No announcement yet.

NY Civil Lawsuit & Criminal Trial Against Donald Trump & Family

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • DOR

    Leave a comment:

  • TopHatter
    Guilty, all 34 counts

    Leave a comment:

  • TopHatter
    Verdict has been reached. Odds are it's Guilty, but on how many of the charges?

    Leave a comment:

  • TopHatter
    Trump's jury asked to re-hear the judge's 'rain metaphor' instruction — here's what that might mean

    • Jurors in Trump's hush-money trial asked the judge to re-read his 'rain metaphor' instructions.
    • The jury is weighing 34 counts of falsifying business records related to Stormy Daniels.
    • Jurors seem to want clarity on how to gauge Trump's intent in the hush-money scheme.
    The jury in Donald Trump's criminal hush-money trial had a specific request before starting deliberations on Thursday — they asked to hear again what they described in a note as the judge's "rain metaphor" instruction.

    It advises a jury that they can infer that it's raining — by seeing someone's wet umbrella, for example — even if they don't see the rain themselves.

    The request suggests they may be weighing Trump's intent, which can only be inferred, not proven.

    The "rain metaphor," as the jury note called it, is often used by judges in jury instructions.

    It tells the jurors that they can infer certain facts from the surrounding circumstances using their common sense.

    "Suppose you go to bed one night when it is not raining, and when you wake up in the morning, you look out your window," the judge, New York Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan, told jurors, reading from the jury instructions he gave Wednesday.

    "You do not see rain, but you see that the street and sidewalk are wet and that people are wearing raincoats and carrying umbrellas," Merchan told the jurors, who appeared to listen closely.

    "Under those circumstances, it may be reasonable to infer — that is, conclude — that it rained during the night," the judge said.

    "In other words, the fact of it having rained while you were asleep is an inference that might be drawn from the proven facts of the presence of the water on the street and sidewalk, and people in raincoats and carrying umbrellas," he concluded.

    Jurors are paying close attention
    Jurors were visibly engaged as they listened.

    Juror 3, a young corporate lawyer, and Juror 5, a charter school teacher, each leaned forward in their seats in the front row of the jury box as Merchan read what they called "rain metaphor."

    Juror 4, a young male security engineer who sat between them, took notes.

    Also taking notes was Juror 7, a middle-aged lawyer who had said during jury selection that "I'm a litigator, so I take the law seriously and I take the judge's instructions very seriously."

    As the judge described how to infer Trump's intent "beyond a reasonable doubt," the engineer, lawyer and teacher scribbled hard in their white legal pads.

    Meanwhile, Juror 12, a physical therapist, held her hand to her chin as if she were concentrating during the recitation of the rain metaphor.

    Juror 10 began taking notes as the judge explained how Trump may have violated campaign finance laws — a possible path to finding him guilty of the business falsification charges.

    Why intent matters
    The jurors are considering 34 counts of whether Trump falsified business records as part of a scheme to cover up a hush-money payment to Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 presidential election. They deliberated for four-and-a-half hours Wednesday.

    On Wednesday afternoon, they asked for the judge to read back roughly a half-hour of testimony. The requested read backs suggest they had dived deep into the details of the alleged conspiracy to influence the 2016 election by keeping Daniels quiet about an affair she says she had with Trump.

    They asked for the "rain metaphor" specifically on Thursday morning.

    Former US President Donald Trump speaks to the press in the hallway outside the courtroom.

    Trump, who is 77 years old, does not use email or send text messages.

    There is no evidence that he ever typed up a memo saying something like, "I'm going to falsify documentation of payments to my lawyer Michael Cohen in order to violate section 17-152 of the New York Election Law, also breaking campaign finance and tax laws along the way."

    So in order to find Trump guilty, jurors would need to infer his role in the hush-money scheme based on the testimony and documents in the case surrounding him.

    Thursday morning's jury request may show that jurors have yet to agree on whether Trump intended to conceal some other crime when he caused business records to be falsified.

    After the judge completed his recitation of the jury instructions, two of the court stenographers re-read portions of the testimony. They playacted as the questioning lawyers and the witnesses who previously took the stand.

