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May 16, 2024

Laura Ingraham did get to go inside the dingy, uncomfortable courtroom for Day 2 of “star witness” Michael Cohen’s testimony Tuesday, and she said he impressed her as “a well-rehearsed dunderhead.”

It’s impossible to know for sure from body language how jurors are leaning, but Ingraham, trying to read the room, said she thought that at least two jurors, and possibly as many as four, showed signs that they would not find Trump guilty on the evidence that has been presented.

She said Tuesday evening that she had seen signs among a few of the male jurors that they were “ever-so-slightly annoyed and unimpressed” while the state was putting on its case.

As for Cohen, she said he “explained away every unsavory action as motivated by his effort to ‘protect Trump.’”  He’d been acting as “a dutiful if misguided friend who just wanted to help his boss.”  Good grief.  And in the vague, noncommittal way he sort-of answered many questions, it also seemed that he had “been through too many prep sessions.”  He gave off signs “of an over-prepared witness.”

It’s obvious, Ingraham said, that “Cohen hates Trump now, and he wants him in jail, although he refused to answer that question directly as well.”  (Note:  Perhaps we’ve watched too many old episodes of PERRY MASON, but don’t witnesses have to answer all the questions unless they’ve taken the 5th?)

This is “an obviously troubled man,” Ingraham observed.  Always, he’s been cashing in on Trump, first by working for him, now by working against him.

AG Alvin Bragg, too, has his troubles.  “It was obvious that Bragg treated the Trump case like a piece of silly putty, the original charges in the indictment twisted and stretched into varying forms, legal theories changed and approaches shifted as the narrative collapsed.”  Even commentators on MSNBC (!) were admitting that it is a challenge for the prosecution to show how this is a felony.  And Bragg has no authority to enforce federal election law.  (Sort of a Catch-22; we got into the problems with this in yesterday’s newsletter, with the analysis from Andrew C. McCarthy.)

Ingraham, for perhaps the first time ever, agreed with MSNBC.  “In fact,” she said, “I’m not sure that the State of New York even knows what the answer to that obvious question is.”

She said that after spending the day in court, she’s convinced “that the New York justice system [is] not just badly broken --- it’s perverted, and it’s poisonous.”  Why would the government trust these witnesses who have changed their stories?  “It’s obvious to everyone, even the press, that this case was brought solely to help Joe Biden get re-elected, and that is shameful.”

(Never mind that many think whatever they do to keep Trump from getting elected is virtuous.)

Judge Jeanine Pirro, who has also spent time in the courtroom, appeared on Tuesday’s show as well.  To illustrate the ever-so-slight bias of witness Cohen, she pointed out that he had said --- this was on TikTok --- that Donald Trump “belongs in a (bleeping) cage with animals.”

In her opinion, “Michael Cohen is one of the worst witnesses you could put on a witness stand.”  Yet this “star witness” was the best they had.  “No normal prosecutor would make him even the collateral part of the case,” Pirro said.  That tells you how phony this is.

Plus, there’s supposed to be some “second charge” that brings this up to a felony.  No one has said what that is.  “You can’t possibly let someone try a case,” she said, “who doesn’t tell you what the crime is.”  That should tell you all you need to know about this AG’s office --- and the DOJ, which is there in the person of Matthew Colangelo.

Also, it came out today that the prosecution has no other witnesses to call.  Cohen is it.  “They can try to make him a normal guy,” Pirro said, “[but] he’s the guy who is so angry, he’s got no future, he’s got no law license, he’s got no job, he hates Donald Trump, he wasn’t invited into the White House --- it made him crazy --- and now he’s saying whatever he can to put Donald Trump in jail.  And the jury hates him.”  Ample reason for such distaste was given on the stand during Tuesday’s cross-examination.

Pirro said she saw a jury “who didn’t look strong to me...They’re not homogenous,” meaning she sensed “no comraderie.”  That comes from fear.  “That’s what this indictment is about,” Pirro said.  “It’s about making people afraid.”

But when it comes down to it, prosecutors still haven’t proved the underlying elements of the case.  There was no falsification of business records, we still don’t know what the crime is, and we don’t even know who approved the manner in which these checks to Cohen were going to be written.  And, Pirro said, “No one has put a finger on Donald Trump.”

Pirro echoed what we said yesterday, that her fear is “this case is going to come down to jury instructions.”  For example, Judge Merchan might define “legal expenses” in such a way that the payments to Cohen might not fit.  But Ingraham (also an attorney) thinks he’s “on difficult ground” if he tries to do this.

After Cohen’s second day of testimony, law professor Jonathan Turley laughed and said that “one of the most impressive things about the last two days is it does appear that Cohen may have committed perjury again.”  Wouldn’t it be more surprising if he hadn’t?

