Trump Edition: What Is And What Shall Never Be

Upon request I, hopefully, will come back to the big Alvin Bragg indictment of Trump. Later. When have really had a chance to digest and analyze it.

So far, at least, not too sold on it. Not like all the Boyz at Just Security, several of whom I respect, but they have been been overselling, led by Weissmann, this entire scenario mercilessly. To the extent of being dubious.

Anybody who thinks this is all cut and dried as Bragg makes it is a dope. To what extent we shall see. But, yes, we shall see. Tomorrow will be merely the start of the analysis, not merely the end like other dopes will tell you.

So, let us see what is, and what will never really be. They are very different things. Am prepared to be totally wrong. Are you? And how long are you willing to play the long game out?

Criminal law will never be your personal political savior.

231 replies
  1. Bobby Gladd says:

    I have no opinion on the Bragg indictment (beyond my concern about timing). I always lean heavily on your perspectives, increasingly acrid that they have been of late.

    I will just repeat my hope that no one is injured or killed tomorrow. This shit is getting so crazy.

  2. Rayne says:

    Teri Kanefield’s explainer thread today was a pretty good read:[email protected]/110135208525985772

    Thinking of the timing here:

    24-MAR-2023 — Trump posts a composite image of him wielding a baseball bat in menacing fashion opposite NY County D.A. Bragg.
    24-MAR-2023 — Later the same day, an envelope with “powdery substance” received in Manhattan D.A.’s mail room with a threatening letter.

    31-MAR-2023 — Sealed indictment of Trump announced. Charges remain unknown though same day reports related “sources familiar” said there were 30 counts of business fraud.

    03-APR-2023 — Tonight there is a new report by Michael Isikoff in Yahoo News of 34 counts “according to a source who has been briefed on the procedures for the arraignment”

    On the face of it it looks like the threats caused the delay in advising Trump of the charges until he was in NY.

    • Rayne says:

      Heads up to community members and drive-by commenters about this next 48 hours:

      I am going to be a real witch on wheels about concern trolling, JAQ-ing off/sea lioning, off-topic, over-long, and poorly formatted comments. There’s going to be enough going in media that we don’t need various forms of harassment, manipulation, and provocation on top of the Trumpian circus.

      By the way, potty mouth commenter with a static IP address using AT&T in Missouri to leave a comment at 9:58 p.m. ET, this means you. Don’t come back. We’re not going to tolerate the abuse of moderators and contributors.

    • harpie says:

      Thanks for that link, Rayne. Here’s something else from Kanefield from earlier in the week [I may have first seen it on your Mastodon account]

      There is a method to the madness (along with actual madness)

      Yes, Trump was indicted in Manhattan. After the indictment becomes available, I’ll do a reading of it here: [link] and then I’ll put it on this blog. You can check back midweek. […]

      In other words, Trump does not appear to be preparing a normal defense, which is no surprise. Instead, his aim seems to be to create as much chaos as possible with the goal of tearing the country apart.

      His method is to (1) Fire up his supporters and (2) bait his critics into helping him destroy rule of law. […]

    • Rayne says:

      OMG I am envious! Why didn’t I think of caramel corn?! I may have to hunt down a small batch recipe I can make in my microwave tomorrow when I need it most.

      • AgainBrain says:

        Don’t need to horribly overthink it, decent caramel sauce (I prefer Humphry-Slocombe Bourbon Caramel Sauce) warmed and drizzled over fresh-nuked is glorious.

        Now if you really want amazing, instead of salting corn, toss finely-crumbled bacon or bacon-like in, then drizzle on caramel sauce, and a finish toss. Keyword is _finely_ crumbled, cook it crisp-to-hard, crumble down almost to powder, it’s acting as your “salt”. If you want bigger chunks of bacon, you can always crumble a slice or two more coarsely than the rest and toss into sauce before drizzling it on the popcorn.

        P.S. Candied smoked fish can replace bacon, if up for it.

        • Rayne says:

          Caramel sauce won’t work because it has too high moisture content and I’m going to be on this keyboard swatting down trolls.

          Need a browned sugar topping which has reached hardball stage. I guess I have a couple hours to find the right thing.

          Bacon is a possibility, already have some cooked. But I also have katsuobushi flakes on hand. Maybe I skip the sweet and go with making my own furikake popcorn.

      • Troutwaxer says:

        I had a girlfriend once who made me almonds with some kind of herb and sugar which she carmelized all together in a pan… it would be nice if she’d show up and make a big mess of those for Trump-trial-watching. (I want something a little more solid than popcorn.)

          • Troutwaxer says:

            I think it was cinnamon now that you bring it up. And maybe a little red pepper just to spice things up. (This all happened something like 35 years ago.) But it would be excellent Trump-indictment watching food!

          • Ravenclaw says:

            Had a lady friend who made something like that to sell at SCA events. Don’t have her exact recipe but this is very close (said to be medieval/Hanseatic League in origin):

            100 ml sugar
            1 tsp ground cinnamon
            0.25 tsp ground cloves
            0.25 tsp ground ginger
            a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
            a tiny pinch of Cayenne (optional)
            0.5 tsp fine salt
            1 egg white
            1.5 Tbsp water
            300 grams whole almonds (blanched or not)

            Mix sugar, spices, salt in a bowl. Whisk egg white with water, add to the spice mixture. Add almonds, mix thoroughly, then spread on a cooking tray covered with parchment paper.

            Roast at 300-325˚F for about 30 minutes, shaking the almonds occasionally; they’re ready when golden brown.

            • Rayne says:

              Wow. That does sound medieval. Would have been a great luxury to offer a snack like this. Thanks!

              • Troutwaxer says:

                That sounds delicious. (And very medieval.) My ex-girlfriend’s recipe was only four ingredients. Dear sweet goddess that woman could cook!

                • posaune says:

                  Uh– you guys, I’m stuck in the office with only vending machine choices for a long night deadline, sneaking in reading your popcorn talk. Have a heart, huh? s/

            • Ginevra diBenci says:

              My brain blurred the last four ingredients into “white wine.”

              And I was paying attention–but that’s migraine for you. I’ll take a screen shot.