    A middle-aged court stenographer with glasses sat in the witness stand seat and played the roles of ex-National Enquirer publisher David Pecker and of Michael Cohen.

    The jurors had also asked if they could have a pair of headphones with a 35-millimeter jack so that they could listen to audio recordings included on the laptop of evidence they have with them in the jury deliberations room.

    The judge said they could. And that he'd throw in speakers, too.

    Leave a comment:

  • TopHatter
    Originally posted by TopHatter View Post
    Closing arguments today. Probably be in the jury's hands by tomorrow.

    The two most likely outcomes:

    1. A holdout juror resulting in a hung jury. If there isn't a verdict by end of day Friday, that's almost certainly what will happen


    2. Unanimous guilty verdict in less than a day, maybe even just an hour or two or less of deliberating.
    Well so far, 2. is definitely not the case, probably foolish of me to expect such a quick verdict like the E. Jean Carroll case. This one is much more complicated. At the same time....

    Justice Has Been Done
    Donald Trump has finally been subjected to the rule of law. We should appreciate this moment and understand that, whatever the outcome, the system worked.

    The first criminal trial of Donald Trump and was everything that a society committed to the rule of law can hope for.

    In March of 2023, when the world first began to grapple with the notion that Trump might be indicted in Manhattan on charges of election fraud, people expressed a number of concerns. All of them have were allayed.

    Let’s walk through those prior concerns, one at a time.

    (1) The district attorney’s case was frivolous, weak, or unwise. This was overreach. The prosecution presented a detailed, evidence-laden case. The evidence was so substantial that it it now clear that not charging Trump would have been contrary to the interests of justice.

    (2) This application of the law was too novel. The prosecution’s case survived pretrial motions and went the distance to the jury. That base fact means that even if the district attorney’s interpretation of the law was not routine, it was clearly within bounds.

    (3) The timing was bad. Many people worried that the Manhattan election fraud case was the weakest of the four potential indictments against Trump and so having that indictment arrive first would lessen the public’s understanding of the other three, and thus subtract from any accountability for Trump.

    As it happens, the Manhattan case was the only one of the indictments able to make it to trial. Without Alvin Bragg’s indictment, there would have been no legal accountability for Trump prior to the 2024 election and voters would have a much less complete set of information on which to base their choices.

    (4) The trial was about a porn star. The evidence presented at trial, in the form of testimony and contemporaneous documentation, made it clear that this case was not about paying hush money to a porn star. It was about the commission of election fraud: A presidential candidate engaged in a conspiracy to pay for the suppression of information for the express purpose of influencing the election and then falsified records to hide this payment.

    (5) The trial would be a circus. Donald Trump tried very hard to make the trial a circus. He continually disparaged the judge, the judge’s family, and members of the prosecution’s team. He held press conferences outside the courthouse. He engaged in courtroom antics, such as feigning sleep. (And actually falling asleep.)

    But Judge Juan Merchan kept control of the trial and never allowed the proceedings to devolve out of order. What we saw was a well-run criminal trial that was notable only because of the identity of the defendant.

    (6) Trump couldn’t get a fair trial. Both the prosecution and the defense are satisfied that they were able to impanel an impartial jury of Trump’s peers. The Biden administration stayed far away from the case and never gave even the appearance of interference.

    The judge likewise avoided even the appearance of partiality.

    And Trump’s lawyers mounted a vigorous defense.

    Fair is fair.

    We will soon have a verdict. If I had to put odds on it, I’d say 54 percent for a conviction, 2 percent for an acquittal, and 44 percent for a hung jury that results in a mistrial.

    And even if Trump is convicted, he will have the right to appeal his decision.

    But whatever comes next, people who are committed to the rule of law should be satisfied that while we may not get the outcome we prefer, or think is correct, the system worked as designed.

    This is what justice looks like. And when you pledge your fealty to the rule of law, that has to be enough.

    Have to say, this was a complete surprise to me. I thought when Cy Vance didn't bring charges, and then Bragg didn't bring charges, the whole thing was dead and buried.

