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April 24, 2024
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“I’ve never been so happy not to be invited somewhere.”

That was law professor Jonathan Turley, speaking on Sean Hannity’s FOX NEWS show Tuesday, about a weekly meeting via Zoom call being held by anti-Trump “journalists” covering his current trial in Manhattan over allegedly falsifying business records.  And he couldn’t help laughing a little at that thought.

The trial has just started --- opening statements were Monday --- but, as Turley said, “It’s getting more and more embarrassing.”  He even used that old Arkansas expression involving a silk purse and a sow’s ear.  During Tuesday’s session, he said, prosecutors were “zapping back into life” a second “dead misdemeanor” charge that Trump “illegally conspired to promote his own election.”  (???)  He’d been trying to get his mind around that.

“Even if everything they stated is proven to be true factually,” he said, “all the payment of the non-disclosure agreement [NDA], the recording of it in this way, that’s not really that contested, because all of that can be true, and there would still be no crime.  And that’s what has left many of us mystified that the judge is letting this get by.  ‘Cause we still don’t see that legal lynchpin.  The judge seems to be shrugging and saying, ‘Well, it’s close enough for jazz.  Let’s go ahead and let it go to the jury,’ when most of us don’t see a crime here.”

This is so much like what Alan Dershowitz said on Monday, as reported in yesterday’s newsletter.  In fact, Bragg’s case is so vague and jerry-rigged that even a Boston University legal professor writing in the NEW YORK TIMES called it “a historic mistake,” and a case that fails to name "an election crime or a valid theory of fraud."

https://www.foxnews.com/media/da-alvin-braggs-case-against-donald-trump-historic-mistake-new-york-times-guest-essay

And these legal experts have a lot of company --- company that most definitely will never be invited to join those weekly confabs.

This “business records” case --- we prefer not to call it a “hush money” case, as, again, non-disclosure agreements are common and legal (as Mark Levin noted, how many NDA’s do you think MSNBC has paid for over the years?) --- is what attorneys jokingly call a “POS” (“piece-of-sh**”) case.  One has to wonder what the two attorneys on the jury, even if they’re as biased against Trump as most of the Manhattan jury pool surely was, think privately about its merits.  (They’re not allowed to talk to each other about the case until they’ve received jury instructions and enter the deliberation phase.) 

We’re not attorneys, but it seems that without such a helpful judge, prosecutors typically would have seen such a patched-together case get tossed out.  Their strategy here seems to have been to put Trump into such an extremely unfriendly venue --- frigid in more ways than just the temperature of the room --- that none of the problems with the case would matter at all.  That tactic sure has worked in DC against the January 6 defendants.

In Turley’s words, “I think that Bragg is hoping the jury will not look beyond the identity of the defendant.”  He explained that there’s really no way Trump could have listed those payments that wouldn’t have triggered a case by this prosecution.  But no matter what he called them, it wouldn’t have made any difference to the facts of the case, because this wasn’t a campaign contribution.  Therefore, no crime.

In fact, earlier Tuesday, Judge Jeanine Pirro, speaking on THE FIVE, made an excellent point relative to this.  She said that in detailing his history of containing undesirable “catch-and-kill” stories about Trump --- going back long before Trump was ever a candidate --- prosecution witness David Pecker, former publisher of the NATIONAL ENQUIRER, inadvertently made the defendant’s point that these arrangements were done for other reasons!

Hannity cited other problems with the case, such as the statute of limitations issue (the records in question go back eight years), Judge Merchan being a Biden for President donor and his daughter profiting from the trial, and the decision by even a very anti-Trump DOJ to pass on it.

“The fact that we had to wait for the opening statements for Bragg to even fully articulate what his theory was shows how weak this case really is,” Turley said.  “And that weakness is only becoming more and more evident every day.”

Since they’re proving a lot of things that have nothing to do with a crime, he said, it “may come down to the instructions and how the judge tries to put this together for the jury.  Because at some point he’ll have to inform the jury that there’s nothing unlawful about an NDA [and that] this is not a campaign contribution in the view of the federal government.  But to make those legal issues clear is to disassemble this case.”

