Lisa Rubin says five or six!

THURSDAY, MAY 30, 2024

Can anyone here play explain this game? Can anyone explain the nature of the 34 felonies with which Donald J. Trump stands charged?

Let us start by saying this—we all understand the nature of the cultural and political offense with which he has repeatedly been charged.

In our view, this charge is very strange. But again and again, then again and again, Trump has been charged with this:

In creating a non-disclosure agreement with Stormy Daniels, he kept voters from getting the information they needed in the 2016 election.

That strikes us as an embarrassingly silly charge. That said, we've seen Blue America's cable news pundits state some version of the complaint again and again and again.

For the record, that isn't a legal complaint. How can we describe the 34 criminal charges with which Trump stands charged in a New York City courtroom?

As we noted this morning, different people seem to describe those charges in different ways. For the latest example, consider what legal analyst Lisa Rubin told Willie Geist on today's Morning Joe.

The exchange began with an assertion by Geist. According to Geist, Donald Trump and "some of his minions" have been saying something about the jury instructions that simply isn't true:

GEIST (5/30/24): I want to get some clarification from you about the jury instructions. Donald Trump, some of his minions, going on cable networks, suggesting that the judge told the jury that they don't have to be unanimous.

That's not true. Can you explain what this little dispute may be about?

Who needs legal analysts when they already have Willie Geist? 

In effect, Geist had already answered the question of the day—the question about whether the jury's verdicts will have to be unanimous. 

Does the jury have to be unanimous? As we noted this morning, Devlin Barrett's report in the Washington Post made that answer made the answer sound a bit less clearcut

Geist said the claim was simply untrue. Here's the way Rubin's response started:

RUBIN (continuing directly): Yeah, that's not true at all...

That particular claim isn't true "at all?" The truth about this complex matter gets fuzzier and fuzzier.

At any rate, that's the way Rubin started. Here's the text of her full response:

RUBIN (continuing directly): Yeah, that's not true at all

First of all, they have to be unanimous that the business records here were falsified, and that is the crime that was charged.

With respect to what makes falsification of business records a felony, they also have to be unanimous that Trump intended to commit a conspiracy to promote his own election in 2016, and they have to be unanimous that he did so, or that the conspiracy was through unlawful means. 

Here's the part where they can have differences of opinion. 

What are those unlawful means? [Prosecutor] Josh Steinglass gave them five or six different options that kind of fall into three categories.

 One is violation of the federal elections campaign through unlawful campaign contributions. 

One is falsification of other business records, like Michael Cohen's submission of forms to the bank through which he opened the account that he used to pay Stormy Daniels. 

The third are [sic] the tax forms that the Trump Organization prepared when they were showing Michael Cohen's quote/unquote "income," that income of $420,000 that was really the reimbursement to him. 

You Willie; you Rev; me Lisa—we can all have different opinions on what those unlawful means are. But we all have to agree that there was a conspiracy, that it was executed by unlawful means. Donald J. Trump is playing fast and loose here with the concept of unanimity.

To watch videotape of that exchange, you can start by clicking here.

At any rate, that was Rubin's explanation. It almost sounds to us like we'd want to paraphrase her statement this way:

Yeah, that statement isn't true at all. Until such time as it is!

Trump was playing fast and loose with the concept of unanimity? So, we'd almost be inclined to say, was legal analyst Rubin, she of Blue America!

That said.

At this time, cable news mainly exists as a source of comfort food for the nation's dueling masses. 

We citizens of Blue America turn to our own "cable news" channel to hear the statements we enjoy. Citizens of Red America turn to the Fox News Channel to hear their views reinforced.

Meanwhile, note the change in the numbers—through we aren't saying that Rubin's census is "wrong:"

According to Rubin, when jurors finally get to have their "differences of opinion," they now have "five or six" different options from which they can choose! For the record, it sounds like they don't all have to agree with each other when they pick from those options.

We're not saying that's wrong—we're just saying that it keeps getting complexer and complexer as different journalists tote up the different ways jurors are free to decide that Donald J. Trump broke the law.  This is happening in the part of the decision making where, as far as we know, the jurors don't all have to agree.

