Today’s Newsy Bits (updated)

Michael Cohen is back in court getting grilled by Trump’s lawyers. Opinions vary as to how effective Trump attorney Todd Blanche’s questions have been, but at least some commenters think he could very well have planted serious reasonable doubt in some jurors’s minds. It’s believed the lawyers will all wrap up their cases this week, but Judge Merchan wants closing arguments to wait until next week, after the Memorial Day weekend. I take it he’s trying to avoid a long weekend between closing arguments and jury deliberations.

Update: There was some kind of blowup in the trial today involving the defense’s one and only witness, Robert Costello, an attorney who once advised Cohen. I take it Costello smarted off to the judge, which caused the judge to clear the courtroom of jury and reporters so he could admonish Costello. The crew at MSNBC thinks this may have bleeped the defense.

The International Criminal Court has applied for arrest warrants for Hamas leader in Gaza Yahya Sinwar and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for war crimes and crimes against humanity. See also Timeline of Int’l Criminal Court Arrest Warrant Applications for Gaza War: What Comes Next and How We Got Here at Just Security.

Is RFK Jr. homeless? The New York Post reports that he doesn’t live at his “official” address.

The independent candidate claims his voting address is 84 Croton Lake Road In Katonah, though he is not the owner of the million-dollar, in-arrears property, does not show up in resident searches for it, and some longtime neighbors — and even local authorities — were shocked at the notion it’s his home.

“No … he doesn’t live here,” a local cop insisted Sunday.

A review of voting records show RFK Jr. voted in primary and/or general elections using that New York address as recently as 2020 — and in 2018, 2016, 2014, 2013, 2011, 2010 and 2008. 

He voted by mail during the COVID outbreak using the Croton Lake address, too.  

The legal owner of the property is Barbara Moss, the wife of longtime RFK pal Timothy Haydock, a Westchester doctor.

Haydock and RFK Jr. served as the best man at each other’s first wedding, and RFK is the godfather of Haydock’s daughter.

The US Bank Trust Company filed a foreclosure action against Moss, an interior and landscape designer, in state Supreme Court in March, claiming she owed $46,106 plus interest.

A settlement conference is scheduled for June 7. …

… The Kennedy campaign insisted in a Sunday night statement that the home is RFK Jr.’s “official address.”

“He receives mail there. His driver’s license is registered there. His automobile is registered there. His voting registration is from there. His hunting, fishing, falconry, and wildlife rehabilitation licenses are from there. He pays rent to the owner,” the campaign said.

The statement went on to say that his law office is in New York and he pays taxes in the Empire State.

Maybe he lives in his office. Maybe he has a pod tucked away on Governor’s Island that he and the brain worm return to when they have to regenerate. Who knows?

If you can get to it without hitting a paywall, do read Will Bunch’s latest column, Scared About America Losing Democracy? Texas Is Already Gone. I went through incognito windows in three different browsers before I got it up long enough to copy and paste the thing into Word. The Philadelphia Enquirer is getting stingier about free peeks. Anyway, it’s about how Greg Abbott has declared war on protesters he disagrees with. Saying the wrong thing in Texas can get you arrested or killed. And if you murder someone saying something Greg Abbott doesn’t like, you get a pardon.


9 thoughts on “Today’s Newsy Bits (updated)

  1. If you can get to it without hitting a paywall…

    Using incognito windows to get around paywalls is so 201x. The kids these days use archive sites. I like myself, because it has a transparent scheme for naming URLs. If you just put$(the_url_you_want)

    into the location bar, you get the earliest copy of the_url_you_want that has a copy of. For example in the present case you would put in

    gets you a copy that was saved a couple of days ago, that you can just read without messing around with Word. Or Google Docs or whatever.

  2. Interesting article when read in full:

    Since 2014, his official residence was on Twin Lakes Road in Bedford a few miles from his current residence. He typically stayed at that residence two times each month.

    “When Mr. Kennedy announced his presidential candidacy, that landlord, worried about becoming embroiled in political controversy, asked Mr. Kennedy to find another residence. Mr. Kennedy’s best friend invited him to move into his Croton Lake Road residence in which Mr. Kennedy had been a frequent guest. Mr. Kennedy transferred his residence in June 2023.

    “Since embarking on his presidential campaign, Mr. Kennedy has constantly been traveling in other states. During the 11 months since switching residences, he, therefore, has not had occasion to stay at his Croton Lake Road home, which explains why neighbors have not seen him.”

    Which political party do you think the Landlord belongs to?

  3. When RFK Sr. first ran for senate he did not meet the residency requirements to vote in New York State. 

  4. How today finished up with the first part of testimony from the ONLY witness for the defense, according to CNN:

    "But once on the stand, Costello quickly got on the wrong side of the judge, speaking over Merchan as the judge sustained objections in response to questions from Trump attorney Emil Bove.

    Then Costello began audibly protesting the sustained objections. “Ridiculous,” he could be heard saying while the attorneys approached the judge after one objection. He later let out an audible “jeez” following the judge’s ruling.

