Closing Arguments Begin

As I write this, closing arguments in the Manhattan “hush money” trial are beginning, with Todd Blanche for the defense up first.. It says in the NY Times that “Todd Blanche, the defense lawyer, says his closing argument will take about two and a half hours, and Joshua Steinglass, the prosecutor, responds that his will be between four and four and a half hours. The judge says that means we may or may not finish at 4:30, and that he will ask the jurors if they can stay late in order to finish closing arguments if necessary.” That sounds like jury deliberations will begin tomorrow. I’ll keep an eye on the play-by-play reporting and update if anything freaky happens.

Meanwhile, the New York Times has a long article headlined The Untold Story of the Network That Took Down Roe v. Wade: A conservative Christian coalition’s plan to end the federal right to abortion began just days after Trump’s 2016 election. This is the story “of how an elite strike force of Christian lawyers, activists and politicians” worked together to get enough Christian nationalists on the court to overturn Roe. No paywall.

Update: Ooo, this is fun. Robert DeNiro is holding a big press conference outside the courthouse to troll Trump. Two of the J6 Capital Police officers, Harry Dunn and Michael Fanone, are there also.

Though Mr. De Niro and the two former police officers did not address Mr. Trump’s Manhattan trial — he is charged with falsifying business records related to a hush-money payment to a porn star before the 2016 election — they sought to draw attention to his actions that led to the events of Jan. 6, which are the subject of another federal criminal case pending against Mr. Trump.

5 thoughts on “Closing Arguments Begin

  1. "Closing Arguments"

    Apparently part of Stumps closing argument is that Cohen paid the porn-star out of the kindness of his heart (second mortgage on his house and all) and Stump had nothing to do it with it. If the jury buys that load of bullshit I got a bridge!


  2. I get the feeling no one wants to jinx the verdict by saying anything. I have no predictions but I tried to keep up with the various arguments on breaks and whenever. (I was at work.) 

    Observations of the reported arguments by the defense: they hung with their original argument(s). Trump didn't have an affair with either of the women. Cohen is a low-life lying sack of you-know-what. Stormy Daniels was trying to extort money from Trump. Cohen paid out of the goodness of his low-life lyin' sock-o-sh*t soul. The entire trial is based on Cohen's testimony – if you do not like Cohen, you must acquit. By not mentioning much about the physical evidence, I presume the defense expects the jury to disregard it. IMO, the defense is praying for one juror to dig in his heels on "reasonable doubt."

    Observations of the reported arguments by the prosecution: there was a lot of stuff. It looks to me like they were prepared and did pivot to address some of the weak accusations made by the defense. (This is the advantage of being second to address the jury.)  They  blow up the accusation that Daniels intended to extort money – she was first negotiating with Pecker and AMI. There was no reason for her to think Trump was behind a catch-and-kill scheme with Pecker. Where the defense had made a big deal of Cohen's theft of money for a different company, the swindle was from the money paid to Cohen as part of his "legal fees." The prosecution said the defense can't have it both ways – either Trump was paying Cohen to hide a variety of  debts that Trump concealed by calling the money a legal retainer OR it was Cohen's money and not the theft that Cohen confessed to. My impression is that the prosecution went through the timeline. Where the defense tried to shovel smoke, the prosecution introduced clarity about how the testimony fit together.

    I double-checked since tomorrow is Wednesday. They will be in session. The judge will give instructions to the jury. Exactly how stuff is worded may be critical. Then it's in the jury's hands, probably before lunch. I do not have a prediction but I'm hoping for a decision by tomorrow.

    • I get the feeling no one wants to jinx the verdict by saying anything.

      I for one am reluctant to make a prediction on the verdict because Trump has gotten away so much criminal behavior in the past that I've become gunshy to the idea that justice will prevail. But following the trial as I have it's beyond clear that he should be convicted on all counts. And I'm hoping that the jurors see the truth as I do and render a vedict of GUILTY.

      Trump's bullshit and inversion of reality has got to be stopped if we are to save our democracy Let's hope that this trial is a step on that path.

  3. Trump is not a no account, just a crooked one it seems.  Yes, he wallowed in election money and apparently violated rules related to election law in a hush money scheme.  His accounting was fiction.  Imagine that.  Has any of his life been much more than a facade?  

    It really does not matter what the jury finds, as the defense could find no story which would explain the accounting facts at hand.  It seems he scoffed at the law and in this and probably other ways became an illegitimate president.  

    That should surprise no one but a true cult member.  

    The republican party had long ago dropped any qualms about the end justifying any means used to get to that end. The end is all the justification needed for them.  Any path is a good path if it achieves the end they desire.  Such nonsense.  Who, other than a criminal, would display a golf trophy they cheated to win?  Worse than that he projects his failings upon  his opponents without remorse.  

    I almost feel for Tec Cruz with the way Trump smeared him, but Ted ended up in the moral mud with him.  

    We will never know the extent of the Russian involvement in that election, I fear. We may be on top of what is going on in the upcoming one.  News reports indicate extensive Russian involvement in recent European elections.  We know the rules of the current republican party.  The end is the only justification needed.  This rule is still in place and this Jury cannot change that much.  

    This is the job of the court of public opinion.  We must rub their noses in the moral mess they made until they learn they must also play by the rules they want to impose upon others.  Never do they get to get away with an end justifies the means morality.  That does not make you elite it makes you a cheat.  Such a twisted supremacy concept they continue to display.  That is my verdict.  


  4. Gee, all the scholars are now saying that Trump has a lot of issues that can be brought up on appeal. I wonder what that means?

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