Shorter Rubin:

The jurors have to be unanimous—until such time as they don't! At that point, jurors get to have "differences of opinion." But let's not think about that!

For the record, we're not saying that there's anything "wrong" with the legal theory according to which jurors have been told to proceed. (Presumably, there could be something wrong with the theory, of course.)

We are saying this:

Due to "segregation by viewpoint," we've never seen Rubin required to defend any of her assessments in a full-blown, civil discussion with any of the legal analysts who appear on Fox. Also, we've never seen those legal analysts forced to defend their claims.

In fact, no one has ever seen any such discussions. Thanks to the practice of "segregation by viewpoint," such discussions no longer exist!

Meanwhile, was Rubin possibly playing a bit fast and loose with the concept of unanimity? By our lights, to our ear, it almost sounds like she possibly was!

Of course, that's pretty much why modern-day "cable news" exists!  Each tribe gets to hear the stories it likes. Everyone goes home happy. 

That's the way our "cable news" works. "Our democracy" pays the price!


155 comments:

  1. Somerby is just as obsessed with Trump Trump Trump as the media he claims to be disgusted with for being obsessed with Trump Trump Trump.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Prominent Black officials are warning the Biden campaign that efforts to keep Black voters in his electoral coalition aren't working.

      Crickets from Somerby.

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    2. They were black crickets.

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    3. Yea, the blacks like Trump now as he is a convicted criminal just like most of them.

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    4. It still seems unfair that Trump wasn't choked out by a cop for over ten minutes.

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  2. “ The jurors have to be unanimous—until such time as they don't! ”

    That isn’t an accurate characterization. Needless to say.

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  3. We shape-shifting alien Reptiloids are your superior overlords.

    We provide you feed and make you happy. Don't ask questions. Nothing to see here. We will take care of everything.

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  4. Suppose an employer fired a gay Mexican, saying, "I just can't stand those people!" Some on the jury might find that the employer was biased against gays; some might find that the employer was biased against Mexicans. Should the employer go free if the jury can agree that the employer engaged in illegal discrimination, but can't agree on the basis of the discrimination?

    That's comparable to what the jury is tasked with in Trump's case. All the jury must agree that Trump was covering up some crime, but they don't have to agree on which crime he was covering up.

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    Replies
    1. good analogy. Trump is like a Chinese menu of criminal acts. Pick from Col A or Col B or Col C.

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    2. Piper - your analogy refers to a civil wrong. Here’s a criminal law analogy: suppose half the jury says Trump robbed Store A and half say he robbed store B. Can he be convicted of robbery?

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    3. DiC - In your analogy, there's two different wrongful acts. In Trump's case, for each count there's only one wrongful act -- the falsification of a business record.

      The falsification is a felony if it was done for the purpose of covering up a crime. The jury can differ on which crime Trump intended to cover up.

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    4. David, this is better:

      He’s charged with possessing a weapon while committing a crime. Half say he possessed it while robbing A, half say it was while robbing B.

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    5. While he wasn't convicted of robbing either?

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    6. Imagine a small store owner trying to prevent negative rumors from affecting their business just before a big sale. To keep someone quiet, they make a secret payment and then falsely record it as a business expense. This misrepresentation is illegal, a misdemeanor.

      But the store owner is being prosecuted as a felon because he is being accused that the misdemeanor was committed to hide another larger unspecified crime. The judge in the case has said that the jury does not have to be unanimous about whatever that crime is.

      Ie. The jurors do not have to be unanimous regarding the specific unlawful means used to commit the alleged conspiracy.

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    7. Yes, @4:16. I agree that your analogy is better than mine. I tend to think he could not be convicted under you scenario, but IANAL.

      Piper - Your description of the judge's instruction looks clear and accurate to me. It feels weird to me that someone could be convicted of a crime without unanimous jury agreement on a key aspect. But the judge may be right on this aspect of NY law. I wonder whether there are legal precedents

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    8. One would be hard-pressed to find a more ridiculous and desperate construction of legal flim-flam. That's what you get when you have a prosecution constructed from top to bottom for political purposes.