    Leave a comment:

  • TopHatter
    Closing arguments today. Probably be in the jury's hands by tomorrow.

    The two most likely outcomes:

    1. A holdout juror resulting in a hung jury. If there isn't a verdict by end of day Friday, that's almost certainly what will happen


    2. Unanimous guilty verdict in less than a day, maybe even just an hour or two or less of deliberating.

    Leave a comment:

  • TopHatter
    Originally posted by Albany Rifles View Post
    So...the Speaker of the House of Representatives...the #3 office in the land...came to condemn the work of the 3rd branch of government...our federal and state courts?!?!?!?

    Have to demonstrate your fealty to the cult leader...

    Leave a comment:

  • Albany Rifles
    So...the Speaker of the House of Representatives...the #3 office in the land...came to condemn the work of the 3rd branch of government...our federal and state courts?!?!?!?


    Leave a comment:

  • statquo
    Originally posted by TopHatter View Post
    I was alluding this. It’s really sad. Pathetic. Like he’s Jesus Christ himself, the true believers coming to have it be known they were there to support him.

    Leave a comment:

  • TopHatter
    Originally posted by statquo View Post
    So Republicans are showing up at the courthouse to give campaign speeches and show loyalty? That’s… really weird
    Yeeeah...and it gets even worse...

    Speaker Mike Johnson assails Trump’s felony trial in remarkable visit outside courthouse

    U.S. House Speaker Mike Johnson assailed the hush money case against Donald Trump Tuesday as an illegitimate “sham,” becoming the highest-ranking Republican to show up at court, embrace the former president’s claims of political persecution and attack the U.S. system of justice.

    It was a remarkable moment in modern American politics: The House speaker amplifying Trump’s defense and turning the Republican Party against the federal and state legal systems that are foundational to the U.S. government and a cornerstone of democracy.

    Johnson, who is second in line for the presidency, called the court system “corrupt.”

    Outside the New York courthouse, he decried “this ridiculous prosecution that is not about justice.” He said, “It’s all about politics.”

    AP correspondent Julie Walker reports House Speaker Mike Johnson lends his support to Donald Trump at court today.

    The speaker is leading a growing list of Republican lawmakers who are criticizing the American judicial system as they rally to Trump’s side, appearing at the courthouse to defend the party’s presumptive presidential nominee. Trump is accused of having arranged secret payments to a porn actress to hide negative stories during his successful 2016 campaign for president.

    With Trump stuck in court and barred by a judge’s gag order from criticizing witnesses or certain elements of the case, Johnson and the lawmakers are taking it upon themselves to attack the proceedings, now in a fourth week of witness testimony. They’re using the trial as a de facto campaign stop as they work to return the former president to the White House.

    In portraying the case against Trump as politically motivated, the Republicans are also laying the groundwork to dismiss its significance should the jury convict, and for potential challenges to the fall election, a rematch with President Joe Biden, a Democrat.

    Johnson was a chief architect of Trump’s efforts to challenge the 2020 presidential results ahead of the Jan. 6, 2021, mob assault on the U.S. Capitol, and last week he called the hush money trial and the other election-year cases against Trump a “borderline criminal conspiracy.”

    “It is election interference,” Johnson said Tuesday, insisting he was appearing on his own to back Trump, whom he called a friend. “And the American people are not going to let this stand.”

    Unlike other Republicans showing up to show their support, Johnson did not enter the courtroom where Trump is on trial, but dashed back to Washington to open the House chamber for the day.

    Later at the Capitol, Johnson repeated the Republican Party’s claims of the justice system being “weaponized” against Trump and said Americans are “losing faith” in it.

    Also with Trump on Tuesday were U.S. Rep. Byron Donalds of Florida and North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum — both considered possible vice presidential candidates — as well as former GOP candidate Vivek Ramaswamy, one of Trump’s current top surrogates.

    U.S. Sens. JD Vance of Ohio and Tommy Tuberville of Alabama were among those who attended court on Monday.

    Trump’s campaign has lined up allies in recent days to appear at the New York courthouse to attack witnesses and others whom Trump is barred by a judge’s gag order from criticizing himself.