      • Super Nintendo Chalmers says:

        Microwave popcorn is inferior. It’s the schwag version of popcorn. Do yourself a favor and buy a Whirley Pop popcorn maker for between $28.99 and $35.99 and get some proper popcorn. Your taste buds will thank you and you will never want to eat microwave popcorn again.

        • Rayne says:

          Thanks for your personal opinion but when I say microwave popcorn I’m not talking about the prepackaged Styrofoam stuff. I have a silicon bowl which works just fine for my needs. I also have an air popper which is the best (too noisy and slow), and a Great Northern stove top maker (too greasy and slow) but the microwave maker is least fuss and closest to air popped.

          I need low fuss today, badly. That and a couple beverages at the right time.

        • quickbread says:

          LOL, many years ago when I was a young copywriter, I was tasked with renaming the Whirley Pop. After we explored hundreds of new names, the manufacturer hated all of them and ended up sticking with the original. I got to keep the product sample, though, and I agree with you, SNC. It’s the absolute best!

          • BrokenPromises says:

            Now that brings to mind the perfect (it’s subjective) expression for preparing for the hearing/trial et al…
            “It’s time to pop the Whirley”.

        • Matthew Miles says:

          Hey there. I really enjoyed your no-off topic-comments off topic comments. Delicious. SMH.

          [Welcome to emptywheel. The topic was popcorn consumption as a result of Trump’s arraignment and therefore not off the topic, unlike comments in previous threads which have veered off to topics like visitation by alien lifeforms. Long-time community members are granted some leeway because they know how to get back on topic.

          This is leeway you do not have, this being your first comment. /~Rayne]

  3. Rugger_9 says:

    I’ve said to wait on the reveal tomorrow, but as usual the courtier press is running all over tonight about LEAKS of the 34 counts. I was also amused by the Trump team demand that no camera would be allowed, even though many commenters on the last thread and elseweb note that NY doesn’t allow cameras in courtrooms. That demand get Individual-1’s name in the news.

    Who’s the lawyer going to be? Tacopina said he was lead but the ex-AUSA Blanche just unemployed him as I had noted on the last thread. Loyalty points aside, I would expect a play will be made to delay proceedings while the new lead gets up to speed, though I can’t see the trial judge buying it with Tacopina remaining on the team (for now, anyway…)

    The crowd size will be telling given how much Individual-1 has put into kvetching and calling out his hordes to protest. Michael Cohen for his part likened it to the crowd at a high school football bake sale, but we shall see. Preliminary and very sketchy indications indicate he may be right but we’ll know tomorrow. The ability of the defendant to rule GOP politics is dependent upon the fear he instills to keep the party in line. A poor crowd means less fear and I think the challenges will swiftly follow.

    Will the judge restrict the defendant’s movements? If it were anyone else with the public record DJT has, it would be no bail because of the implied threats and objectionable claims. DJT thinks he’ll go back to M-a-L, but the judge also might consider DeSantis’ threat to withhold extradition in violation of plain Constitutional language and save himself the trouble with a remand if enough felonies are presented in the indictment.

    • Rayne says:

      I bust my gut laughing at this LEAK in Isikoff’s Yahoo News report:

      Donald Trump will be placed under arrest on Tuesday and informed that he has been charged with 34 felony counts for falsification of business records, according to a source who has been briefed on the procedures for the arraignment of the former president.

      Emphasis mine.

      Gee, that LEAK sure sounds like Trump or an attorney for Trump.

      • Kennygauss says:

        I seriously believe the American justice system will prevail to honour all previous precedent!

    • Doctor Cyclops says:

      It is inconceivable that Trump, having presented himself for arraignment, would ensconce himself at MaL and miss a subsequent court date. He would subject himself to a new charge of failure to appear, and risk a custodial arrest every time he tried to visit Bedminster.

    • bmaz says:

      “Will the judge restrict the defendant’s movements? If it were anyone else with the public record DJT has, it would be no bail because of the implied threats and objectionable claims. DJT thinks he’ll go back to M-a-L, but the judge also might consider DeSantis’ threat to withhold extradition in violation of plain Constitutional language and save himself the trouble with a remand if enough felonies are presented in the indictment.”

      No. “Extradition” was never going to be an issue, and certainly is not now with Trump in NYC for arraignment. And, no, nobody would ever be detained without bail for this bunk. Ever. Trump will be released OR and that will be that. Seriously, people need to come to grips with what this case is, at best. And there is nothing “best” about it in the least.

      • joel fisher says:

        Why wouldn’t he be release with the same condition–remain law abiding–that everyone else gets? Also, how about no starting riots? Or a gag order?

      • Rugger_9 says:

        I was looking at the ’34 felonies’ that Isikoff ‘reported’. Please correct me as needed but felonies are usually one-year minimum sentences and that big a stack (if true) would mean Individual-1 would have to live to 110 if they run consecutively.

        Does anyone have evidence that DA Bragg (or Willis) is jostling for a promotion? As a comparison, we have our CA Governor Goodhair ‘not’ running for POTUS even though he’s on a tour through the South now. FWIW, DeSantis also does this. While I do agree with Newsom on most issues (but he’s too cozy with Big Oil and Big Ag, for example) he does remind me too much of Jerry Brown when he was dating Linda Ronstadt. We had to elect Mike Curb to keep Jerry at his desk.

        • bmaz says:

          Lol, the presumptive in NY for an E felony with no priors is probation and no incarceration. This case is a joke and Trump will never spend one minute in jail, much less prison, for it. Not ever.

          • Unabogie says:

            This source says that class E felonies include false business records in the 4th degree. It also includes rape.


            So, two questions:
            1. How do you know it’s 4th degree when the leaks are saying it’s 1st degree?
            2. Are you saying that rapists with no priors get no jail time in New York?

            This source says about sentencing:

            As previously stated, the minimum jail sentence for a Class E felony is one year, and the maximum sentence is five years – if a charge carries a sentence over five years, it is classed as a Class D felony or higher. Additionally, the maximum sentence remains the same regardless of whether you are a non-violent or violent felony offender, and your sentence is likely to be longer if you have a previous felony conviction.