He credited Trump’s legal team with a good job so far and anticipated “major fireworks” when so-called star witness and serial perjurer Michael Cohen is put on the stand.  It’ll be a “truly circus-like environment.”

Which brings us back to the Zoom-call confab among Trump-hating, group-thinking political pundits such as Bill Kristol and George Conway, liberal Harvard professor Laurence Tribe, former Nixon White House counsel John Dean, MSNBC legal analyst Andrew Weissmann (formerly Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s second-in-command), CNN’s Norm Eisen, WASHINGTON POST commentator Jennifer Rubin and former CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin.  (Toobin is back to doing Zoom calls?  No comment…)  Oh, and longtime political insider and operative MARY McCORD, who oversaw the DOJ’s sham “investigation” into Trump’s alleged “collusion” with Russia.  Sheesh, with her and Weissmann in, they might as well just bring the White House in.  In effect, perhaps they have.

Circus indeed.  One participant told POLITICO that the meetings “have a distinct anti-Trump tilt to them.”  But even with their personal bias on full display publicly, they’re apparently having difficulties privately with this particular case, and the weekly calls have reportedly centered on how to deal with their skepticism.  As in, to not let on how bad this case really is?

Another legal commentator with whom POLITICO spoke, someone who doesn’t participate in the calls and was surprised to hear about them, said that “it runs the risk of creating the impression that there is an agreement or cooperation or conspiracy across mainstream media entities.”  YA THINK??

So, do we finally have our answer as to why leftist commentators all use exactly the same words and phrases in relating political news?  Who knew they literally got together on conference calls and discussed how they were going to report them?

https://nypost.com/2024/04/23/media/top-anti-trump-legal-pundits-quietly-meet-for-private-weekly-call/

 

RELATED:  Speaking of bringing in the White House, the DAILY CALLER has a must-read story about top Biden DOJ official Matthew Colangelo, who took the highly unusual career step of leaving the DOJ to work in Bragg’s New York office on this case.  (Just wondering:  did it come with a pay cut?)  It was Colangelo who gave the opening statement on Monday, brazenly accusing Trump of falsifying business records as part of a broader effort to “corrupt the 2016 election.”

“It was election fraud, pure and simple,” he lied.

As you’ll see from the article, he’s developed quite a specialty in working anti-Trump cases.  That seems to be his job.

Former acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker said on NEWSMAX Tuesday that Colangelo is “the one who connects all of this and has really been directing traffic to make sure all of these cases proceed against Donald Trump and keep him off the election campaign trail.”  But Trump himself isn’t permitted to talk about him or any other prosecutors on the case, because...gag order.

https://dailycaller.com/2024/04/23/judgebragg-trial-trump-attorney-losing-credibility

But in a new development on Tuesday, Texas Rep. Lance Gooden wrote to Bragg and the DOJ asking for “records and communications” relating to Colangelo’s hiring.  He told them, “The fact that Colangelo stepped down from a senior DOJ role to join a prosecution team in a city DA’s office raises some pressing concerns.”  What it looks like is direct coordination with the Biden administration, and it should be on them to prove to us it isn’t.

https://dailycaller.com/2024/04/23/meet-the-former-biden-doj-official-who-jumped-ship-to-prosecute-trump

 

FURTHER READING:  Julie Kelly’s “Declassified” post features a guest column by criminal defense attorney David W. Fischer about the flaws in Bragg’s case, offering another angle for Trump’s legal team that illustrates how critical the parsing of words is to the profession of law.  He shows that the way this law is worded, the falsification of records requires alteration of an existing record, and there’s no evidence of that.  Case closed!

https://www.declassified.live/p/another-defense-against-braggs-sham?

And Victoria Taft at PJ Media attempts to explain what Bragg is prosecuting Trump for, but warns that it’s going to take a lot of zip ties to try to tie all these loose ends, rumors, false innuendos and unrelated pieces into a facsimile of a legal case.

https://pjmedia.com/victoria-taft/2024/04/23/david-pecker-testimony-n4928453

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