    Sen. Rick Scott of Florida said Monday that he appeared last week at the invitation of Trump senior advisor Susie Wiles. The campaign has said others volunteered to come to New York.

    “The Democrats are using the court system to go after and prosecute, criminally, a political opponent — that’s a crime,” Scott said over the weekend on Fox News. “They’re just thugs trying to stop Trump from being able to run for president.”

    In the short term, the Republicans’ presence at the courthouse and comments critical of the process have let Trump and his allies amplify their message without risking another explicit violation of the gag order. Trump’s attorneys have challenged the gag order as unconstitutional, but an appeals court upheld it on Tuesday.

    Johnson specifically attacked the credibility of Michael Cohen, Trump’s former lawyer and fixer who began his second day of testimony in the former president’s hush money trial. And others, too.

    He criticized Cohen as “a man who is clearly on a mission for personal revenge,” said lead prosecutor Matthew Colangelo “recently received over $10,000 in payments from the Democratic National Committee” and said the daughter of Judge Juan M. Merchan has made “millions of dollars” doing online fundraising for Democrats.

    Colangelo, who joined the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office in 2022 and previously worked in the U.S. Justice Department in the Biden administration, did paid “political consulting” work for the DNC in 2018, according to federal campaign finance records.

    The Republican speaker, who is wholly dependent on support from Trump to keep the gavel, has aimed to strengthen their alliance, particularly as Johnson has come under fire from his own caucus in the House, including a failed effort at his removal by a fellow Trump backer, U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia.

    Johnson made an appearance with the former president at his Mar-a-Lago club last month to announce new House legislation to require proof of citizenship for voting, echoing Trump’s baseless claims that Democrats are abetting immigrants entering the U.S. illegally to swing elections — another potential route for Republican challenges to the 2024 election.

    There isn’t any indication that noncitizens vote in significant numbers in federal elections or that they will in the future.

    And Johnson joined Trump on stage for the Republican National Committee’s gala at Mar-a-Lago earlier this month, praising the presumptive presidential nominee and saying House Republicans fully expect to ride Trump’s coattails to their own re-elections to keep the majority hold on the chamber.

    Johnson has been using the pulpit of the speaker’s office in Washington to attack the U.S. judicial system, criticizing the courts as biased against the former president, claiming the case is politically motivated by Democrats and insisting Trump has done nothing wrong.

    The speaker has demurred when asked if the 2020 election was legitimate, and in a departure from the tradition of trust and adherence in U.S. election systems, Johnson and other Republicans have hedged when asked if they will accept the election results of 2024.

    Leave a comment:

  • statquo
    So Republicans are showing up at the courthouse to give campaign speeches and show loyalty? That’s… really weird

    Leave a comment:

  • TopHatter
    Trump nemesis Michael Cohen testifies: 5 takeaways

    Former President Trump’s nemesis in his New York trial took the stand Monday.

    Michael Cohen worked for more than 10 years as Trump’s attorney and fixer. At one time, Cohen famously said he would take a bullet for Trump.

    Cohen has become a staunch critic of the former president after he himself pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations and tax evasion in 2018. Cohen later pleaded guilty to lying to Congress as well. He received a prison sentence and was eventually released, after a period of house arrest, in late 2021.

    Trump’s legal team will seek to use this history to destroy Cohen’s credibility.

    The attorney is a central figure in the trial because he paid $130,000 in hush money to adult film actress Stormy Daniels in the final stages of the 2016 presidential campaign. Cohen was later reimbursed for this payment by Trump and a Trump trust.

    Prosecutors contend that Trump falsely classified the reimbursements as a legal expense to conceal their true purpose — to improve his chances of winning the election by stopping Daniels from going public with her claim she had sex with Trump back in 2006.

    Trump denies having sex with Daniels and denies any legal wrongdoing, arguing the payments to Cohen were indeed legal expenses.

    The former president is charged with 34 felony counts of falsifying business records.

    Here are five takeaways from Cohen’s first day of testimony.