            So, if Trump is convicted of 34 counts, how can you say that he’d serve no time?

            • bmaz says:

              Lol, thanks for blowing poo up people’s rear ends. Please check the actual NY sentencing guidelines before spewing again.

              • Unabogie says:

                First of all, if you’re certain of your perspective here, you should be happy to explain why I’m wrong. I’m not a lawyer, but I Googled class E felonies because what you wrote seemed wrong. The first link I found says you’re wrong.

                I’d also point out, at the risk of being accused of “spreading bullshit,” that you incorrectly declared that the defense cannot bring witnesses to the grand jury proceedings. In New York, however, they can, and you were unaware of that fact. This means you do not know everything about New York law and no one here knows what is in the indictment. You might be right, but your certainty with no evidence, combined with your quickness to bully, makes me suspect you are wrong about the indictment, just as you were wrong about grand jury rules in NYC.

                • bmaz says:

                  “First of all”, I AGAIN urge you to check the actual sentencing guidelines from NY as to a Class E felony. Sending me a google link to some NY atty trying to get clients ain’t it. Do better, and spare me. Apparently, “bullying” is now just telling folks things they don’t want to hear or understand.

                  And, no, Mr. “INAL”, I was not wrong about NY GJ law. While slightly more permissive, NY tracks about all other jurisdiction’s GJ law. The defense can request witnesses, but not demand they be presented. That is still up to the GJ itself, and presenting attorney. Ultimate determiner is the judge presiding over the GJ. Again, no, that is not uncommon, you just don’t understand it.

                  I will join Rayne in being cranky today. Do NOT wander in here blowing shit out of your uninformed “INAL” ass. This is very much the wrong day for that.

                  • Super Nintendo Chalmers says:

                    The moderators should not tolerate the abuse you are giving out to this OP and others. You can say the OP is wrong with being an ass. I expect you will try to tear me a new one. Please proceed.

                    • bmaz says:

                      What is the world is an “OP”? Am I not supposed to “tolerate” myself?

                      This is easily, based upon your comment, going to be one of, if not the worst, days in the history of this blog.

                    • earlofhuntingdon says:

                      You write like a newbie or infrequent reader. Bmaz is many things on this site, being a moderator is one of them.

                      Telling the proprietor or any of her bartenders what drinks to serve or how to serve them is good for nothing but selling popcorn.

                    • Rayne says:

                      You need to check the About page. Pro tip: before shooting your mouth off in comments at websites, check the About Us page first.

                      Then you may recognize moderators and contributors BEFORE being a dick.

            • Ravenclaw says:

              I’m not well up on the legal side, but you surprised me with “rape” on the list. But it turns out to include only rape “in the third degree.” Which can mean the victim was stuporous, cognitively disabled, or deceived as to the identity of the one who used them so. Can’t help wondering which of the three applies to the expected impact of your comment. Are we all supposed to be drunk, stupid, or faked out?

              But maybe I’m just in a bad mood this AM. Should make some of those spiced nuts.

            • bmaz says:

              Oh, I am not “over my skis” in the least, I have done this for decades. Where are you?? Nice of you to chirp in though!

            • Unabogie says:

              It seems wise for everyone to wait to read the actual indictment before forming strong opinions about how strong it is.

              • bmaz says:

                Yes yes. Sure. Except the proprietors on this blog have been reading facts, law and reportage, and offering opinions and reasoning since the very first day we existed. Have you “ever” choked back on that before, or just now that you don’t like the same?

                • Rugger_9 says:

                  Let’s remember what follows: there will be the preliminary hearings to set out what each side will be allowed to present in their respective cases. As we saw in the other prosecutions, especially Durham’s, the prosecution can be rendered meaningless by walling off of ‘evidence’. In the Durham prosecutions it was in many cases irrelevant or unsupported. That’s even before evaluation by the finders of fact (the jury).

                  I’ve acquitted on a DUI case where the prosecution completely whiffed on putting the driver in the car in that impaired state at the time. They allegedly had a witness who was not available to testify nor was there an affidavit or deposition. This was in spite of permitted innuendos about an affair and other irrelevant stuff to a DUI.

                  As I noted above, DA Bragg knows this is a case that can make or break his political future and combined with his reluctance before now I’m leaning toward the concept his ducks are in a row here. Let’s see what makes it into evidence.

                  As part of the reason that Cy Vance didn’t pursue this (which may apply to Bragg too) was that DoJ said they would (so NYC deferred to SDNY) and when AG Barr suppressed the case he ‘accidently’ neglected to mention that NYC could proceed again.

                  • earlofhuntingdon says:

                    The apocryphal missing Big Foot.

                    Cy Vance is selling his own story. He knew enough about his once fellow Manhattanite, Bill Barr, and Donald Trump’s DoJ to know that it would not be prudent to take him/them at their word.

                    Keeping the state case on simmer would have been OK, depending on facts, SOLs, etc. Putting it on ice would have been reckless.

    • tony in san diego says:

      The judge should slap an ankle monitor on him, and forbid im to leave the jurisdiction!

      • bmaz says:

        Why???? Because you loathe him? You think pre-trial release is supposed to be putative? Seriously?

      • Ravenclaw says:

        Um, you’re talking about possibly the single most recognizable person in the world, one who is rather elderly, one who needs to put on a brave front or be revealed as the enclothed emperor to his followers, and one (above all) who craves attention and adulation. He ain’t gonna run off to live in a cabin in Bolivia and take long walks in the Andes.

      • RJames0723 says:

        Not that it would ever happen but, I would think a fugitive Trump, especially one out of the country, would be one of the better possible outcomes. No more rallies, loss of access to finances.

  4. Curious George says:

    While this case is the first to result in an indictment, and some wish it were not ( including me), it is very likely not the last. And what I think we can assume about this case, like all Trump cases, is that it will move at the speed of molasses as Team Trump files one delaying motion after another and appeals if it comes to that. Meanwhile many expect some or all of other three criminal investigations to result in indictments over the next year. And so this one, the first but least serious, will move off the front pages long before it reaches a resolution as the rest of the complicated drama unfolds. So I’m just staying tuned.

