Very Embarrassing to Trump’s Campaign

Is this an admission? I’m reading that today David Pecker of National Enquirer fame was asked why he paid $30,000 for the “illegitimate child” story, even though he believed it not to be true. And Pecker said, “If it got out to another publication, another media outlet, it would have been very embarrassing to the campaign.”

It seems to me that Bragg has a pretty good case. He’s even got the voice recording of Trump and Michael Cohen discussing how they were going to “finance” the project with “our friend David.” I don’t think Trump is going to get away with claiming he had no idea Michael Cohen was killing scandal stories for him. And I understand they have documentary evidence showing how the money was handled. But we’ll see. The whole thing might turn on whether the jury thinks what was done was really illegal.

A couple of pundits have commented that the trial has made Trump seem, well, small. Jennifer Rubin writes, “Rather than dominate the proceedings or leverage his court appearance to appear in control and demonstrate no court could corral him, Trump day by day has become smaller, more decrepit and, frankly, somewhat pathetic.” At Vanity Fair, Molly Jong Fast writes,

Week one of Donald Trump’s hush money trial could have been mundane. It entailed what the legal world refers to as voir dire, during which the judge makes evidentiary judgments to determine which jurors can rule impartially on the case. Yet the first four days of the New York criminal proceedings, which continued with opening statements Monday, painted a rather surprising portrait of a man who could no longer outrun the wheels of justice. They pierced through Trump’s armor in ways both profound and absurd, shattering the public’s perception of a man who may have seemed legally invincible. I knew that this case, compared to those of the past, would prove harder for Teflon Don to repel. But even still, I didn’t think the coating would wear off quite this quickly. …

Bill Maher predicted last year that this trial would only rally pro-Trump voters and help him secure the presidency. “I think this is a colossal mistake if they bring these charges,” the pundit argued. “I mean, yes, [Trump’s] done a lot of bad things, and I’m sure he did this—everything they accused him of [doing], he did. But first of all, it’s not gonna work. It’s gonna be rocket fuel for his 2024 campaign.”

Yet last week felt like the opposite of “rocket fuel.” If anything, what we saw was a grumpy 77-year-old man who was exhausted from hours of sitting on a hard chair in a cold room, falling asleep to potential jurors talking about their (oft-negative) feelings about him. Before the trial started, Trump’s campaign sent out a fundraising email promising that it was “72 hours until all hell breaks loose.” But there was no hell to speak of. Trump supporters didn’t storm the courthouse like they did the Capitol back in January 2021. In fact, the only turnout Trump got was a smattering of his usual toadies, including Andrew Giuliani. We don’t know what the next four days of Trump’s trial will hold. But if he and his supporters are already feeling depleted, imagine how they’ll feel in June.

Yesterday he begged for more people to show up, and to take to the streets wherever they are:

Donald J. Trump was evidently not happy with what he saw out the window of his chauffeured S.U.V. as he rode through Lower Manhattan on Monday morning for the beginning of opening arguments in his first criminal trial.

The scene that confronted him as he approached the dingy courthouse at 100 Centre Street was underwhelming. Across the street, at Collect Pond Park, the designated site for protesters during the trial, only a handful of Trump supporters had gathered, and the number would not grow much throughout the morning.

Mr. Trump has portrayed his legal jeopardy as a threat to America itself, and he has suggested that the country would not put up with it. But the streets around the courthouse on Monday were chaos-free — well-patrolled and relatively quiet. As his motorcade made its way to the courthouse, the few Trump supporters gathered in the park were outnumbered by Trump detractors, who waved signs about his alleged liaison with a porn star.

Mr. Trump had tried to gin up something noisier. Shortly after 7 a.m., he posted on his social media website that “America Loving Protesters should be allowed to protest at the front steps of Courthouses” and he followed this lament with a call for his supporters to “GO OUT AND PEACEFULLY PROTEST. RALLY BEHIND MAGA. SAVE OUR COUNTRY!” …

… Later in the morning, Mr. Trump sought to cast the poor turnout as more evidence of a plot against him. In a post at 8:50 a.m., he implied that would-be MAGA protesters were being discriminated against for political reasons.