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    9. Fuck Von Shitzhispants.

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    10. A jury of his peers found Trump Guilty as charged.
      When even people who love him have to convict him of fraud…

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    11. Trump has spent the past 5 or 6 weeks vilifying the judge and the judge's daughter in the most vile and disgusting ways and has violated the judge's gag order at least a dozen times. This same judge is now considering the penalty phase. Tell me again, David, how smart Trump is. LOL

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  5. Look, if the jury believes the act of falsifying records was committed for an illegal motive, it will convict -- even if some believe the act was committed for illegal motive A (e.g., election fraud) and some believe it was committed for illegal motive B (e.g., tax fraud).

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    1. "illegal motive"
      Nonsense. It has to be done to cover another crime. And for that, one has to be convicted of committing that other crime. Otherwise, it's bullshit. Which it is, of course.

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    2. It sucks that Trump got blackmailed by Putin to run for President of the United States.

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    3. @4:36 is wrong because falsification of records prevents conviction of the other crime, which is why conviction on the other crime is not required, just conviction on falsification in order to cover up the other crime.

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  6. The jury has reached a verdict.

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    1. Guilty on all thirty-four counts.

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    2. A hardy har har indeed. Punk for once FAFO.

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  7. I bet Trump wishes he wasn’t blackmailed by Putin to run for President of the United States, now.

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  8. LOLing seems to be the thing all Americans are doing today.

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    Replies
    1. No.
      Assuming you're an American, you're whining.

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  9. If you think this will keep Republican voters from trying to elect him, you have no idea how much they crave his bigotry.

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  10. I heard the news. My condolences, Bob.

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    1. I sad day in America when a lifelong multiple convicted fraudster gets nailed by all 12 jurors on all 34 counts.

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    2. Bob,
      If there is anything I can do to ease your pain*, let me know.

      *other than punching down on minorities.

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    3. Anonymouse 6:06@2pm, you mean ‘other than going away.’

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  11. Willie Geist. LOL!
    Somerby's swinging at another low-hanging pinata.

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  12. I guess the jury was a little smarter than you, Bob.

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  13. After all this time, it turns out all you needed to do to get Somerby to understand the charges against Trump, was to put him on the jury.

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  14. Dershowitz says it's sadder day for the country than it is for Donald Trump.

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    1. The elite always bitch when you hold one of them accountable.
      The nation will get over it.

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    2. Oh my God. A Right-winger is playing the victim/ That practically never happens, 24/7/ 365.

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    3. All Americans are victims, if you believe Democrat Dershowitz.

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    4. Why would anyone believe Dershowitz?

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    5. Dershowitz?
      What's the matter? Gingrich wasn't available. LOL.

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    6. Trump generated more “Me Too”personal trauma in anonymices today than Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey combined amongst the Hollywood peeps.

      For awhile there it seemed that the coven would possibly have knocked off Stormy Daniels and E. Jean Carroll to get the head of the line.

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    7. Yes, it’s a good thing Dersh’s poor, innocent client OJ isn’t here to see this.

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    8. Anonymouse 7:54pm, every attorney’s client is a poor innocent client.

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    9. On to the hard stuff already, Cec?

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    10. Anonymouse 8:00pm, it’s fairly clear that you harbor an aversion to hard stuff.

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    11. I’m enjoying a whiskey right now, as a matter of fact, Cecelia. Wrong again.

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    12. Anonymouse 8:18pm, oh…you mean liquor.

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    13. Naturally Trump opponents are happy see him convicted, but, this is a dreadful change for the United States. This case is so different from the classified documents case. There were real in that one.

      Now that it has been shown that someone can be convicted of numerous felonies when there was not even a single real crime, this tactic will be more widely used. It will be used against state and local candidates of both parties. It will be used against people the prosecutor and judge don't like, for any reason.

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    14. The jury doesn’t agree that there was no crime. Trump needs to resign as nominee while there is still time for the GOP to run someone else.