    • hippiebullsht says:

      flaming molasses carmelcorn snowballs all summer ya say? Sounds like someone is trying to distract us. Yep even the people running it think anything is better tuning in material than the insurrection committee.

      But like Marcy was talking earlier, life in these states is getting shorter, so I certainly will be thinking that direction all summer. This country deserves better. I know I deserve better love, life and leaders. Gagged out on all this toxic liberty tho.

  5. hippiebullsht says:

    Well I have carmelcorn here too but neither yall nor I can have it cuz its for the 13th birthday party tmrw!

    I live in Illinois and when George Ryan got out of federal prison I used to see him when we walked to the park, hanging out in his backyard. Now I live on the other side of town and I saw him in the grocery summer 2020 and was shocked that i could recognize him with a mask on, cuz we all had problems with that one.

    My sister lived on N Mozart up in Chicago. I remember visiting up there late aughts and then walking to the park and then due to diagonal streets when we turned a corner you could see into Blago’s backyard and when walking back he was out there yammering on the cell. Imploring and whining that the party had turned on him and the trial was pure politics.
    Wow, the real stuff you do with your kids. Yeah?

    I feel Ryan’s prosecution was a sham scapegoat rodeo. They’re doing Madigan 20 yrs 2 late say I.

    Blago’s was a circus. Pretty good idea to call that one in tho with young O rising…

    Both lawbreaking convicts though. Federal, not state.

    Anybody need a more flaming Zep take? Coalesce-Whole lotta Love
    hxc will never die

    • theartistvvv says:

      Gotta disagree on the Ryan take.

      Like the infamous bought-CDL the driver was using when parts fell off of his truck and killed the pastor’s 6 kids (and I know the lawyer initially caught that one), I also had a bought-CDL case (tho’ the CDL part was never charged in my case) when Ryan’s time in office was just ending – in my case the driver was a medication-dependent diabetic and on coke when the subject accident happened (fake med cert said he was diet-controlled), which put my guy in rehab for over 6 months with keloided scarring when the semi ran atop two cars – the lady in the other car was trapped under a hot leaking radiator for some time, horribly scarred physically, and mentally.

      Knocking out the death-penalty was good, but the fallout from Ryan’s corruption (as sec State and Governor) was severe for the three I mentioned, their families, and the rule of law, and there were other cases related to that bribes for licenses scandal. He was, BTW, convicted of numerous crimes, including “racketeering conspiracy, mail fraud, attempted extortion, illegally structuring bank withdrawals and money laundering.”

      Agree on Blago and Madigan, tho’.

    • Peterr says:

      Ryan and Blago are Johnny-come-latelies to the whole “let’s put an Illinois gov in jail” thing.

      Dan Walker (Democratic Gov from 1973-77) pleaded guilty in 1987 to bank fraud and perjury related to his post-governorship employment at a Chicago-area savings and loan. He spent 18 months in federal prison.

      The big one who started all this off was Democratic Gov Otto Kerner who served from 1961-68. Yes, this is the Kerner who chaired LBJ’s National Commission on Civil Disorders (aka the Kerner Commission). Rather than run for a third term as governor, in 1968 LBJ nominated him and the Senate confirmed him to a federal judgeship on the 7th US Circuit Court of Appeals. In 1969, however, things came off the rails. Take it away, wiki:

      n 1969, Marje Lindheimer Everett, manager of Arlington Park and Washington Park race tracks, engaged by federal prosecutors as an unindicted co-conspirator, was accused of bribing then-Governor Kerner and his Finance Director, Ted Isaacs, to gain choice racing dates for her Arlington Park racetrack. The alleged bribes were in the form of stock options in 1961 that Kerner bought at a reduced price and then sold in 1968 at a profit. The events came to light because Everett had deducted the value of the stock on her federal income tax returns in the belief that the stock option was an ordinary business expense in Illinois. Everett denied at trial that she intended to bribe Kerner, and the government never identified her as a briber.

      Even though Kerner reported the profits in his tax returns he was charged with bribery and retained Paul Connolly and Thomas Patton of Williams & Connolly to represent him. Following a 1973 trial in which his prosecutors were future Illinois Republican governor James R. Thompson and future White House Chief of Staff, Republican Samuel K. Skinner. Kerner was convicted on 17 counts of mail fraud, conspiracy, perjury, and related charges. On appeal 13 counts were overturned. Four counts of mail fraud were upheld. He was sentenced to three years in federal prison in Chicago and fined $50,000. Faced with almost certain impeachment, he resigned his position on the federal bench on July 22, 1974.

      When prosecutor Big Jim Thompson decided to run for governor, this was one prominent part of his campaign. “I’ll clean up corruption in Springfield, just like I did with Kerner.” Thompson left office after four terms (since prohibited by a change to the IL state constitution), and joined a major Chicago law firm, where in later years he served as the lead defense counsel to Gov Ryan.

      Yes, I’m old, and yes, IL state politics is very incestuous.

      • Ginevra diBenci says:

        And you’re not even talking Daleys.

        My sister lives in Blago’s neighborhood. Small world up there–she and my mom used to live in the Obamas’ back when they were still on the South Side, before they got all fancy. (The Obamas, not my family. We’ve got too many cowlicks and not enough cash.)

  6. punaise says:

    I’m in no position to dispute bmaz’s contention that this is politically driven; it’s hard to imagine that isn’t a factor.

    Meanwhile this at NY Magazine: Don’t Underestimate Alvin Bragg’s Chances Against Trump

    So Trump is in serious legal jeopardy, not least because his adversary, Bragg, is a dogged and meticulous litigator who has proved he can build complex white-collar cases. Years ago, as an assistant U.S. Attorney under Preet Bharara, Bragg successfully prosecuted misconduct by elected officials, including former State Senator Malcolm Smith, who ended up in prison. Bragg also prosecuted a slew of white-collar criminals as the state’s chief deputy attorney general, and he prides himself on not bringing frivolous cases.

    I sure hope he’s got the goods to back this up.