    Cohen emphasizes how Stormy Daniels posed a danger to Trump’s campaign
    One vital issue in the case is whether Trump wanted to silence Daniels for electoral reasons or simply to stave off personal embarrassment.

    This matters because the offense with which he is charged is usually only a misdemeanor, unless it can be shown to have been committed in furtherance of another crime.

    Prosecutors are arguing that the allegedly falsified business records ultimately amounted to election interference, since the purpose of paying off Daniels was to conceal information from voters that they otherwise would have known. Trump’s team denies this.

    Cohen’s testimony sought to underline the degree to which Trump was concerned that Daniels’s story could sink his White House hopes.

    He said that Trump, upon learning Daniels might go public with her allegation of a sexual encounter, told Cohen: “This is a disaster, total disaster,” adding that while male voters might consider his alleged exploits “cool,” “this is going to be a disaster for the campaign.”

    Cohen also testified that Trump seemed relatively unbothered by the impact on his wife, Melania. Trump allegedly said that he would not be “on the market” for long if things went awry with his wife.

    Is the courtroom an audition stage for Trump’s VP slot?
    Trump has been accompanied by an expanding entourage during the most recent days of the trial.

    On Monday, Sens. JD Vance (R-Ohio) and Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) showed up at court, as did Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-N.Y.). Last Thursday, Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) appeared.

    Three of those four — everyone except Vance — seemed to be there simply as a show of GOP support.

    Last week, Scott also made the kind of attacks from which Trump is restrained by a gag order, including attacking the daughter of Judge Juan Merchan for her work with a Democratic digital consulting firm.

    Vance’s appearance stirred speculation about Trump’s hunt for a running mate, however. The Ohio senator is widely considered to be one of the front-runners for that position.

    Vance, an erstwhile Trump critic, has transformed himself into a staunch loyalist.

    On Monday, in a multipost thread on the social platform X, Vance asserted that he was “now convinced the main goal of the trial is psychological torture.”

    A secret tape explained
    Cohen’s testimony cleared up a question that had floated around the edges of the trial.

    Jurors had already heard a covert recording of Trump that Cohen made back in 2016 — and they did so again Monday.

    The tape features Cohen and Trump discussing a $150,000 agreement with another woman who said she had a sexual relationship with Trump — former Playboy model Karen McDougal.

    It was not clear until Monday why Cohen had recorded that one conversation with Trump but — he says — no others.

    Cohen told the court that he had made the recording so that he could convince David Pecker, the magazine executive who was making the deal directly with McDougal, that he would get reimbursed.

    Pecker “would hear the conversation, and he would know that we’re going to be paying him back, that Mr. Trump was going to be paying him back,” Cohen testified.

    In the end, Pecker did not seek reimbursement.

    The real drama may be still to come
    Cohen’s testimony had been highly anticipated, but it did not reach the dramatic heights that had been seen last week when Daniels testified.

    Reporters in the courtroom noted that there were some occasions when members of the jury looked as if they were becoming a bit bored with his testimony.

    There will be more fireworks once Trump’s team gets a chance to question Cohen.

    Trump stirs over bonus detail
    Trump had his eyes closed for much of the day, renewing questions as to whether he has been snoozing through much of the trial.

    Reporters who are present firmly believe he has been doing so, including today.

    Earlier this month, Trump posted on social media to contest these stories, arguing “I simply close my beautiful blue eyes” at times in order to “listen intensely.”

    In any event, he clearly stirred from his peaceful state Monday at a telling moment — when Cohen was testifying to his disappointment with his bonus in 2016.

    “Trump’s eyes had been closed for quite a while, but a brief expression of what appeared to be pleasure crossed over his face as Cohen describes Trump stiffing him on his end-of-year bonus,” Jonathan Swan of The New York Times noted.

    This trial has been moving along rather quickly, which is both heartening and impressive.

    It also looks like Don Snoreleone has finally been convinced by his lawyers to stop violating the gag order. I wonder how long he'll be able to keep that up.

    Leave a comment:

  • Albany Rifles
    About time someone stood up to this petulant child.