I’m hearing there were maybe a dozen MAGAs hanging outside the courtroom todday. But Trump imagined something else.

Donald Trump claimed that a massive police presence has shut down traffic for blocks around the Manhattan courthouse where his hush-money trial is being held, preventing his supporters from showing their support and protesting on his behalf. But reality looks a little different.

NBC News reporter Vaughn Hillyard posted a video outside the courthouse Tuesday morning. The clip shows a pretty quiet street fully open to traffic, with only one Trump supporter there, according to Hillyard.


This is very embarassing to the campaign, I’m sure.

8 thoughts on “Very Embarrassing to Trump’s Campaign

  1. Joyce Vance pointed out that Trump's lawyers could've taken the tack that "He's a jerk, but he did nothing illegal". Instead they're pushing the harder-to-believe: "He did nothing wrong, everyone is a liar". Only a diehard MAGA could believe the position they took.

    Trump is like the inflated 30-foot advertising dummy/windsock who's been deflating for months. First, no money for bonds, or for other Republicans, one legal judgment after another hanging around his neck, dementia / low energy on the campaign trail, and now he has to shrink himself to sit properly and quietly in a NY state courtroom. His karmic bill is due.

    Joyce Vance noted that every defense attorney tells their client to stand up and rise when the judge appears in the courtroom – like everyone else in the room. Trump hasn't been doing this, he still thinks he's above the law. I wonder how long he's going to keep this up.

    Trump has peaked. So has Moscow Marge. Carl Jung said all the shadow material has to come out and be exposed so it can be dealt with. This is happening before our eyes.

    • Yeah, I heard that comment by Joyce Vance. The jury is the ultimate power, and for Trump to disrespect the jury in an act of defiance is a big mistake. All of the people who comprise the jury do so because they respect the rule of law and are compliant to any requirements put upon them by law. I assume Trump is trying to convey the idea to the jury that his trial is illegitimate and his act of disrepect to the jury is one way of telling like it is.

    • "Trump is like the inflated 30-foot advertising dummy/windsock who's been deflating for months" – indeed!  That explains the farting.

      And Moscow Marge can hold her breath until the rest of the nation turns blue.

  2. I think "embarassing"  understates the situation. IMO, when Trump saw these trials developing he called for "protests" in New York, Atlanta, and DC.  IMO, Trump wanted "protests" like J6 and about as peaceful. Trump expected he could shut down the trials to the point they could hardly meet and jurors would decide not to show up. That's not happening, even remotely, not even in Trump's home town. So you are hearing a lot from Trump about how the faithful need to show up but the MAGA propaganda about J6 is working against turnout. Trump supporters are petrified that the "deep state" will identify and persecute them. (If they break the law, the law will ID and prosecute them, a difference they can't see.) But they are so convinced that the feds locked up peaceful protesters for months and months when in fact, only the most violent J6 offenders weren't released. But the lies took root and now, Trump has no shock troops to deploy. He's just finding out, which makes Trump look puny and defeated.

    If the jury is being brought out before the judge is… (if you know, do tell me) and Trump is staying seated after the Baliff calls, "All rise" that's gonna count against Trump bigtime every day BEFORE the witness is even sworn in. This has to do with the psychology. The judge is "daddy" – the jury doesn't naturally side with the prosecutor or the defense. Trump wants to call into question the total legitimacy of the trial, including the judge (and jury – they will figure out.) If after the trial, members of the jury, possibly disguised, grant interviews their point of view, especially regarding Trump's rude behavior may persuade voters that the trial was legit, the jurors are people just like the voters listening to the interview, and Trump is a prick.

    I don't think Judge Merchan is finding it difficult to discern if there was a violation of the gag order. WHat to do about it is more difficult by an order of magnitude. I think we will see a carefully written decision that Merchan's staff has carefully researched to ensure it will stand up in an appeal and won't provide support to overturning the guilty verdict. I expect an order many pages long with precedents. The message being: after this, contempt WILL cost you in non-monetary penalties that hurt. And Trump will go there because Trump's motivation is not to win the trial, but it is to motivate his followers to riot for him.