    (punaise jr. , who resides in Brooklyn, has the day off tomorrow. He’s going to Manhattan to watch history from a safe distance.)

    • harpie says:

      Very cool for punaise, jr.! Yay! for watching history…
      [and also for the safe distance part!]

    • Super Nintendo Chalmers says:

      Because all DAs in NYS are elected, ALL decisions they make, whether to prosecute or not, are definitionally political.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        A glittering generality. Many decisions by DAs and their executive assistant DAs are primarily made for legal reasons pertinent to each case.

  7. tinao says:

    That would be nice. Unfortunately this has me feeling loaded for bear, and don’t mean gun wise. Yo that cocaine bear movie is too much! Really it sounds about right.

  8. Lit_eray says:

    A friend sent me this: “This is extremely positive and inspiring from Michael Moore focusing on Trump’s arraignment tomorrow: h ttps://”

    I read it and replied: “I have been torn between lock the bastard up and c’mon just let the wheels of justice turn slowly as they should. Even he deserves all the protections that a rich person can muster. Actually most folks tangled in the justice system get fair treatment. Sorry, can’t celebrate that a minority of voters still can elect a president so egregious that he just may get locked up after fair trials. From what I know about the New York case it will be quite difficult to get a conviction from an impartial jury. At least tomorrow we will have more information to judge the quality of the case. Tomorrow is not the day to celebrate. I can celebrate that he will get fair trials regardless of verdicts.”

  9. Legonaut says:

    I’m planning on spending tomorrow afternoon with my elderly mother & talking her off the ledge. She watches way too many TV lawyers (not Faux News, thankfully) and is very fearful of violence, “civil war”, and four more years of Trump.

    I have to do this about once per month; more frequently if “major” developments are “reported”. Sigh.

    • tinao says:

      Ya know I took care of both my Mom and Pop, they were both Republicans. They were not the ones of today, thank God. I am a product of them and I’m a Democrat and proud as they ever were.

    • harpie says:

      Wishing you strength and serenity, Legonaut. <3

      When I told my ailing mother about the indictment,
      she responded with the most beatific smile.
      I really appreciated that.

    • Overshire says:

      The only real bright, positive result of my late mom’s dementia before she passed in late 2017 was that for the last couple of months she lived, she no longer remembered who was President of the United States. It seemed to improve her mood and ease her depression considerably. Small blessings sometimes have outsized effects.

  10. hollywood says:

    All this talk about New York, Georgia and DC. But isn’t there a Federal IRS case to be brought as a result of all the tax audits? Seemingly the man has underpaid/underreported.

    • Out of Nowhere says:

      *Sigh*. Answering here in an effort to provide some clarity. The NY, GA and DC matters you reference are criminal. If you are suggesting the “Federal IRS case to be brought” is criminal, then you should know that the statute of limitations for criminal tax matters is six years. Practically speaking, the earliest years open now are for returns filed when he was President. We know from reporting at the House Ways and Means Committee, that somehow he avoided the mandatory audit procedures for at least the first two years of his presidency. So, no, there is not a criminal case to be brought.

  11. Spank Flaps says:

    The Police “attitude test” when you get pulled over. Be polite and get away with a caution, be mouthy and they throw the book at you.
    Trump will always fail every attitude test. Bragg would have known that.
    Another thing that might embolden prosecutors is the poor quality of Trump’s lawyers.

  12. Franktoo says:

    I have heard a lot of talk about the DOJ choosing to not bring federal charges against Trump for some of the same actions Bragg is bringing state charges. This is supposed to prove that Bragg’s indictment is trivial and not worthy of being pursued against a former president. However, once Mueller closed his shop, the Trump DoJ was free to “politicize” the investigations that followed Cohen’s plea agreement and conviction. Trump also personally fired Geoffrey German (with Barr avoiding personal responsibility), the AUSA for the SDNY who presumably would be following up the loose ends involving Cohen left behind by Mueller.

    Does this sound like a conspiracy theory, or could Berman’s firing be associated the the cases Bragg is bringing?

  13. bmaz says:

    Today is a day that will live in infamy. Not because of Trump or any Manhattan indictment but because a vital dream died 55 years ago:

    • Troutwaxer says:

      I had to look up that date, but you’re exactly right. This is a very unhappy anniversary. (I was three years old when it happened.)

      And we have another awful anniversary happening on June 5th.

      • Richard Turnbull says:

        Take a look at A Lie Too Big to Fail: The Real History of the Assassination of Robert F. Kennedy (2018) by Lisa Pease — the circumstances surrounding the California Primary’s likely result, that RFK would face and defeat Richard Milhous Nixon — and the info she dug up over the course of the twenty years she spent writing the book, might surprise you.

    • James Sterling says:

      This site is the first I’ve seen, after scanning today’s news, that acknowledges the import of this date. Thanks for that. And thanks to the guardians of prudence and sobriety who keep comments focused!

      • Ginevra diBenci says:

        I’ve seen others, Wonkette for example. Always my first thought on April 4, when U2’s song fills my head and I remember Dr. King as a very young man. It’s taken many years for me to realize just how young he was when he was assassinated.

    • Kick the Darkness says:

      Ah, yes. It’s amazing, a gift really, to have those speeches easily available online. My daughter and I listened to the “Dream” speech not long ago for a school project. The power of the oratory comes right through, transcending the years to another generation. Would be a good day to listen to the “mountaintop” one.

    • Marc in Denver says:

      One of my very first memories is from a few days later, age 5, my mother crying (inconsolably?) watching his funeral (he was the former pastor at her home church, Dexter Avenue)

  14. Zirc says:

    “Anybody who thinks this is all cut and dried as Bragg makes it is a dope.”

    Serious question: How has Bragg made it seem cut and dried?


    • bmaz says:

      By rendering the indictment at all. The standard for prosecutors is to indict on only that which they believe can and will result in a conviction beyond a reasonable doubt.

