Thu. Jun 13th, 2024

Brace Yourself for a Crazy Media Frenzy: Trump’s Trial Kicking Off in New York This Week

Emily Hudson By Emily Hudson May29,2024 #finance

Trump’s hush-money criminal trial starts Monday with jury selection. He is required to attend. Can Trump get a fair trial? Ponder that while reading further.

The Day Has Arrived

The Wall Street Journal reports Trump Tried Everything to Avoid a Criminal Trial. The Day Has Arrived.

The case of People v. Trump itself is a mixed bag, with the lowest stakes of the four prosecutions he faces. Trump would have no mandatory prison term if convicted. Despite the salacious back story, the case at its core is about documents: whether Trump falsified the business and financial records that accounted for the hush money. Still, the case, brought by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, may be the only one of Trump’s criminal cases to wrap before Election Day. [Mish Comment: This Is Key]

The trial promises to bring a circuslike atmosphere to lower Manhattan for weeks. Barriers and a heavy law-enforcement presence are set to surround the courthouse, where, on the 15th floor, Secret Service agents will escort Trump in and out of the courtroom. Trump is required to attend the trial. That means he will spend four days a week seated at the defense table instead of campaigning. Trump’s political team has been trying to use his predicament as an unconventional springboard for rallying supporters.

The 34 felony counts in the indictment are all tied to records that prosecutors said Trump falsified as he reimbursed Cohen for the Daniels deal. They include 11 invoices, 12 general ledger entries and 11 checks. 

State prosecutors alleged that each of the 34 counts against Trump constitutes felonies because the former president “made and caused” the false record entries with intent to commit or conceal another crime.

Trump’s case is unusual because he is charged solely with falsifying records, and not other crimes. More typical cases include both. The uniqueness of the charges also means it is unclear what potential punishment Trump faces if a jury finds him guilty.

State Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan, who is presiding over the case, would have significant discretion in determining a sentence. The judge may be unlikely to sentence a first-time offender to jail for what is a recording crime, said Cheryl Bader, a law professor at Fordham University.

A Recording Crime

District Attorney Alvin Bragg took each receipt, invoice, and ledger receipt and made a separate felony charge out of each of them.

Then Bragg twisted those charges into an intent to commit other crimes. Yet Trump is not charged with other crimes, only falsifying records. And it’s plausible that Trump had no direct knowledge of the mess.

Michael Cohen

This story goes back to Michael Cohen, a former attorney of Donald Trump, who landed in prison for by paying adult-film star Stormy Daniels $130,000 in 2016 to keep quiet about an alleged sexual encounter she had with Trump a decade earlier.

The Journal notes that Falsifying business records is a misdemeanor under New York state law, but it can be elevated to a felony if records were falsified to conceal or commit another crime.

What other crime? Trump is charged with none.

Michael Cohen, Admitted Liar

Politico reports Michael Cohen is an admitted liar. He’s still going to be the star witness against Trump.

By his own admission, he has lied in court. He has lied to the media. And he has pleaded guilty to lying to Congress. Now, he’s set to be state prosecutors’ key witness against Donald Trump.

Michael Cohen, the former president’s fixer-turned-foe, is expected to tell jurors in the criminal trial starting Monday that Trump directed him to pay $130,000 in hush money to porn star Stormy Daniels so that she wouldn’t go public in the final weeks of the 2016 election with an allegation about a sexual encounter with Trump. Prosecutors have accused the former president of falsifying business records reflecting Trump’s reimbursements to Cohen.

But while the prosecution’s ability to prove its case at trial could hinge on Cohen’s first-hand account of the hush money arrangement, Cohen also may be its most problematic witness due to long-running questions about his ability to tell the truth.

“If a jury doesn’t believe him, that’s it,” said Catherine Christian, a former Manhattan assistant district attorney.

Cohen pleaded guilty in 2018 in two federal cases to a handful of crimes, including campaign-finance violations stemming from the hush money payments, tax evasion and making false statements to Congress. He was sentenced to three years in prison.

Michael Cohen was a liar and a sleaze. He lied to everyone, committed felonies and was sentenced to three years in prison.

Did he cut a deal with the DA to implicate Trump for a reduced sentence?

The story gets messier.

Soon after his guilty pleas, Cohen began saying publicly that he hadn’t committed tax evasion, despite having told a federal judge, U.S. District Judge William Pauley, in court that he had. And when Cohen attempted to get his sentence reduced, federal prosecutors said they had “substantial concerns about Cohen’s credibility as a witness” and that, following his sentencing, he “made material false statements” during meetings with prosecutors and the FBI. Prosecutors declined his offer to meet with them again.

Then, last fall, Cohen faced Trump for the first time since their split, testifying in New York state court in the civil fraud trial against the former president. During that testimony, Cohen again remarked — this time, under oath — that he hadn’t committed tax evasion. And he said he had lied to the judge when pleading guilty.

“So, sir, you lied at the time — you lied more than once in federal court, correct?” Trump lawyer Alina Habba asked Cohen. He replied: “Correct.”

He also testified that he had cooperated with the government and had “refused” a letter from federal prosecutors in which they would have argued for him to receive a lighter sentence in exchange for his cooperation. Federal prosecutors, however, have said in court filings that Cohen’s assistance “fell well short of cooperation” and therefore he wasn’t offered a cooperation agreement or a corresponding letter.

“Michael Cohen is a liar. He recently committed perjury, on the stand and under oath, at a civil trial involving President Trump,” Trump lawyers Todd Blanche and Susan Necheles wrote. “If his public statements are any indication, he plans to do so again at this criminal trial. The Court should preclude Cohen’s testimony in order to protect the integrity of this Court and the process of justice.”

Summation

  • The star witness is a repeated liar and perjurer to the courts and to Congress.
  • The case against Trump is a misdemeanor under New York state law.
  • The law allows an upgrade to felony status if the false record entries with intent to commit or conceal another crime.
  • The case of intent to commit or conceal another crime is so weak the Manhattan DA did not charge Trump with any other crime.

Can Trump Get a Fair Trial?

That’s actually the wrong question. The right question is: Should there be a trial?

Since there should not be a trial at all, by definition a trial cannot be fair.

The charges are remarkably shaky and so is the key witness. It only takes one holdout to reach the correct conclusion, that felony charges are a sham.

Irony Abounds

Curiously, despite the fact that the trial itself is unfair, Trump is highly likely to be the beneficiary.

Importantly, this New York circus takes time away from much stronger cases of election interference in Georgia.

The Georgia case genuinely merits a trial although District Attorney Fani Willis made a circus out of that case too by hiring her boyfriend, Nathan Wade, as the lead prosecutor.

By overplaying their hand everywhere, for clearly political and personal reasons, these district attorneys dramatically improved the odds of Trump being elected.

Black Voters Abandoning Biden In Huge Numbers

For more on the election, please see Swing State Poll Shows Black Voters Abandoning Biden In Huge Numbers

Also see If Biden Loses the Election, What Will Be the Top Reason?

Emily Hudson

By Emily Hudson

Emily is a talented author who has published several bestselling novels in the mystery genre. With a knack for creating gripping plotlines and intriguing characters, Emily's works have captivated readers worldwide.

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2 thoughts on “Brace Yourself for a Crazy Media Frenzy: Trump’s Trial Kicking Off in New York This Week”
  1. As a legal analyst, it’s fascinating to see how Trump’s trial unfolds amidst public scrutiny. Will justice prevail, or will it all be a political spectacle? Only time will tell, but one thing’s for sure, the media frenzy is likely to reach its peak during this trial.

    1. As an experienced journalist covering legal cases, I believe Trump’s trial will undoubtedly captivate the public’s attention. The intricate details of the case and the potential outcomes will keep us all on the edge of our seats. Let’s brace ourselves for a wild ride through the legal proceedings.

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