  3. Pecker had some pretty damning testimony against Trump today. Omerta just went out the window, and along with it went Trump's claim that some accountant just miscategorized a legal expense. It's not looking good for the bag of shit.

  4. Going OT: there's major problems at Columbia and other campuses regarding "anti-semitism." Students are promising not to end a camp-out  until their demands are met. The GOP is trying to make this the election issue, or at least something to distract from Trump's trial.

    I have a daughter in college and she's very pro-Palestinian. (So am I.) We differ in some critical aspects. Cathy has indicated a feeling somewhere between understanding and supporting the Hamas murder of civilians and hostage-taking. I'm in firm opposition to the brutality of the IDF going back many years. And the theft of Palestinian land. All stuff this audience gets.

    But Palistinian Muslims are not American Muslims. The kind of folks willing to slash the throats of women at a music festival feel to me like the Taliban in Afghanistan and the Ayatollahs in Iran. That does not mean the Palestinian people should suffer as they are, but the fact they are opressed by Israel does not grant them halos and wings. My daughter is flirting with reading the Koran and adopting Muslim dress while maintaining an American progressive sexual philosophy that many Muslims would consider grounds for beheading. Orthodox Jews would probably also find LGBTQ tolerance pure heresy. (Wonderful that the most radical Jewish leaders and radical Islamic theologians can agree to hate the West for tolerance.)

    The human tendency to decide one side is right and the other side is wrong interferes with objectivity and rational thought. We need both to wind down the crisis in the Mid-east. But young people in the US are siding so completely with the people being crushed in Gaza, they're supporting (or ignoring) violence against Jews. 

    Last thought: students in Columbia want the college to divest from Israel. I don't know if there are any other demands. That's all I can find. This is how the world forced S. Africa to abandon apartheid. I can't disagree with that. I have no doubt that some of the supporters of Palestinians crossed the line and ventured into anti-semitism. I'm not sure how much of the US pro-Gaza folks have crossed that line. If it's a minority, the problem is message discipline. How many times must a noble cause fail for lack of message discipline?

  5. Liz Cheney wrote an op ed in the NYT that made a number of excellent points.  History was one of them.  This trial fills in some names, dates, and events that led to the rise of Trump and what has been called Populism.  Trump wraps himself in the flag.  Trump gets photo ops with the bible.  Trump talks of parallels with historical figures e.g. Nelson Mandella and Jesus who had much popular support.  These are all facts. which are rare in the world of Trump.  He also wins golf tournaments and has the trophies to prove it.  This is also a fact if you use the word win quite loosely.  Golf used to be a game with a claim to character building.  That golfers had to police themselves was often cited to support this claim.  That was when golf was great.  

    You might think at least golfers would show up at his trial since he is such a champion.  Most populists in history have people who stick with them through thick and thin.  I am not familiar with populists that had to solicit people to show up and support them.  Is it possible that golf champion and populist are not how history should record Trump.  Liz Cheney wrote history needs the trial on 1/6 and other acts aimed at winning another term.  This trial illuminates how he won the first time.  It is about the time we got the rest of the story, under oath, and with a penalty for perjury. History needs a trial on Trump's attempt to bastardize what the word win means, with a focus on getting out the rest of the story around 1/6.  Without delay.  

  6. A lot can and probably will happen between now and November but the way things are trending sure makes it look like tRump is finished, his world is ending "not with a bang but a whimper", and he will be the last one to accept that.  For the MAGA faithful – whooping it up at a rally/festival/party is one thing, standing around holding a sign for an hour or two on a city sidewalk in exchange for a brief distant wave from your hero is something else.  He has little control over anything now, will he be able to maintain control of his bowels when Stormy takes the stand?  Maybe we'll get to see if he is capable of experiencing embarrassment.  The entire GQP should be embarrassed into oblivion but they won't be, many of the remora fish types among them are at this moment pondering how to most favorably spin their years of shamelessly sucking a ride on his putrid carcass.  Expect a lot of sniping and yapping over who can best fill the MAGA void.  The upcoming Republican National Convention might actually be fun to watch, assuming they still have it (?).


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