      • Bay State Librul says:

        According to the ABA

        (b) The primary duty of the prosecutor is to seek justice within the bounds of the law, not merely to convict. The prosecutor serves the public interest and should act with integrity and balanced judgment to increase public safety both by pursuing appropriate criminal charges of appropriate severity, and by exercising discretion to not pursue criminal charges in appropriate circumstances. The prosecutor should seek to protect the innocent and convict the guilty, consider the interests of victims and witnesses, and respect the constitutional and legal rights of all persons, including suspects and defendants.

        Not merely to convict?

        • bmaz says:

          What a load of garbage. Nobody who actually practices law, especially criminal law, gives a rat’s ass about the decrepit ABA. They speak for nobody. And, no, if a prosecutor cannot convict, they should not indict.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          The middle-school civics class quality of that writing should give some indication of the seriousness with which the ABA regards it. Some prosecutors might aspire to that standard, but they might not fare well in the ambition race.

          • Bay State Librul says:

            I agree the term “aspirational” makes sense.
            Is the ambition race a 10K or a marathon?

            • earlofhuntingdon says:

              Always a marathon.

              As in many careers, especially corporate and the military, the filtering process at each level up the chain of command is severe.

          • Doctor Cyclops says:

            Perhaps it is true that many prosecutors think of the ABA standards as nothing more than hollow mouthings of honorable intentions. That does not negate their worth. It is the nature of an ethical code that it seeks to elevate conduct beyond that which self-interest might dictate, and the widespread violation of a rule is irrelevant to the rule’s moral or ethical value.

        • theartistvvv says:

          Consider: a person can only be convicted when the supporting evidence is, “beyond a reasonable doubt”.

          Would you have a prosecutor bring a case or cases in which he believes the evidence will not prove the crime(s) “beyond a reasonable doubt”?

          I think that even the ABA as cited applies to the discretion to *not* bring a case, perhaps even when the evidence is, “beyond a reasonable doubt.”

          • bmaz says:

            Yes, BSL would do exactly that. It is the exact opposite of everything this blog has ever stood for.

        • bmaz says:

          Everything. But between Blanche and Tacopina, Trump is finally starting to hire real lawyers. They will need others on the team though, not just in Manhattan, but elsewhere too. Will Trump actually pay for that? Cannot get by with Alina Habba running anything.

          • harpie says:

            Even if Trump wouldn’t pay for better lawyers, there are others who would. I suppose that can be done legally? [And if so, would we necessarily find out who?]

            • earlofhuntingdon says:

              A third party can always pay for someone else’s defense, subject to any restrictions independently binding on the natural or legal person paying the lawyer.

              The caveats imposed on the lawyer are that the arrangement must be in writing, it must make clear that while a third party is paying fees and costs, the lawyer’s obligations are owed exclusively to the client, not the paying party. The paying party cannot be privy to attorney client communications, lest disclosure waive a-c privilege, which belongs to the client.

              There is considerable concern that Trump and his lawyers play fast and loose with those caveats, in an effort to protect Trump.

                • bmaz says:

                  And Earl is right. It happens all the time. Usually other family members and/or friends paying the fare. That does not mean they get any voice though and cannot.

      • Fraud Guy says:

        I sat on a jury where after we rendered a not-guilty verdict, the prosecutor and defense attorney asked for feedback. When I told the prosecutor that after they presented their case, it wasn’t even a 50/50 case for me, let alone reasonable doubt, so I asked why they brought it to trial. They responded that they had probable cause, so that was enough, and that the defendant wanted a trial instead of taking a plea bargain.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Happy that that defendant had the wherewithal to take the case to trial. More than 90% of prosecutions are pled out.

          The prosecutor might have properly assessed their poor odds of winning, but took it to trial anyway, possibly owing to a cultural command not to walk away. Make the jury make them do it. A waste all round.

          • bmaz says:

            Yeah. And the thing is, those decisions are rarely that of the line level prosecutor that will be seen in the well of the courtroom. There are omnipresent “guidelines” manuals, and any case close to going to actual trial is “staffed” with upper officials and division leaders. The guy/gal you see in the courtroom almost certainly did not make that decision, and would never want to cop to it to any extent they did weigh in on the decision.

          • Fraud Guy says:

            Public defender, who stated they had counseled the defendant to take the plea bargain. They almost screwed up the case, as well, by having the defendant testify.

      • c-i-v-i-l says:

        But Bragg may believe that. We are not mind readers and do not know his beliefs about it. Just because you don’t believe it does not imply that he doesn’t believe it.

        • bmaz says:

          Huh, you don’t say. If so, why did Bragg (and previously Vance) not indict on this penny ante garbage long ago? Why did Bragg furiously rush to steal the limelight from far bigger and more important investigations right before even his (apparently) ginned up statute of limitations expired? And, yes, as citizens we do get to go behind actions of DAs like Bragg. It is literally the duty to do so.

          • c-i-v-i-l says:

            Unless Bragg himself says why he didn’t indict earlier, there’s no way I can know why, and I’m not going to pretend to know. Vance said that the DOJ under Barr “asked us to stand down.” Was Vance telling the truth? I don’t know. As I noted in an exchange with you elsewhere, I regularly distinguish between T/F claims that are knowledge (standard definition: knowledge = justified true belief) and those that aren’t knowledge (and a belief can fail to be knowledge for diverse reasons: it’s not a T/F belief at all, or it’s false, or it’s truth-value is unknown, or the belief isn’t well justified). I was talking about beliefs, not actions, and we do not KNOW Bragg’s beliefs about the strength of this case. You can conjecture about it, but I’m going to wait to see the actual indictment and evidence.

            • bmaz says:

              No, you don’t know. What you can know, but seem to disregard, are the actual facts in the timeline. But, hey, ignore all of the known facts and blithely wait for the obvious. And who are “we” Kemosabe?

              • c-i-v-i-l says:

                What on earth is your basis for concluding that I’m disregarding “the actual facts in the timeline” and “all of the known facts”? What bunk. It’s not that I’m ignoring what *is* publicly known; it’s that I’m recognizing was *isn’t* yet publicly known: the actual charges and the full set of evidence Bragg has for them. As for who “we” was in my previous comment, it’s the vast majority of people — everyone except Bragg and anyone with whom Bragg has actually shared his beliefs about it. Again: I use “know” and “knowledge” with their epistemological meanings. Lots of people treat beliefs as knowledge that actually aren’t knowledge, but just because someone believes they know something doesn’t make it true and justified. Sometimes it is, and other times it isn’t.

  15. joel fisher says:

    “Political or not”? Of course it’s political; just as a decision not to prosecute would be political. People everywhere will be (and have been) saying, “What does this say?” about every prosecutorial/appellate decision about Trump for years. Does SCOTUS take up an appeal of the indictment? Political. Does he get charged in the docs case? Political. 1/6? Political. Georgia? Political. Why no obstruction charges in the Russia investigation? Political. Crimes or not? Make the argument either way, but certainly troubling behavior. In all of these, unless the public record was completely wrong, there was plenty of info to support an indictment, yet none forthcoming. Political, political, political. Maybe the law of averages finally caught up with him.

  16. Grain of Sand says:

    Yep, it’s turtles all the way down, as my old philosophy mentor would say.
    Might the same be said of politics?

    (Rayne, I failed with permutations of my previous user name. Maybe this one will work.)

    [Thanks for updating your username to meet the 8 letter minimum. Please stick with this one. /~Rayne]

  17. PeteT0323 says:

    I am just so mentally exhausted by Trump everywhere all the time.

    So it seems.

    It is true, guilty or not in whichever venue Trump may be indicted and tried, everything he touches dies.

    • Troutwaxer says:

      Making us tired of all the crap is one of the tactics practiced by someone like Trump. It’s OK to take a little vacation from the nonsense, but never OK to excuse it.

    • ExRacerX says:

      If it makes you feel any better, TFG looks absolutely EXHAUSTED these days. Pale & sweaty, to boot, and apparently even more incoherent than usual.

  18. Rwood0808 says:

    Despite the hype attached to it, (How many times can they say “unprecedented” in one broadcast??) today will be a nothingburger.

    I’m more interested in how this case will impact the others that are on the horizon. One thing everyone can agree on is trumps inability to keep his mouth shut. Watching the Jeffry Zakarian deposition is proof of that. He tends to talk himself into “guilty” territory rather easily and so far I haven’t seen a lawyer/daughter/politician who is able to stop him.

    So what he says both in and out of the courtroom in this case may have a serious impact on what happens in the upcoming trials.

    Since these are all low-level felonies, and trump is technically a first-time offender, I don’t see him getting any jail time. The most we can hope for is a profound impact on what happens in the future.

    But you never know, trump may rage-tweet himself right into prison. If Bragg does indeed have the goods then we’ll know pretty quick. Will trump take a plea deal? I’m sure his lawyers would push hard for that just to keep his mouth shut. But then, they have their own goals to accomplish by representing him and that may run against them. Their client has been known to shop for advice from people other than his lawyer so that question will always be hanging over the proceedings.

    I would hate to be the lawyer defending him at the last trial.

      • Rugger_9 says:

        Tacopina said so, and it also fits with the Roy Cohn school of litigation that Individual-1 practices. I’m also pretty certain that DA Bragg is well aware of his need to ‘not miss the target’ here. I’m sure he’s also aware that if the case collapses like a Durham prosecution his political career is finished.

        DA Bragg filed the indictment, and now his team will try the case. The preliminary hearings will be interesting and will go a long way toward seeing if bmaz is right.

        • bmaz says:

          Oh, I don’t think Alvin Bragg understands jack shit. He has been a horrible DA who has consistently violated every principle he ran and got elected on, and is now scrambling and flailing.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      A felony conviction, regardless of prison time, is a serious impediment. In many states, a felony conviction precludes working in certain fields, as it would normally preclude obtaining a security clearance.

      As a resident of Florida, for example, I believe Mr. Trump would lose his right to vote! That is, unless the sitting governor reinstates it – after any sentence has been fully served and reimbursement, if any, has been made to applicable government agencies. (A Jim Crow practice, it continues, despite a successful referendum measure that attempted to abolish it.)

      Imagine the mirth in the governor’s mansion were DeSantis left with that decision. He would reinstate, if only to show that Mr. Trump was an elite white male and not a person of color, the usual target of disenfranchisement. But Ron would make him grovel for it.

      • RipNoLonger says:

        But the inability to obtain a security clearance doesn’t seem to be an impediment to becoming the POTUS and having access to all classified information. Maybe time for the US (and the rest of the free world) to look at how to allocate clearances.

        And maybe time for us (US) to keep better track of classified information and require someone with more authority to allow the information to move outside of controlled spaces.

  19. Troutwaxer says:

    bmaz, to respond to your top post, the conclusion I’ve come to is that you’ve probably got a really good instinct for prosecuting attorneys, and that if you say someone’s grandstanding, they probably are.*

    From the public releases so far I’m not sure about whether Bragg has the goods on the “falsifying business records” and related charges. The whole idea of “I’m bumping this misdemeanor up to a felony because…” stuff is particularly suspect in my mind and I don’t know if Bragg has what he needs to extend NY’s statute of limitations in this case. All that being said, a grandstanding attorney could conceivably have a good case, and I’m hoping Bragg will bring the good stuff.

    On the other hand, I can’t imagine a case against Trump where obstruction of justice isn’t in play, and Trump has also been typically horrible and attempted to intimidate the DA, which is apparently a felony in New York, so I suspect that any charges on either obstruction or intimidation will be substantial – as we’ve seen time-and-time again, it’s not the crime that gets you, but the cover-up, and Trump could be the poster-boy for this bit of wisdom.

    * In terms of explaining all this, you remind me a little of the Klingon captain in “The Search for Spock” who states that he knows the Enterprise is vulnerable due to “instinct” – and of course he’s right. But anyone who’s paying attention can see the screens behind Kirk as the two captains negotiate, and those screens are filled with garbage instead of tactical data, validating the “instinct.” Could the Klingon captain explain this, or is he truly registering the data below the level of his unconscious mind?

    You obviously know something, but I’d love a more coherent explanation of what’s tipping you off than “this is bullshit.”