    Leave a comment:

  • TopHatter
    Judge in hush money trial threatens Trump with jail after holding him in contempt for violating gag order
    Judge Juan Merchan warned that if Trump continues to violate his orders, he could impose “an incarceratory punishment.”

    Former President Donald Trump outside Manhattan criminal court on Tuesday.

    The judge presiding over Donald Trump’s hush money case on Tuesdayheld the former president in criminal contempt over a series of posts on Truth Social that he said violated a gag order barring any attacks on jurors and witnesses and warned Trump he could be jailed for further violations.

    Judge Juan Merchan ruled Trump in contempt for nine violations of his gag order, with a fine of $1,000 for each instance. He warned in the decision that he would not tolerate further violations of his orders and said "if necessary and appropriate under the circumstances," he would impose "an incarceratory punishment" on the former president.

    The order prohibits the former president from "making or directing others to make public statements about known or reasonably foreseeable witnesses concerning their potential participation in the investigation or in this criminal proceeding," and "public statements about any prospective juror or any juror."

    Merchan had indicated on April 23 that he was not impressed by the arguments from the defense, telling one of Trump's attorneys that he was “losing all credibility” when he suggested that Trump was exercising caution to comply with the gag order.

    Prosecutors from the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office had accused Trump of violating Merchan's April 1 order at least 10 times since it went into effect, including a post that called expected witnesses Michael Cohen and Stormy Daniels "sleaze bags." Another appeared to be a quote from Fox News personality Jesse Watters that read, “They are catching undercover Liberal Activists lying to the Judge in order to get on the Trump Jury.”

    The DA sought the maximum $1,000 fine for each post they considered a violation, along with an order that Trump remove the posts. Prosecutors had also asked Merchan to warn Trump that any future violations could be met with additional fines and up to 30 days in jail.

    Prosecutor Chris Conroy said during an April 23 morning hearing that Trump “seems to be angling” to be locked up for political purposes.

    Trump’s legal team countered that the former president had not willfully violated the order and that he was simply responding to a “barrage of political attacks.”

    Pressed by the judge, however, Trump attorney Todd Blanche had trouble identifying what attacks Trump was supposedly responding to. “I keep asking you over and over to give me an example and I’m not getting an answer,” the judge said.

    Trump attorney Emil Bove previously said that some of the posts were responses to remarks by Cohen, Trump’s former lawyer, and that others were reposted from people and news outlets, which he said did not violate the gag order. Merchan asked for case law to back that position, and Blanche said he did not have any. "It's just common sense, your Honor," Blanche said.

    Trump has pleaded not guilty to 34 counts of falsifying business records related to his reimbursement to Cohen for the lawyer's hush money payment to Daniels in the closing days of the 2016 campaign. Daniels claims she had a sexual encounter with Trump in 2006, an allegation he denies.

    Trump faces up to four years in prison if he’s convicted.

    Leave a comment:

  • TopHatter
    "House of cards": Judge imposes new terms to ensure Trump's $175 million bond will actually be paid

    A New York judge has agreed to accept Donald Trump's $175 million bond in his civil fraud case after ensuring that the issuer of the bond will have enough cash on hand to pay up should the former president lose his appeal.

    At a hearing Monday, Judge Arthur Engoron initially questioned the legitimacy of Trump's bond, which he secured with the help of a supporter after earlier failing to secure a larger $454 million bond. Trump needs the bond in order to appeal the civil fraud conviction secured by New York Attorney General Letitia James in February.

    James had herself questioned the $175 million bond, noting that the issuer, Knight Specialty Insurance Co., is not certified in the state of New York. Others had noted that the bond agreement contained "incomprehensible" language that raised questions about who would ultimately be responsible for paying it, should it come to that.

    "It all seems like a house of cards," Judge Engoron himself said Monday, according to Reuters. But he decided to accept the bond after imposing a new requirement that Trump's $175 million collateral, currently held in a Charles Schwab account, not be invested in securities while the appeal process is under way.

    Monday's decision came just down the street from the Manhattan courtroom where Trump is standing trial on criminal charges related to an alleged scheme to cover up hush payments ahead of the 2016 election.

    Dodged another bullet eh Donny?

    Leave a comment: