Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Flotsam and Jetsam - The Defense Rests

The Manhattan Trump trial being carried out by DA Alvin Bragg and Judge Juan Merchan is nearly over. After the completion of the interrupted testimony of Robert Costello, former Federal prosecutor, and Michael Cohen's former personal lawyer, the defense rested, having not called either Donald Trump, or Brad Smith, former chairman of the FEC, who would have testified as to the complexities of Federal election law. Vicky Taft at Town Hall, Local Judge Says He Don't Need No Stinkin' Federal Elections Law Expert to Mess Up His Trump Lynching

NewsMax, Defense Rests Without Trump Testimony in New York Trial. Capt, Ed at Hat Hair, Defense Rests, Trump Won't Take the Stand in Manhattan Clown Show. Ace, Trump's Defense Rests. "His legal team figures he's way ahead on points. I know that the jury of curated ultra-partisans will probably convict anyway, but if the jury is rigged, then Trump's testimony would not help anyway. Does this mean Trump is finally permitted to campaign for president? Or is this c***sucker judge going to insist he remain in court for every day the jury deliberates? That can't be the case. Can it? Update: Unbelievable. The crooked judge gave the jurors a week off, then they'll reconvene to hear opening arguments. Only after that will they begin to deliberate. This guy really wants Trump locked in his court scheduling, huh?" At Althouse, The Trump trial was supposed to be such a big deal, but somehow "a strange sense of anticlimax hangs over the whole affair." "As Michelle Goldberg puts it, in "The Trump Trial’s Great Anticlimax" (NYT)." Capt. Ed adds "Goldberg echoes the lament from the WaPo opinion editor a week or so ago, which was (paraphrased from memory) "why isn't Trump's trial doing him any damage?" It's because the trial itself has no credibility, and no real connection to Trump the politician. It's a jumped-up felony indictment involving business records over an NDA payment that took place before Trump took office, and its star witness is a serial perjurer who lied in his testimony last week and admitted to embezzlement this week. It's a clown show. "

Stacy McCain, I’d Call This a Kangaroo Court, But That Would Be an Insult to Honest Kangaroos. The last two liberals who still believe in the rule of law seem to agree. Capt. Ed cites Dershowitz: 'Berserk' Merchan's Rulings Obviously 'Biased in Favor of One Side'. 'Becca Downs at TownHall, 'Never Seen Such a Spectacle': Alan Dershowitz Was 'Shocked' by What He Saw at Trump Trial  Dersh himself, I was inside the court when the judge closed the Trump trial, and what I saw shocked me. "I have observed and participated in trials throughout the world. I have seen justice and injustice in China, Russia, Ukraine, England, France, Italy, Israel, as well as in nearly 40 of our 50 states. But in my 60 years as a lawyer and law professor, I have never seen a spectacle such as the one I observed sitting in the front row of the courthouse yesterday." Jonathan Turley, “Are You Staring Me Down?”: Judge Merchan Becomes an Oddity in his Own Courtroom. "In any other district, this case would never have been allowed in trial. It certainly now should be facing a directed verdict by the court. Indeed, with any other defendant, a New York jury would be giving a Bronx cheer in derision." Hat Hair's Jazz Shaw, The Return of Bob Costello and a Hostile Judge. "Merchan also accused Costello of "staring him down." (In other words, he was looking at the judge, which is apparently not allowed in that courtroom.) He has already threatened to remove Costello from the stand. This type of inappropriate behavior from a judge would probably result in the entire trial being scrapped in more normal circumstances, but this is New York that we're talking about." Althouse cites the Dersh, "The judge actually threatened to strike all of Costello’s testimony if he raised his eyebrows again."

"That of course would have been unconstitutional because it would have denied the defendant his Sixth Amendment right to confront witnesses and to raise a defense. It would have punished the defendant for something a witness was accused of doing. Even if what Costello did was wrong, and it was not, it would be utterly improper and unlawful to strike his testimony — testimony that undercut and contradicted the government’s star witness.... Moreover, [Justice Merchan's] affect while issuing that unconstitutional threat revealed his utter contempt for the defense and anyone who testified for the defendant. The public should have been able to see the judge in action, but because the case is not being televised, the public has to rely on the biased reporting of partisan journalists. But the public was even denied the opportunity to hear from journalists who saw the judge in action because he cleared the courtroom. I am one of the few witnesses...."

Writes Alan Dershowitz, in "I was inside the court when the judge closed the Trump trial, and what I saw shocked me"

NewsMax reports  Rep. Stefanik Files Ethics Complaint Against Trump Trial Judge 

Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., filed an ethics complaint against the judge presiding over former President Donald Trump's criminal trial in Manhattan on Tuesday, Axios reported.

"Acting Judge [Juan] Merchan is in clear violation of section 100.3(E)(1)(d)(iii) of the Rules of Judicial Conduct for the New York State Unified Court System as his family has enriched itself through anti-Trump fundraising mentioning this case directly," Stefanik told Axios in a statement.

Stefanik requested an investigation from the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct. Stefanik and other Trump supporters have called on Merchan to recuse himself from the trial because Merchan's daughter, Loren, does consulting work for Democrats.

Althouse notes "Ousted Trump prosecutor Nathan Wade shocks guests with appearance at ex-lover Fani Willis’ primary election victory party." "The NY Post reports." Aw, true lust. 

Nick Arama at RedState, Biden Approval Takes a New Dive and Shows He's Losing Even More Ground. PJM's Matt Margolis, WOW: Biden May Already Be Plotting to Back Out of Debating Trump. Cockburn at The Spec, Place your bets: what drugs is Biden on? "A betting site has created a wagering market for which drug the president will test positive for." Hat Hair wonders Who Has a Better Chance of Passing a Drug Test: Hunter or Joe? Hat Hair's KT wonders if it's a Record? The White House Issues 9 Corrections to Biden's NAACP Speech

A triple at Althouse, "I say to every young man thinking of getting married, marry into a family with 5 or more daughters" so you never run out of hair to sniff, "In resisting disclosure of his recordings, [Richard] Nixon lamented that they 'will be seized upon by my political and journalistic opponents,'" ""Mr. Biden has likewise justified his stonewalling by claiming that the tapes would be used 'for partisan purposes," and "It is urgently important that Democrats find ways to depict this cartoon villain as more villainous than comic." ""A host of data shows that a crucial slice of the electorate has relatively sunny memories of the Trump years and a vague understanding of the extremist agenda his allies are putting together for a second term. And worse yet... the youngest voters, on whom Democrats are relying for a big 2024 advantage, know little about Trump at all..."

Patricia Heaton@PatriciaHeaton "Totally predictable" Quote Aviva Klompas@AvivaKlompas, "70% of the humanitarian aid that arrived in Gaza via the new US-built pier (which cost $320 million) was stolen on Saturday. SEVENTY PERCENT." Totally OK with Biden because it was stolen by Hamas, and Biden supports Hamas. Hat Hair's Jazz Shaw has even More Proof Biden Was Warned About Disastrous Afghanistan Withdrawal

Hat Hair's John Sexton, Fed Report: 65% of Americans Said They Were Worse Off Last Year Because of Inflation.

The Wombat has FMJRA 2.0: There Must Be Some Kind Of Way Out Of Here up and garnering clicks at The Other McCain.

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