He only visited the Playboy Mansion to support their journalism
May 15, 2024 7:09 AM   Subscribe

Perhaps Donald John Trump will have only one criminal trial this year. The prosecution's case in his state trial for using hush money to pay off a porn star to illegally influence his election is finishing with ex-fixer Michael Cohen testifying.

Also:
A history of Donald Trump and his associations with the Playboy empire including his soft-porn film.

A photo of Donald Trump, his wife, his daughter, Karen McDougal, and three other Playboy bunnies at the Playboy Mansion.

He only attended Epstein parties for the scintillating conversation with underaged women.
posted by dances_with_sneetches (73 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
 
Michael Cohen testified yesterday that NYT reporter Maggie Haberman would write whatever he and Trump wanted her to write. Text message receipts in court show Haberman was collaborating with Michael Cohen to use her reporting as a mouthpiece for Trump’s lies.

Then she received a Pulitzer Prize for her reporting on the Trump administration.

Oh my God, Maggie Haberman is so going down for this and I love it. The New York Times should fire her, but... I find I want to hedge my bets on that happening.
posted by orange swan at 7:32 AM on May 15 [90 favorites]


Can you share more information about that testimony? The articles I saw cited texts that Cohen sent to Haberman in an attempt to mislead her, but didn't mention any claims that she would write whatever they wanted, and the transcript hasn't been released.

"'Please start writing and I will call you soon,' Cohen wrote Haberman on Feb. 6, 2018, texts entered as evidence in Trump’s criminal case show. Cohen subsequently texted Haberman a statement claiming he had used his own personal funds to make the hush payment to adult film actress Stormy Daniels... 'That’s a true statement, but it’s deceptive, it’s misleading,' Cohen told prosecutors as he was being questioned."
posted by Mr.Know-it-some at 7:52 AM on May 15 [3 favorites]


his state trial for using hush money to pay off a porn star to illegally influence his election

Just to further clarify that it's not just the hush money, it's the 34 counts of falsifying of business records to cover it up that Trump is specifically on the hook for here. Cohen paid off Daniels from his own home equity line of credit, then Trump reimbursed Cohen and called it 'legal expenses.' And all the cheques to Cohen were personally signed by Trump and have been entered as evidence, along with a mountain of emails, text messages, and even Cohen's own personal recordings of his conversations with Trump and other henchminions.

You don't want people to know where you've buried the bodies? Don't piss off the gravedigger.
posted by hangashore at 8:09 AM on May 15 [33 favorites]


Hang on I thought people liked Haberman. Hadn’t she been the main investigator reporter against his treachery?
posted by Liquidwolf at 8:11 AM on May 15 [1 favorite]


Short answer nope. Long answer nnnnnnnnnnnoooooooooooooooooooooooooope.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 8:22 AM on May 15 [71 favorites]


You don't want people to know where you've buried the bodies? Don't piss off the gravedigger.

Seth Abramson has tweeted about this in his trial coverage megathreads (which honestly I just can't recommend enough -- they've given me a whole new level of understanding of how Trump operates and how this trial is proceeding).

Abramson calls Trump a career criminal, not a businessman, and says the Trump Organization operates like a mafia, with just a small group of people in the know as to what is going on. Michael Cohen as his fixer. And mob bosses don't hang their fixers out to dry. They protect them insofar as they can, because they need them to be loyal. Cohen was probably the most loyal employee Trump had, and he knew probably more about Trump's operations than anyone else. Their phone contact lists were synced. Trump really thought he could let Cohen take the fall for him and still retain his loyalty.
posted by orange swan at 8:24 AM on May 15 [25 favorites]


Short answer nope.

Alrighty then. I must be thinking of someone else.
posted by Liquidwolf at 8:27 AM on May 15


MetaFilter: nnnnnnnnnnnoooooooooooooooooooooooooope.
posted by wenestvedt at 8:31 AM on May 15 [23 favorites]


@Liquidwolf, Haberman is the epitome of the access journalist whose purpose in life is not to inform readers with her reporting but to ensure that sources will talk to her. She one of the writers who published books after Trump was de-elected, containing all kinds of material that she'd known for years but didn't include in her reporting because she was collecting material for that post-Presidency tell-all book. Granted in Trump's case it would probably not have made a difference had this material been made public earlier but it is still a shitty look for a journalist.

Here the allegation is that she knowingly served as a puke funnel for Trump talking points, which seems like it ought to get her fired and blackballed from journalism forever but in our perfect Meritocracy I doubt that this outcome will be forthcoming.
posted by Aardvark Cheeselog at 8:36 AM on May 15 [32 favorites]


Here the allegation is that she knowingly served as a puke funnel for Trump talking points, which seems like it ought to get her fired and blackballed from journalism forever but in our perfect Meritocracy I doubt that this outcome will be forthcoming.

But wasn't she the one doing all the Russia collusion reporting in the early days? If so that didn't seem to be helping his look ( whether that was accurate or not ).

I really might have her confused with someone else.
posted by Liquidwolf at 8:45 AM on May 15


Abramson calls Trump a career criminal, not a businessman, and says the Trump Organization operates like a mafia, with just a small group of people in the know as to what is going on.

I think the most fascinating thing I've learnt from this trial was the level of criminality of Trump and his family. I mean, I always knew they were petty criminals, but I thought they were more like pretending to be mobsters. Now I don't know if they have had people killed, probably not, but everything else, they got it.

The other thing I find morbidly fascinating is the degree to which Republicans will humiliate themselves for Trump. There is no low low enough. Look at Mike Johnson, the Christian zealot, defending Trump's hush money payment to a pornstar. This also applies to the conservative judges, in the Supreme Court and below, who are ready to give up any illusion of upholding the rule of law.
posted by mumimor at 8:47 AM on May 15 [21 favorites]


The problem being that potential Trump voters aren't reading any of this information.
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 8:54 AM on May 15 [10 favorites]


But wasn't she the one doing all the Russia collusion reporting in the early days?

I don't think so. The New York Times broke the "Trump Tower Meeting" story, but the byline there is for "Jo Becker, Adam Goldman and Matt Apuzzo."

Looking over my website which tries to collect and organize all the 2016 Russian election interference reporting, I see that I did mention this piece to which she contributed: "Intimidation, Pressure and Humiliation: Inside Trump’s Two-Year War on the Investigations Encircling Him" by By Mark Mazzetti, Maggie Haberman, Nicholas Fandos and Michael S. Schmidt

But that's not reporting on his contacts with Russia so much as reporting what contacts inside Trumpworld say about how he responded to the investigation, which is more Haberman's beat -- contacts inside Trumpworld.

For what it's worth, if I had to name a single reporter who really broke lots of Russia related stories and then did a good job tying all of the revelations together, it would be Greg Miller of the Washington Post, who ended up writing a book about it all. Good book to read if you want a refresher on how we know that Trump was and still is willing to sell out American interests to Putin, in return for Putin's help winning elections.
posted by OnceUponATime at 9:00 AM on May 15 [19 favorites]


Now I don't know if they have had people killed, probably not, but everything else, they got it.

Still a wannabe-mob-boss. A real mob-boss would have taken -- in 2018 -- Michael Cohen out for a ride on the boat with his lieutenants, give him have a few shots of good tequila, then come back with just your lieutenants, never worrying about the rat causing you grief ever again. Except for maybe a dream sequence or two later on.
posted by mikelieman at 9:02 AM on May 15 [5 favorites]


That said, Haberman has reported plenty of stuff that made Trump mad (she was the one who first mentioned him falling asleep in court, for instance), and I too would like to see a transcript of the testimony in which Cohen supposedly said "Maggie Haberman would write whatever he and Trump wanted her to write." I'm thinking that might not be a fair summary.
posted by OnceUponATime at 9:03 AM on May 15 [2 favorites]


Oh my God, Maggie Haberman is so going down for this and I love it

I doubt this impacts her much at all.
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 9:18 AM on May 15 [2 favorites]


Now I don't know if they have had people killed

I was wondering that myself as I read Seth Abramson's threads, but the only Trump associate I'm aware of that has died under suspicious circumstances is Jeffrey Epstein, and Epstein had a lot of the most disgusting kind of dirt on a LOT of powerful people, not just Trump.

Based on what I've read, Trump's methods seem to have involved signing contracts with the intention of never honouring them, the threat of long-drawn out frivolous lawsuits to get people to settle for less than the amount they were actually contractually owed, NDAs and payoffs, blackmail, bluster, etc., not any kind of violence (except sexual violence towards women), or murder. He kept at arm's length from his financial crimes by rarely using email, and using other people's phones to make calls that might incriminate him. He usually would try to avoid paying people directly (in part because he's in debt over his head and didn't have the liquidity, and in part because he's a greedy selfish unprincipled pig) and took the stance that the deals and opportunities people who worked for him could get through their association with him would be enough reward for them, and he also believed that if he hadn't paid his employees directly, he could also more plausibly claim that whatever crimes they committed had not been done according to his orders or even knowledge. Abramson also claims that Trump informed on his tenants and business associates to the FBI, which if true would have also served to protect him.

I could totally be wrong about TFG's not resorting to violence/murder, but one can't jump to conclusions in advance of the known facts, so that's the view of it I'm taking for the time being.
posted by orange swan at 9:21 AM on May 15 [7 favorites]


If the fifth avenue shooting statement turns out to be projection I might actually be shocked.
posted by Mitheral at 9:27 AM on May 15


He is very fond of violence, though.
posted by mumimor at 9:28 AM on May 15 [1 favorite]


Now I don't know if they have had people killed

I think they should search Kristi Noem's gravel pit for human remains.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 9:32 AM on May 15 [3 favorites]


“Don Jr. opened the door, wearing a Yankee jersey,” Scott Melker, one of his former classmates, wrote on Facebook [in 2016], describing what happened on one occasion when Trump came to take his son to a Yankees game. “Without saying a word, his father slapped him across the face, knocking him to the floor in front of all of his classmates. He simply said “put on a suit and meet me outside,’ and closed the door.
posted by box at 9:33 AM on May 15 [12 favorites]


The problem being that potential Trump voters aren't reading any of this information.

I don't think the coverage helps. I've been following everything leading up to this and all of the most damning stuff has already been presented with receipts. The testimony of Stormy Daniels and Michael Cohen are more for corroboration - they're nails in the coffin, not the coffin itself. But people are only now paying attention and the seem to think that all you have to do is discredit either one and the case falls apart.
posted by charred husk at 9:55 AM on May 15 [6 favorites]


A photo of Donald Trump, his wife, his daughter, Karen McDougal, and three other Playboy bunnies at the Playboy Mansion.

Abramson calls Trump a career criminal, not a businessman, and says the Trump Organization operates like a mafia


More and more, as I consider the ways Republicans lionize Trump, I am reminded of Gay Talese's "Frank Sinatra Has A Cold". Substitute Trump for Frank in this paragraph:
For Frank Sinatra was now involved with many things involving many people—his own film company, his record company, his private airline, his missile-parts firm, his real-estate holdings across the nation, his personal staff of seventy-five—which are only a portion of the power he is and has come to represent. He seemed now to be also the embodiment of the fully emancipated male, perhaps the only one in America, the man who can do anything he wants, anything, can do it because he has the money, the energy, and no apparent guilt. In an age when the very young seem to be taking over, protesting and picketing and demanding change, Frank Sinatra survives as a national phenomenon, one of the few prewar products to withstand the test of time. He is the champ who made the big comeback, the man who had everything, lost it, then got it back, letting nothing stand in his way, doing what few men can do[...] [T]he freedom of a bachelor, he does not feel old, he makes old men feel young, makes them think that if Frank Sinatra can do it, it can be done; not that they could do it, but it is still nice for other men to know, at fifty, that it can be done.
posted by The Pluto Gangsta at 10:06 AM on May 15 [21 favorites]


you are onto something with that description of Sinatra, TPG

it's just damn depressing that Trump is the Sinatra we deserve
posted by elkevelvet at 10:11 AM on May 15 [5 favorites]


Trump allegedly said that he didn’t care about Melania finding out because if she divorced him he wouldn’t be on the market for long. As if we needed more evidence to suggest that he sees women as nothing more disposable and interchangeable. All these so called Christians who were so worked up about the sanctity of marriage are such hypocrites.
posted by interogative mood at 10:13 AM on May 15 [5 favorites]


All these so called Christians who were so worked up about the sanctity of marriage are such hypocrites.

Well, sort of. Yes, they don't practice the values they preach to sell themselves as acceptable to mainstream America. But when you look at the actual core principle of conservatism
Conservatism consists of exactly one proposition, to wit: There must be in-groups whom the law protects but does not bind, alongside out-groups whom the law binds but does not protect.
they are behaving in perfect accordance with their values. Being able to break the rules with impunity is part of their inherent privilege, and losing their privilege as White Hetero Christian Men is what has so many of them so angry right now.
posted by Gelatin at 10:20 AM on May 15 [24 favorites]


Tuberville Admits Republicans Went to Trump’s Trial to Circumvent the Gag Order

I really wish Merchan would drag these clowns to the stand under oath, but I think he sees it for the distraction/diversion that it is and won't do a thing. But one can hope.
posted by JoeZydeco at 10:23 AM on May 15 [7 favorites]


I would like Merchan to call Trump and his lawyers into his chambers and demand that Trump answer under oath whether he did anything to encourage the violation of the gag order.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 10:39 AM on May 15 [3 favorites]


you are onto something with that description of Sinatra, TPG
it's just damn depressing that Trump is the Sinatra we deserve


I've always called Trump Bizarro Sinatra.
posted by PlusDistance at 10:40 AM on May 15 [2 favorites]


Tommy Tuberville is stupid enough (see also Vance and Da Vek) that you'd almost expect it, but I was surprised to see alleged smart person Mike Johnson having his Mitt Romney moment.
posted by box at 10:43 AM on May 15 [3 favorites]


'Donald Trump is On Trial, Democrats Should Say So' (Oliver Willis Explains)
posted by box at 10:47 AM on May 15 [5 favorites]


Here's a summary of the opening statement for the defense:
Well, Todd Blanche, who represents the former president, said that Donald Trump is innocent of all of this, he's not guilty of any crime.

He said Stormy Daniels' allegation was completely false. He said Trump had nothing to do with those initial payments to her, nor did he have anything to do with the accounting of how the payments to Michael Cohen were being made. He flat-out rejected the idea that there was anything unusual about Trump paying Michael Cohen, who was his lawyer at the time, called himself Trump's lawyer, was his lawyer, and that, of course, you pay your lawyer fees all the time.

He said there's nothing out of the ordinary there.
The prosecution has done an excellent job. They put the paper trail into evidence and then had their most controversial witnesses corroborate what was already on the record through documents. Stormy Daniels was personal and believable. The prosecution did just a great job portraying Michael Cohen as an abusive blowhard asshole that he looked surprisingly human in person, and the defense didn't really damage him. Multiple witnesses showed that Trump was deeply involved in making the payments and knew what they were for. The defense also claimed that Trump was trying to protect his family, when testimony shows he only cared about the election and displayed a total lack of concern about the possibility of his marriage ending.
Cohen said he asked Trump how the story might impact his marriage with his wife, Melania. Cohen said Trump told him, “Don’t worry,” adding: “How long do you think I’ll be on the market for? Not long.”
The only way he can win this case is by taking the stand to refute the testimony, but he is too much of a coward to testify, and he would get destroyed on cross-examination. I think he'll be a convicted felon in a couple of weeks.
posted by kirkaracha at 11:13 AM on May 15 [11 favorites]


Win the case by going on the stand? LOL. He'd convict himself a hundred times over. He truly believes that people buy his lies because he says them in places where people do believe him and without any cross-examination.
His own depositions were the main reason he lost his recent lawsuits.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 11:19 AM on May 15 [10 favorites]


I challenge him to testify. Maybe it could be 'perfect' testimony. He should try.
posted by mazola at 11:22 AM on May 15 [10 favorites]


Slight derail, but I interpreted that "on the market" statement being about how the Stormy story was only juicy until the election was over. He didn't expect to win, didn't want the story coming out. I didn't see it as a marriage-ability reference.
posted by frecklefaerie at 1:16 PM on May 15


Oh, no. It was in the context of discussing divorce, and means that he would not be on the dating/marriage market long. It's absolutely a common turn of phrase.
posted by sagc at 1:35 PM on May 15 [15 favorites]


Another weird thing: why is Trump asleep all the time? There was some charitable speculation that he was just closing his eyes while he listened, but today it seems he fell back with his mouth open.
I thought old people slept less?

Besides being a con-man and a fraudster and a rapist, and generally criminal, Trump is also just very weird.
posted by mumimor at 2:16 PM on May 15 [2 favorites]


I thought old people slept less?
At night.
During the daylight hours, and especially after lunch, a nap is a nice thing.
posted by MtDewd at 2:35 PM on May 15 [4 favorites]


He's asleep in court because he's massively addicted to stimulants. His bump wears off and he can't do another one right there at the defendant's table, so his aging, battered, incontinent body takes the opportunity to finally get him some sleep.
posted by outgrown_hobnail at 3:49 PM on May 15 [10 favorites]


Bruce Rivers has an excellent video on the trial. He is a practicing criminal defense attorney.
posted by interogative mood at 4:09 PM on May 15 [2 favorites]


For those interested, the Opening Arguments podcast has good and reasonably entertaining coverage of Trump's various trials. They've had voice actors re-enacting the most ridiculous parts of the transcript.
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 7:54 PM on May 15 [2 favorites]


why is Trump asleep all the time?

Look, you try staying up rage-Tweeting until 3 or 4 am. I bet you'd need a nap too.

There was some charitable speculation that he was just closing his eyes while he listened

That claim is from Trump himself. So, thoroughly not credible.

He's asleep in court because he's massively addicted to stimulants.

There is widespread speculation that his handlers/lawyers are keeping him away from the Adderall or diet pills or whatever he fucking uses so he doesn't lose his shit in the courtroom.

I think he'll be a convicted felon in a couple of weeks

Trump may well be micromanaging himself right into jail - his lawyers are supposedly quite good, far better than the usual nutters and sycophants he has represent him, and they keep doing inexplicable things. Like, part of the defense cross-examination of Stormy Daniels involved them trying to get her to back up Trump's claim that he won the golf tournament that was taking place when they had their tryst (he didn't, he came in like 60th out of 80) and that there were lots of famous people at the tournament.

Who cares? What does that have to do with anything, much less the court case and charges at hand? Answer: not a goddamn thing. But Trump's narcissist and degenerating brain fixated on the possible blow to his ego if someone thinks that he's not a great golfer and that lots of famous people want to be near him. So he made his lawyer waste time on that nonsense during cross.
posted by soundguy99 at 9:13 PM on May 15 [15 favorites]


Also, during Trump's time in office, his morning schedule was often officially blocked off as "executive time" and he didn't roll into the Oval Office until 11 or 12. But of course he was blasting out garbage on the Twitter machine at 2 or 3 am, and it was an open secret that "executive time" meant "sleeping in." So he's got a well-established pattern of staying up late and getting up late, and having to be at court in the morning must be killing him.
posted by soundguy99 at 9:22 PM on May 15 [8 favorites]


Like, part of the defense cross-examination of Stormy Daniels involved them trying to get her to back up Trump's claim that he won the golf tournament that was taking place when they had their tryst (he didn't, he came in like 60th out of 80) and that there were lots of famous people at the tournament.

What?? Why has nobody said that before? What a humiliation of the lawyers!!

Why does no-one stand up to that man? Even for his own good?
posted by mumimor at 11:54 PM on May 15 [2 favorites]


If they did that, he wouldn't get to make their shower and toilet great again by injecting bleach into all those insane radical Democrat windmills from Chy-na. Rrrreowww, ruhhrrr, ruhhrrr.
posted by flabdablet at 5:13 AM on May 16 [1 favorite]


As for the Stormy Daniels-related golf tournament, "Trump entered the event three times, competing from 2004 through 2006. His best result was a 42nd-place finish in 2005."

Someone (David Fahrenthold?) ought to do an analysis of how Donald Trump performed in golf tournaments in which he wasn't able to cheat and contrast those to the ones where he owned the course (he seems to always win those).
A waste of a good reporter's time? This would actually hurt him. On the other hand, it is possible to do a significant amount of cheating even in a well-organized event. Maybe that's why he likes golf.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 6:44 AM on May 16 [3 favorites]


How about he falls asleep in court because it's boring (it is) and because falling asleep when you are on trial is a cheesy power move?
posted by The_Vegetables at 7:53 AM on May 16


Trump allegedly said that he didn’t care about Melania finding out because if she divorced him he wouldn’t be on the market for long. As if we needed more evidence to suggest that he sees women as nothing more disposable and interchangeable.

And the worst part is that he’s probably not wrong about that. Kissinger, may be burn in hell, was on to something about power being an aphrodisiac.
posted by non canadian guy at 8:02 AM on May 16 [1 favorite]


The_Vegetables: falling asleep when you are on trial is a cheesy power move?

Nah. Then he would not bother denying it or spouting bullcrap like 'closing my eyes and taking it all in'.
posted by Too-Ticky at 8:05 AM on May 16 [2 favorites]


(Sportswriter Rick Reilly has been on the Trump golf cheat beat for a while now, and even wrote a full book about it.)
posted by box at 8:10 AM on May 16 [4 favorites]


IMO, Trump knows he's going to appeal a conviction in this case all the way up to SCOTUS no matter what goes down in Manhattan.

He has to be there, but he doesn't have to give a shit about the outcome.
posted by JoeZydeco at 12:32 PM on May 16 [1 favorite]


Well, um, if he's found guilty and sentenced to prison (still, a fair-sized if), it's not likely that he'll be free during the appeal. I think he'll care.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 12:45 PM on May 16 [1 favorite]


He weasels out of everything. Pretty sure he'll find a way to be out on bond pending appeal for as long as it takes. Just having the Secret Service around makes this a logistical nightmare.

(speaking of bond, those 10 counts of contempt of court... didn't those violate his bond in Georgia among other venues? Obviously nobody wants to extradite him back to Georgia right now but just sayin')
posted by JoeZydeco at 12:48 PM on May 16 [2 favorites]


Unless I'm misunderstanding something, he won't have to be out on bond pending appeal; this isn't the sort of crime that, so far as I am aware, you receive prison time for. If he's sentenced to probation and a fine he wouldn't need to be bonded out since he wouldn't be in in the first place.
posted by Justinian at 12:52 PM on May 16 [1 favorite]


According to CNN:

The maximum penalty for each of those counts is four years; however New York caps sentencing for this type of felony at 20 years. It is within the judge’s discretion to decide whether those sentences would run concurrently or consecutively. Because the crimes involve nonviolent offenses and Trump does not have a criminal record, the judge could also consider jailing him for a period that is but a fraction of the maximum penalty.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 12:57 PM on May 16 [2 favorites]


Yeah but "maximum penalty" is doing a lot of work. Unless there's also a "minimum penalty" probation is an option. Most of the analysis I've read said typically someone without a record here would get fines and probation. If Trump weren't Trump I would guess that all the contempt would mean a tiny stint in the pokey as a message... but he is and Merchant has shown way more deference than necessary because of the political sensitivities. So I think anyone expecting more than probation and a fine is going to be disappointed (and that's assuming a conviction.)
posted by Justinian at 1:50 PM on May 16 [3 favorites]


He's going to be convicted, but he's not going to prison.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:53 PM on May 16 [1 favorite]


He's not ever going to jail, unfortunately. Short of being caught on live TV standing over the newly dead body of someone important, holding a dripping knife buried in their chest, he's not likely to even be convicted of anything.
posted by dg at 10:59 PM on May 16 [2 favorites]


Who cares?
Brennan Center: To cover the enormous legal bills, estimated at more than $100 million, he has turned to his political action committees (PACs), essentially having campaign donors pay costs for which he would otherwise be on the hook
posted by HearHere at 3:22 AM on May 25


So the NY trial has been with the jury for maybe 90 minutes. Good luck everyone.

(narrator: the jury is going to hang)
posted by Justinian at 9:53 AM on May 29


The jury is going to find Trump guilty on one string of the charges as a compromise: for example, all of the false invoices but not the false entries. They will do that because the charges seem somewhat repetitive and they will see that he was clearly responsible.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 10:48 AM on May 29


My understanding from skimming various sites about
NY Sentencing guidelines is that the most likely sentence would be a sentence of 1.5-2 years with at least 2 years of probation to follow. This assumes they find him guilty of multiple felonies. If they find him only guilty of the misdemeanors and/or just one felony then he is likely to get probation.

It is a class E felony and this is his first conviction.
posted by interogative mood at 11:14 AM on May 29


I dunno. Juries are unpredictable but I can see them convicting based on the evidence presented matched with what is required by law.

The verdict will be one thing; how they get there will be another (and uncertain if we ever hear that story!).
posted by mazola at 11:20 AM on May 29


You are one optimistic fellow, sneetches, and I'm here for it.
posted by Justinian at 11:20 AM on May 29


Oh, and I think that Trump will appeal directly to the Supreme Court and they will overturn the verdict.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 11:24 AM on May 29


If Trump is convicted I wonder what restrictions the judge will impose before sentencing and while he is appealing his case. I also wonder what happens if he tries to get on his jet and fucks off to Florida, relying on the fact that no red state governor will extradite him.

Earlier today he said even Mother Theresa couldn’t beat these charges because it’s so rigged against him. I don’t think even Hitchens ever accused her of fraudulently covering up sex with a porn star; although he and others pointed to some pretty serious moral failings. I suspect it would not have affected her canonization.
posted by interogative mood at 11:54 AM on May 29


The Jury Instructions.
posted by mazola at 12:04 PM on May 29


I've said this before when I've linked to one of their videos, but The Lincoln Project just loves making videos with a target audience of one, and they've outdone themselves this time.
posted by orange swan at 12:38 PM on May 29 [2 favorites]


Live updates from CBS
16m ago
Jury sends judge a note asking to review testimony from Pecker and Cohen

At 2:56, a buzzer sounded in the courtroom, the signal that the jury had a message to share. Prosecutors, Trump and his team filed in.

Merchan said the jury foreperson signed a note requesting to hear the following transcript portions:
  1. David Pecker's testimony regarding the phone conversation with Trump while Pecker was in an investor meeting
  2. Pecker's testimony about his decision not to finalize and fund the assignment of life rights related to Karen McDougal
  3. Pecker's testimony regarding a meeting at Trump Tower
  4. Cohen's testimony about the Trump Tower meeting
The jury will be brought in and seated, and the transcript portions will be read to them. These are moments that were mentioned during the prosecution's closing arguments Tuesday.
posted by flabdablet at 12:39 PM on May 29 [4 favorites]


“Mother Teresa could not beat these charges. The charges are rigged. The whole thing is rigged.”

FWIW, TFG seems to think it's a slam dunk verdict.
posted by mazola at 1:55 PM on May 29


Fingers crossed, tentacles knotted, knuckles white.
posted by y2karl at 2:46 PM on May 29


CBS:
5:39 PM / May 29, 2024
Lawyers agree on transcript portions for 3 of the requests, but argue about 1

After the jurors left, lawyers for both sides were left to determine which portions of the transcript were responsive to the jurors' requests. The two sides agreed on portions regarding Pecker's testimony about a phone conversation with Trump; his testimony about his decision not to finalize and fund the assignment of life rights related to McDougal; and Cohen's testimony about an August 2015 Trump Tower meeting.

They argued, however, over which exact lines satisfied the request for Pecker's testimony regarding that meeting.

At the end of the day, there were still a few lines — out of dozens of pages of transcript — in dispute, and the judge said he would think about them Wednesday evening.
Does anybody else find it completely bizarre that deciding which portions of the transcript are "responsive to the jurors' requests" is an issue to be thrashed out by lawyers when the jury is right there and if what they want is at all unclear, the judge could just ask them?
posted by flabdablet at 12:39 AM on May 30 [5 favorites]


I don’t understand why the jury can’t just be given a printout of the court transcript. I’m sure it’s some tradition or legal whatever in the state of New York.
posted by wabbittwax at 4:55 AM on May 30 [2 favorites]


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