    Boys will be boys

Comments are closed.