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    15. You are such a deuce David, if the documents case ever gets around Cannon you will be telling us how both sides did it, it was his privilege to keep & sell the docs, etc. You are consistent cultist that way.

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    16. Keep citing Dershowitz if you want to look even more ridiculous than you have been, DIC. That asshole gravitates to criminals like a fly to turds. A lawyer who has been to Mar a Lago on multiple occasions.

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    17. DIC - Is it an even sadder day than when Larry David 'screamed' at Alan Dershowitz at the grocery store? Than when his neighbors on Martha's Vineyard shunned for being a Trumpian shill on the right wing noise machines? Sadder than when nobody wanted him around 'cause he was cruising around in his underwear?

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    18. @10:10 -- "Trump needs to resign as nominee while there is still time for the GOP to replace him." From your mouth to God's ear. But, I don't think it will happen.

      @10:23 a lawyer specializing in criminal defense trials naturally had contact with a lot of criminals or accused criminals.

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    19. Trump is now a convicted criminal, if anyone ever had any doubt about his crookedness after his fraud trial and being called a rapist by the judge in his latest defamation conviction. Republicans deserve an honest candidate.

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    20. "Trump needs to resign as nominee while there is still time for the GOP to replace him."

      Why?

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    21. Because even Republicans deserve better.

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    22. It is inconceivable that a rapist convicted of financial fraud, whose criminal family stole from their charity, should be convicted here. Dershowitz , who defended OJ and Von Bulow, and spent time at both Epstein's Island and Mar a Lago, has the same unbiased credibility here as justices Alito or Thomas. A jury that included 2 lawyers had far less difficulty understanding the nature of the charges than did Somerby. So Bob, time to let go of this one, and now focus on how a private citizen can sit on highly classified documents despite 3 official requests to turn them over. And after that, the copious data implicating Trump in an attempt to overturn an election. Because I'm sure that with a little lead time you can come up with some ambiguities that will serve to bolster the denigration of those upcoming trials. Maybe you can enlist DIC, with his clear headed and unbiased expertise in the law, to assist you with that effort.

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    23. "Trump needs to resign as nominee while there is still time for the GOP to replace him."

      You say this because you are petrified of him running. And you should be. It is going to be so ugly if he wins. That's why it's scary running Biden, the most unliked, unpopular president in modern history, who has a 1 in 3 chance of dying in office and has trouble talking and even walking. Running that poor old man is utter insanity. So, yes, get the GOP to not run Trump somehow since we, bound by some unexplained lunatic determinism, have to run the worst, most pathetic candidate possible.

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    24. Biden is the most unliked president in modern history? Would that include Trump, whose favorability rating at the end of his term, was 34%? Not arguing about Biden's unpopularity, but last time I checked, 38 was greater than 34. So no, you appear to have bought in to a widely circulating right wing talking point, which is false.

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    25. Biden’s job approval ratings are historically terrible, worse by far than Trump’s at the same point in his term. If you want me stipulate that Biden is more unliked than Trump ... sure!! I disagree but no problem.

      That's why it's scary running Biden, the (second?) most unliked, unpopular president in modern history, who has a 1 in 3 chance of dying in office and has trouble talking and even walking. Running that poor old man is utter insanity. So, yes, get the GOP to not run Trump somehow since we, bound by some unexplained lunatic determinism, have to run the worst, most pathetic candidate possible.

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    26. https://prnt.sc/2nJ4sYV1lMHc

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    27. https://news.gallup.com/poll/203198/presidential-approval-ratings-donald-trump.aspx

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    28. What the fuck is that supposed to prove?

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    29. Yeah! Biden is not yet but may be more popular than Trump was by then end of his term?? What are you fucking stupid?

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    30. Anyway - let's hope the assholes win.

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    31. Not sure who the last three comments were directed to, but my 1:13 comment was directed to 12:47 who said that Biden is the "most unliked, unpopular president in modern history" , a statement that suggests that 12:47 does not recall the presidency of Donald Trump. Then later, to save face, makes a statement about " at the same point in his term.". Which is likewise inaccurate if you use the phrase "by far" to describe the difference of around 7 points. Neither of these candidates is worthy of running for president this year in my opinion, just to be clear, but to declare Trump, who at times spouts complete gibberish and has had 30 second speech pauses as well, more able than Biden is nonsense. Not even considering the nonstop lying. If either one of these two was replaced with someone in their 50's with name recognition, that person would have a landslide victory.

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    32. Unamused 12:05pm, liberal attorneys (some from the ACLU) used to take on black sheep clients under the auspice that even most dastardly client had the right to very best defense he/she could possiblyreceive. That these public pariahs were the most likely to be denied this right, was the reason they made a point of defending them.

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    33. Yes, unamused, I am not a lawyer, but I am clear-headed. Look past the complexities and fancy wording and look at the plain reality., Trump was not convicted of the 3 excuses that could make his misdemeanors a felony. Not convicted or tax evasion, of voter fraud, of paying a woman for silence. Trump was convicted of numerous felonies for recording certain payments to his lawyer as "Legal Expense." In a sensible world, that is not a major crime.

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    34. Don't compare a circus clown, like Dershowitz, to the ACLU.
      Thanks.

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    35. @9:55 - Why do you call Dershowitz a "circus clown"?

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    36. Anonhmouse 9:55am, I compared the former linking of liberals to the thinking that Unamused illustrates now.

      Dershowitz was always a button pusher. He told his students that they considered diversity to be someone in a dress or with dark skin who holds all their same opinions.

      The ACLU changed, not Dershowitz.

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    37. "Naturally Trump opponents are happy see him convicted...'

      There goes the theory that Dershowitz is a Trump opponent, killed by the person who tried to convince us Dershowitz is a Trump opponent.

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    38. Anonymouse 10:37pm, I never claimed that Dershowitz is a Trump proponent or opponent.

      I attempted to make the case that those points of reference are not the sole ones.

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    39. You mean the guy who defended Trump in both of his impeachment trials is defending Trump in his hush money trial? Who would have guessed.

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    40. Anonymouse 11:35am, yeah, that guy. Your latest cartoon bad guy.

      https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/17/us/politics/alan-dershowitz-trump.html

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    41. Cecelia, I didn't say he was a bad guy. I just think it is transparently absurd for DiC to keep referring to him as a Democrat as though that proves he has no bias.

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    42. Cecelia, comparing the high profile work of Dershowitz, eg joining the OJ Simpson team, the an ACLU lawyer petitioning for a destitute defendant pro bono is a bit of a stretch.

      DIC: the same source that provided you with the "knowledge" that the Biden Administration prosecuted this court case likely has you bloviating about the law here. The number of times you have had to be corrected about the misinformation you felt compelled to impart on this site would be embarrassing to any honest person. After awhile sheepishly saying "Thanks, Quaker" does not cut it. That awhile is long past.

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    43. Unamused, it wasn’t about destitute defendants, it was about defendants who had been tried and hung in the public arena and were pariah because they were bad people. He took on the court of public opinion. That was his interest.


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    44. Dershowitz flew across the country to join a large stable of competent defense lawyers at the OJ Simpson murder trial. Simpson already had representation by multiple competent attorneys; Dershowitz was late to the show. Now you can argue that Dershowitz most likely felt compelled to join the team because he genuinely believed Simpson was innocent. I don't believe that in this nor the Von Bulow case such is the least bit likely. For that reason I see him as an attention seeking opportunist who is, at the heart of it, bereft of the amount of moral fiber that would in this case have him say " Simpson has more than enough representation, I don't need to go charging in and drawing attention to myself in this spectacle of a trial of a murderer". This is why many people, myself included, find Alan Dershowitz so unpalatable. Because we think he chose to advance his notoriety by assisting in the representation of a guilty party who already had a crack team of lawyers at his disposal. He could have sat this one out but he chose to go Hollywood here because he is an attention seeking ambulance chasing type who will drop everything to make a splash for himself in the public sphere. An opportunist whose narcissism trumps whatever ethical boundaries there might be to his behavior. You can disagree.

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  15. I have a suggestion: Hoist the American flag! If you have a flag, hoist it in front of your house. Today is a day for patriotic pride.

    Let the red tribe fly the flag upside down, like the false patriots they are. It’s time for us blues to reclaim the flag, the symbol of our democracy and the rule of law.

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    Replies
    1. Yeah!!! Welcome to the new era of lawfare. How patriotic!

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    2. The real verdict comes in Nov. Celebrate then.

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    3. Don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time.

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    4. Lawfare, the last refuge of the orange-cult whiners.

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    5. Anonymouse 1:06am, no that dirty little crawl space is enshrined for anonymouse flying monkeys who lob the charge of racism like it’s a throw pillow.

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    6. Cecelia,
      Don't take those charges of racism thrown at you by anonymoyus fluying monkeys serious. It's just an insult that doesn't really mean anything. Remember, they called the people who photoshopped a photo of Obama with a bone through his nose "racists", too.

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  16. God bless America! Land that I love!

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    1. PP, it shouldn’t have taken the legal defeat of a political opponent to inspire that righteous sentiment.

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    2. Well, Cecelia, it’s a win for law and order. A good thing.

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    3. Anonymouse 7:59pm, I acknowledge your feelings about the verdict, but that’s not a line that is often expressed here or much welcomed when it has been.

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    4. PP, it shouldn’t have taken the legal defeat of a man by judges and juries for multiple business frauds, and convictions for asualts against woman, that combined have resulted in hundreds of millions in judgements against him; and now found guilty by a jury of his peers of multiple felonies to inspire that righteous sentiment.

      Think it sounds better my way Cecelia!

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    5. Anonymouse 8:13lm, and goodness knows it took all that.

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    6. I know right, rich white men can get away with almost anything.

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    7. Anonymouse 8:28pm, evidently 34 was the limit,

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    8. Idiot, it was the number of monthly installments needed to reimburse Cohen for advancing the hush money payment, all falsified as legal services.

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    9. No, it is:

      11 counts related to invoices
      12 counts related to ledger entries
      11 counts related to checks

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    10. But still for the Cohen installment payments.

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    11. Anonymices 9:22pm, you have a tin ear and matching cranium.

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    12. You don’t know what a tin ear is. It refers to someone who is literally tone deaf snd cannot distinguish musical notes. It doesn’t mean they have a plate in their head. How did you get so stupid?

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    13. Doubling down on ignorance just like Trump. Look where it got him.

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    14. Anonymouse 10:53pm, when did Trump double down on you?

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  17. And remember Bob, that was the HARD one.

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  18. Now that the jury has rendered its verdict, I’m sure Bob will support our jury system and the rule of law, just as he took liberals to task for disagreeing with the Zimmerman verdict…

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  19. CC - You’re very right, in one sense. In another, I don’t see Trump as merely a “political opponent.” He’s not like Mitt Romney or John McCain. He’s an existential risk to our nation’s ability to continue as a republic.

    Somerby believes, and I do too, that the die has already been cast, and that the country will soon be torn asunder. And he believes that for more fundamental reasons than just one, fairly absurd, man. But today’s events give me hope that the institutions of democracy and the rule of law may be more robust in this country than I had expected.

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    1. CC - Obviously, you and I are on different sides of the aisle, but I have a lot of respect for your opinion, so I’m sincerely wondering: What is your take on today’s verdict?

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    2. PP, right, the last eight have been quite the spectacle of privilege, camaraderie, and back-slapping amongst Donald Trump and all the elite of our society.

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    3. PP, I think it’s unsurprising.

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    4. CC - You have courage to face us gloating blues, and I salute you.

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    5. PP, ain’t no thing but anonymic…a chicken wing.

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    6. so much booze, so little time

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    7. Anonymouse 9:19pm, you’ll make the time,

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    8. I’m not the one typing gibberish tonight.

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    9. Anonymouse 10:13pm, you’re one of several,

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  20. Next on Fox News: proof that the jurors are all paid Soros operatives. Rudy is on the case.

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  21. According to Pruitt, The Apprentice producer newly released from his NDA, Trump frequently compared blond women to Ivanka. Daily Kos says:

    “ (We've now heard so many stories of Trump comparing women he finds attractive to his daughter Ivanka - including in Trump's current trial - that it's moved beyond creepy.)”

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    1. Whoever wrote that at Daily Los misread Pruitt's piece. Which I guess you didn't bother to read either,

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    2. Not a “piece”. There are tapes. You don’t get past this by denying it. Trump said he never slept with Stormy but golfers heard him bragging about it.

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    3. I compare women to Cecelia, and she’s the best.

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    4. There’s nothing wrong with preferring men.

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    5. Anonymouse 10:52pm, you need to work on your pickup lines.

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    6. 10:12 PM Break off the tapes then, nigga.

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  22. Kevin looks ahead:

    https://jabberwocking.com/trump-isnt-going-to-prison/

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    1. Kevin's not a very good prognosticator.

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  23. Nikki Haley sold her fundraising list to Trump’s campaign.

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    1. What a shit bag. Given the things she said about Trump, it's obvious she knows he's unfit, and yet here she is doing a 180. Horrible, shitty people in the GOP.

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    2. Mike L., when Kamala Harris was running against Biden she portrayed him as a relic of white dominance and racism.

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    3. Nikki Haley went to Israel and signed a shell headed for Gaza with "Finish Them!". This is now the moderate in this disgraceful broken political party.

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    4. Anonymouse 1:44pm, if Lebanon doesn’t want to be shelled by Israel, they shouldn’t shell Israel.

      The way you guys play with the PR of this stuff is far more underhanded and cold blooded than the people who attack people for attacking them. Just like the way we encourage Ukraine to keep on fighting and getting their butts shelled off while we tell they have to limit the number of US shells that they launch at the Russian border.

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    5. @Cecelia,
      who is "we"? I don't want US shells launched across any border. If you feel so strongly, you may want to fly to one of those places, get a rifle, and shoot at any direction you like.

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  24. TDH raises some very valid questions. The other crime that converted the falsified records into a felony is Section 17-152 of the NY Election Law. this is a short, non-technical statute, but is very broad, subject to a lot of interpretation. It states: "Any 2 or more persons who conspire to promote or prevent the election of any person to a public office by unlawful means and which conspiracy is acted upon by one or more of the parties thereto shall be guilty of a misdemeanor." The statute doesn't define the term "unlawful means." The point TDH makes is true: to prove a felony under the falsified records statute, proof is necessary that the records were falsified to conceal another crime; and the other crime here is Sec. 17-152; and to prove a violation of that statute, there must be proof of still another crime, that the conspiracy to promote or prevention of the election must be by "unlawful means." (All the above non-lawyer attempts to analogize to other situations are pretty lame, sorry Pied Piper). Atty Rubin says there were 3 categories of "unlawful means" that the jury could choose from: (1) violation of federal election law by illegal campaign contributions; (2) Falsification of records by Cohen in filling out the forms by which he opened the account he used to pay Daniels; and (3) falsified tax forms sent to Cohen characterizing the $420,000 paid to him as legal fees, when it was really repaying a debt (resulting in taxes paid by Cohen above what he was really required to pay - not normally the situation in tax fraud cases) (Cohen made out pretty well - he pays Daniels $130,000, trump pays him $420,000). As to whether there is an appealable issue because the jurors didn't need to be unanimous on any single one of these 3 unlawful means" - the appeals Courts will decide. It seems to me that there would be precedents; otherwise. the judge wouldn't have charged the jury that way. but judge's make mistakes, and that's why there are appeals. The judge, however, presumably could have approved a verdict slip by which the jury would take separate votes on each the 3 (or more?) categories, and that way you'd know if they were unanimous on any one of the categories. I don't know why it wasn't done that way - but it could stand up on appeal. That said, when you look at the 3 categories mentioned by Rubin, the validity of them to find Trump guilty (vile as he may be) ranges between the questionable and the far-fetched. Does the NY election statute apply to a violation of a federal law? are there any actual precedents under the NY statute that answer or relate to that - I doubt it. (If there are any, let me know). Is the pay-off to Daniels even a violation of the federal election law? are there precedents? (there may be, but I'd like to see them) - John Edwards is the example given for the "hush money" he paid to his campaign aide who he impregnated. But Edwards was tried in a Federal Court for violation of a federal Law, not a state court - and the jury found him not guilty. (that's not a legal precedent in the trump case). Cohen's falsified forms in opening the checking account? first I've heard of that. Seems the prosecution is stretching things pretty thin with this. The third one - making payments to Cohen in violation of the tax laws, so that Cohen paid taxes on the $420K not otherwise payable? Seems like an eye roller situation. The NY Court of Appeals will presumably decide the appeal. They did recently overturn the rape conviction in a highly publicized case involving a Hollywood mogul, much to the chagrin of the same people who are gleeful about the trump verdict - so who knows. The decision on this appeal will take many months. I don't know if the verdict against Trump will help the dems or the GOP in the upcoming elections; or whether the country will be better or worse off for the conviction. In this case, the Trump proponents (many of whom state their views obnoxiously) have grounds to think the trial and convictions were politically motivated, that Bragg was out to get Trump.

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    1. This is all moot now that the verdict is in. No one cares what happens on appeal because the election will be over. Trump is a felon and Republicans will be idiots if they throw away their votes on such a loser.

      According to the jury, Trump committed 34 felonies. It is right that such a person be prosecuted, regardless of politics. No one is above the law. Bragg didn’t force Trump to commit crimes. That was all Trump.

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    2. He will not win on appeal.

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    3. @11:15 PM - what an embarrassing screed for someone who purports to be an attorney.

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    4. “ when it was really repaying a debt (resulting in taxes paid by Cohen above what he was really required to pay - not normally the situation in tax fraud cases)”

      Overpaying taxes is a giveaway that you don’t want to provoke attention from the IRS.

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    5. Thanks Garth for your cogent point that my "screed" is "embarrassing." In my defense, I'd note that you fail to mention anything in my "screed" that is in any way incorrect. True, I purport to be an attorney - for the simple reason that I am one.

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    6. Screed indeed. There were 2 lawyers on the jury, neither of whom apparently had the misgivings stated in the novella above. Bragg was out to get Trump? A DA out to get a high profile felon? Maybe watch a little TV. Its common theme.

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    7. unamused - what did I say that can be characterized as a "novella." I assume not the part that said trump was "sleazy." I'm trying to get across that there are other ways of looking at this. You may recall that there was quite a bit of outrage over the verdicts in the Rittenhouse case and Trayvon Martin case from the "blue" side. We'll wait to see who wins in November, and what the Court of appeals decides. It's hard to win appeals, though.

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    8. AC/MA. I apologize for being unnecessarily snarky about the length of your comment.

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  25. The funny and ironic part of this is Trump could have fucked Stormy Daniels live on stage at his hideous convention and would not have lost any support. Ain't that right, DiC?

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    1. She most likely would not have agreed to that.

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    2. Anonymouse 7:34am, or shot her.

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    3. Fucking is so much better than shooting.

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    4. Well, 9:24AM, not all fucking is voluntary. This is a family blog, so we prefer not to use the R-word.

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  26. I ubderstand the charges, but then again, I pay attention to the legal experts and not Willie Geist.

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  27. Not sure why the republicans are so upset. Weren’t they saying a conviction would guarantee his victory? Let him have more, then.

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  28. Apparently, the Congressional Branch of Donald J Chickenshit's legal defense team is pushing to have the Supreme Court intervene in this state felony case of falsification of business records. Speaker Moses would like Sam the Man Alito to give us some unbiased review.

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  29. Replies
    1. That cartoon is half right. Trump is a convict, but Biden isn't confined to a wheelchair.

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  30. This morning Trump is lying about his case, about the judge and DA Bragg while claiming he is still under a gag order.

    His biggest lie is that the payments to Cohen were for legal expenses because Cohen was a lawyer.

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