    After another sustained objection,?Costello?let out an audible sigh and rolled his eyes, side glancing at the judge.

    The judge then asked the jury to step out of the courtroom. Once jurors left, Merchan said, “I want to discuss proper decorum in my courtroom.”

    “When there’s a witness on the stand, if you don’t like my ruling, you don’t say ‘jeez,’” Merchan said to Costello. “You don’t give me a side eye and you don’t roll your eyes,” Merchan said, his voice showing his anger.

    When?Costello?held a long glare at the judge, Merchan asked, “Are you staring me down?”

    The judge then cleared the courtroom of the media, who were held in the hallways for several minutes.

    Inside the courtroom, Merchan threatened to remove Costello from the stand and strike his testimony.

    “I’m putting you on notice that your conduct is contemptuous,” Merchan said to Costello, according to a transcript. “If you try to stare me down one more time, I will remove you from the stand.”

    Costello tried to explain: “Can I say something, please?”

    “No. No,” Merchan responded. “This is not a conversation.”

    Once the jury and the press were let back inside, Bove’s questions continued without incident, though the judge did urge Costello after several objections to just answer the question that had been asked and not elaborate further.

    Costello will be back on the stand when court resumes at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, under cross-examination by prosecutor Susan Hoffinger."

    I'm not a lawyer, though this witness is. I'd love to read a transcript of his testimony – from the summaries, he's not objective in his testimony. That's putting it in the mildest terms. Trying to upstage the judge has "Trump" written all over it. 

    I wasn't there, so I can't swear how this went over with the jury but the dynamics are pretty powerful. The witness started deliberately messing with the judge when objections by the prosecution were sustained by the judge. I don't have the transcript but I guess the witness was being asked to testify to facts and events which he knew nothing about. My guess.And it pissed the witness off that he wasn't being allowed to recite the fraudulent narrative Trump wanted him to deliver. (Yes, that's opinion.) What makes me think Trump had a hand in preparing the witness is that when testimony was predictably stopped before the jury heard it, the witness deliberately confronted the judge. I don't think any lawyer capable of passing the NY bar would disrespect a judge in his courtroom, But it's absolutely what Trump would have wanted. So it was planned and orchestrated to strike at the judge.

    And stupidly. This isn't something a seasoned lawyer would pull. Why? It didn't play well to the jury. They saw it go down, the witness disrespecting the judge repeatedly and then the jury was asked to leave the room. They know damn well that the judge had words with the witness before they returned. There's a reason that's a really bad play.

    The jury identifies with the judge. They know that the prosecution and the defense, in adversarial roles, are presenting "theatre" for them to review. The judge is there to keep the performance fair and to instruct them, the audience, how to review the legal play they saw. The judge is the one the jury has to trust – a relationship the judge understands. Disrespecting the judge in his kingdom probably discredited anything the witness said. And for the defense, this clown is the ONLY witness. 

    You don't know how a jury will decide a case until they return from deliberations. So I make no predictions but this witness will be cross-examined tomorrow and then it goes to both the prosecution and defense to make closing arguments. 

  5. Kristy Greenberg (msnbc) said that Costello's antics made Cohen, who "has more baggage than JFK airport" look good. Cohen was solid, respectful and unflappable during 25 hours of cross examination. Costello is an experienced attorney who should know better. Keep digging Trump's grave, dummos.

    Rachel briefly interviewed Fani Willis, who is under attack from all levels of Republicans in government. She particularly called out "that clown" Jim Jordan, noting his own district is one of the most impoverished in the country and this is how he spends his time. The Feds caught two different guys – one from Alabama, another from California – who were plotting to kill her. She's on the ballot tomorrow, Tuesday, to retain her job as DA.

  6. Zen (or not), as it may (or may not) be

    It does me no harm, it's no bark off my shins, to post the christian 10 sins in the public square: given that it's the christians in the name of their god readily engaging in the money-grubbing, false-witness bearing, lying, cheating, coveting, stealing, raping and killing even on Saturday … maybe we should be more supportive of their public display, the christians are the ones needing reminded how not to behave. Not that it's my place to

    I'm just a Traveler on The Way, it's no bark off my shins

  7. On a cold and windy Sunday in Las Vegas last January, a black lady approached me in a busy Whole Foods parking lot asking for my signature on a petition to put abortion rights on the ballot in November. We chatted a bit, and I was shocked to discover the hostility she received from some patrons. Today I read that twice the number of signatures were secured to get the measure on the ballot. It feels good to have helped. I hope it helps my current senator, Jacky Rosen, get over the top in November, we need every Democrat to drive out the MAGAts.

    Reflecting on the Fani Willis note I posted upstream – she came across as being under incredible pressure, wound tighter than a drum. I hope she doesn't break.

  8. Trump seems to have wrestled any chance of victory in the hush-money case into an almost certain loss.  With a defense like that, who needs an air- tight prosecution.  It was almost a hand-written, personally signed confession.  Once again, Trump was a fool not to cop a plea.  

    When you have as small of fingers as Trump is reported to have, it is hard to find any glove that doesn't fit.  


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