“His explanation on some of his points does not strike some of us as ‘true.’”  For example, when he admitted he had secretly taped Trump, he said it was “to help Trump.”  Right.

“You really have to be impressed with this guy, who has shown throughout his life that he’ll only tell the truth if he has no alternative.”  You realize, of course, that if the prosecution could have come out with ANYTHING substantial and believable, they would have.  Instead, they have this lying chucklehead.  They have a non-case.

Even so, the prosecution said Tuesday that it will rest its case at the conclusion of Cohen’s testimony.  Unbelievably, they plan to do this even though they still haven’t established evidence of any crime.

If calling those payments “legal expenses” was criminal, what should they have been called instead?  “Campaign expenses”?  The FEC would’ve been on their backs if they’d done that.

Turley said “most judges would be insulted” by a case like this and that any good-faith judge would grant a defense motion for a directed verdict.  (Again, we’d say this judge --- who has so far NOT acted in good faith --- probably will try to help prosecutors in his wording of the jury instructions to allow them to vote “guilty.”)

If/when the motion for a directed verdict fails, Turley suggests they call Cohen’s prior attorney, “who gave very damning evidence against Cohen.”  Another, he said, would be a legal expert to say the payments WERE correctly noted as a legal expense.  (Note:  the defense had such a person on their witness list, someone formerly with the FEC, and Merchan struck him.)  But Turley’s inclination is just to rest.  “I think this case is gone,” he said.  He thinks the jury, too, might “be insulted, by what we saw today.”

Legal analyst Gregg Jarrett disagrees, as he has no faith in Judge Merchan, saying “he’s exactly what he appears to be,” biased and incompetent, and his courtroom is hosting “a trial travesty.”  He called Cohen’s appearance in court a “con job” that was at least exposed Tuesday by the TikTok videos --- “lunatic rants” --- played in court.

Alan Dershowitz wouldn’t rest, either, suggesting the defense question Cohen extensively about the coaching sessions on how to talk about secretly recording his own client.  Clearly he’s lied about his reasons for doing that.  So...what did he tell prosecutors about it, and how did they tell him to spin that?  By law, if he answers anything falsely, his lawyer must stand up and correct him, in front of the jury.  Wow, that could put a new light on the story that’s been created for this jury!

Dershowitz acknowledged that Merchan has denied one expert, but he would “push it very hard” and try to put on experts in federal election law, “because the judge doesn’t know anything about those issues.”  If/when the judge keeps it out, that will at least help them show reversible error on appeal.

RELATED READING:  In a must-read piece for PJ MEDIA, Victoria Taft shows that as far back as 2018, this case against Trump appears to have been in the works at the DOJ, as Cohen took a strange plea deal back then that included pleading guilty to two unrelated counts of CAMPAIGN ELECTION VIOLATIONS.  Andrew McCarthy has noted that Cohen was pleading guilty to something that had not been litigated in court.

Why would Cohen have pleaded guilty to charges that weren’t crimes?  The jury might wonder, if Cohen pleaded guilty of violating election law, shouldn’t Trump be found guilty, too?  Has the current set-up of Trump been in development all this time?  Constitutional attorney Mike David thinks so, and that this was a criminal conspiracy by prosecutors at all levels.

You can credit President Biden with finally fulfilling one campaign promise, that of uniting Americans. While a growing number of voters are uniting in recognizing what a miserable disaster his Administration has been, his blatant lawfare against his opponent is uniting Republicans who were at odds over whether or not to support Trump.

As this trial in New York has spiraled into farce territory, with the prosecution’s “case” resting entirely on the word of a porn star and a convicted perjurer, both of whom have told endless conflicting stories and made careers out of badmouthing Trump, the transparent injustice of it all is rallying Republicans to Trump’s side. A string of prominent Republicans have been visiting the courtroom to watch Alvin Bragg’s train wreck and stand in solidarity with Trump. 

The latest was House Speaker Mike Johnson, who spoke to the press outside the courtroom and said he was “disgusted by what is happening here, what is being done here to our entire system of justice overall.” He said, “There’s no crime here,” and it’s obvious the only reason this eight-year-old  accusation was resurrected is because we’re six months from an election. He said because of this unjust political lawfare, “the people are losing faith right now in this country, in our institutions. They’re losing faith in our system of justice.” There are more choice words from him at this link, about Michael Cohen and Judge Merchan, that I think you’ll be relieved to hear coming from this Speaker.

Biden and his integrity-free cronies have managed to rally so many Republicans to Trump’s side that Las Vegas bookies are actually taking bets on who will be next to appear in court. Before this is over, that courtroom might draw more famous Republicans than the GOP Convention.

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