In the New York fraud case that accuses Donald Trump of overvaluing his assets on loan contracts, Trump’s attorneys ripped the prosecution’s only witness to microscopic shreds this week.
Former Trump attorney Michael Cohan had to face cross examination, and it demonstrated why Nancy Pelosi banned the right to cross examine from her January 6th Kangaroo Kommittee. Trump’s lawyers forced Cohen to admit that he used to praise Trump, then turned on him and started vilifying him on CNN when that became more profitable; that he has significant animosity toward Trump; and that he is a convicted perjurer who spent three years in prison for lying numerous times under oath. They even got him to admit that Trump never explicitly told him to inflate the value of his properties.
You’d think this would devastate the prosecution’s case to any fair minder juror. Luckily for the New York Democrat authorities, they didn’t allow Trump to have a jury. He just got a judge who decided he was guilty before the trial even started.
The judge’s attitude has been clear from the get-go, including putting a gag order on Trump against criticizing his staff and fining him $5,000 for violating it, then fining him another $10,000 this week. Trump had tweeted that the judge was biased and “a person who is very partisan” was sitting “alongside” the judge. The judge called Trump to the stand and asked to whom he was referring. Trump said he meant his former lawyer, Michael Cohen. The judge declared, “I find the witness is not credible” and that he was really referring to the judge’s law clerk, so he fined Trump another $10,000.
Later, after the judge refused to toss the case even after Cohen admitted that Trump never directed him to inflate his property values, Trump surprised the court and his own attorneys by saying, “Unbelievable,” and standing up and walking out, as Secret Service agents rushed to catch up with him.
I’m not an attorney or a legal scholar, but it seems to me that an already highly-questionable gag order like this becomes even more indefensible when it’s so vague that even the judge can’t say for sure whether the defendant violated it or not, but then fines him anyway.
On the other hand, the ACLU has a lot of lawyers, and although they despise Trump, even they think this gag order business stinks to high heaven.