  20. harpie says:

    This is part of the Teri Kanefield THREAD Rayne posted near the top: []
    Apr 03, 2023, 09:51 · Edited Apr 03, 10:59

    […] After I read what Haberman said, I texted Mark [Reichel, who was my mentor a few decades ago in the federal defender’s office] and said, “WTF, Trump doesn’t know the charges?”

    He confirmed my idea: after all of those unhinged attacks, Bragg probably said screw it, just bring the charges. // Why negotiate with someone who is attacking him? // So this is all very plausible to me. // We’ve all had crazy clients who would like to attack the prosecutor, but the defense lawyer is supposed to control the client. // Good luck with that.

    Here’s what this all means. . . 7/ (1) People have been taking Trump’s word for what the charges will be on the theory that he would know (because defendants usually know) // And Trump doesn’t know. [Because he’s NOT normal…SEE earlier part of her THREAD]

    (2) Trump evidently did think that he “persuaded” Bragg not to bring charges. He evidently thought his public attacks and public “defense” and the witness he sent in at the last moment might was enough to deter Bragg.
    It wasn’t. No surprise.

    (3) here is the big one: His political strategy conflicts with his legal one. 8/
    He really has to pick, and he has: the political strategy he has adopted is hurting him (and will continue to hurt him) in the criminal matter.
    He can’t do both. He can’t rile his reactionary base AND behave in a way that will lessen his criminal liability. […]

    Someone just asked this: Will Trump’s legal team find out the charges at the same time as everyone else, or do they get shown to them when he’s before the judge?

    I have no idea because I’ve never seen this happen Apparently neither has Mark. // I’m sure back before our world became so complicated, the defendant found out at the arraignment. // Imagine Trump hearing the charges for the first time in public???

    • Rwood0808 says:

      Exactly. Trump has lost the control he had prior to the charges. He now has to contend with the system, one that he has very little influence on. He’ll go on thinking he still has that influence though, as it has always worked to his advantage in the past.

      The real interesting part of today won’t be what happens in New York, but rather what he says at his “press conference” later tonight. I imagine the lawyers will go over the charges first and then attack the prepared screed with black markers (Sharpies!?) in an effort to try and control what he says, but as I mentioned earlier, trump will shitcan their advice and go off script if he feels its to his advantage in the court of public perception.

      Unfortunately for him, he’s not being tried in that court. He may never realize that. He’ll be preaching the fake news garbage to the parole board until he leaves this world.

        • bmaz says:

          “Craftily Bragg lay in wait”?

          What does this even mean? Exactly what “obstruction” does Bragg have jurisdiction over?

          This is really going to be the dumbest day here in history.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Improbable. The fear of something is much better for fundraising than the thing itself. Plus, an indictment and prosecution forces him to spend more of his own money on real lawyers, not TV ones, something he is loathe to do.

  21. Dave_MB says:

    “Criminal law will never be your personal political savior.”

    That was never even a thought. I’d like the criminal justice system to prosecute crime and criminals.
    If there’s a case ,they should bring it. If there’s not they should drop it.

    • bmaz says:

      That is dependent on what one subjectively thinks. It is a LOT more objective than that, and it includes the toll on the court system. It becomes problematic when the whims of several hold the bigger system hostage. Irrespective of what Bragg has cobbled up, that is what he is kowtowing to. And, yes, that is political.

      • Rwood0808 says:

        “You know, if you don’t want to run again, I respect that. But if you don’t run because you think it’s gonna be too hard or you think you’re gonna lose, well, God, Jed, I don’t even want to know you.” – Deloris Landingham

  22. ExpatR&RDino-sour says:

    I prefer to think about the loss of MLK, thank you to the people here who reminded me of the anniversary, and RFK as much as possible today. What two horrible losses they were. I was a young man then and, though tumultuous, they were sombre times compared to the white noise of today.

    I blame all sides for what is being played out by all parties in NYC today. I’m hopeful and maybe even confident that our judicial system will work, but I’m not sure that is what DJT wants. He has brought all of this on himself as far as I can see. He wants the spectacle, in my opinion, and it’s being handed to him. I’d quite like for him to just shut up and fade out of the national psyche altogether as soon as possible.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      “Blaming all sides” suggests exhaustion, not critical thinking. That’s the outcome Trump and his cohort want to elicit. It makes people stop participating, leaving theirs as the only team on the field. Hard even for them not to score points and win games that way.

    • Peterr says:

      I find it helpful to distinguish between the nature of the media coverage and the nature of the actual legal proceedings. To this point, we’ve seen far, far too much of the former while the latter is only beginning to become public.

  23. Bay State Librul says:

    I don’t mind being called a “dope” and my input “garbage” (although maybe I should put my phone in airplane mode).
    I guess what I object to is the ad hominem attacks on Bragg.
    Having said that, a more fitting lead would have been Dylan’s “Murder Most Foul”.
    Gotta love Dylan.
    “Dylan’s Murder Most Foul isn’t about the assassination of JFK”, one writer said. “It’s about how an event takes on meaning beyond itself and the role of spirit in the national life.”
    We are witnessing such an event today.

    • Rayne says:

      In your opinion.

      In truth we are continuing to get on with our lives while a lifelong scofflaw is arraigned on criminal charges as are thousands of other perps today.

  24. montysep says:

    Boo hoo. Bmaz says Trump won’t be imprisoned if he is convicted for these reported Class E offenses. Says NY sentencing guidelines and “no priors” leads him to that conclusion.

    That is all fine and well. Don’t want to get too far ahead but how does that play in the subsequent cases when Trump shows up with “prior” offenses on his record. Will people be satisfied with a thousand cuts approach?

    Also what’s with the ongoing preoccupation with feces poo horse shit horse manure bullshit poop doo by the esteemed moderator? Can the other moderators please limit this “shit” talking for once and for all.

    [How’s this for a moderator limiting the “shit” talking? Take a seat. /~Rayne]

    • RipNoLonger says:

      Having worked with many ex-military in my civilian contracting role, I understand that many cannot express more than mild positives/negatives without invoking some sexual terms. I’m guessing certain legal types really need to talk about digestive bodily functions to get their point across.

      A certain amount of anything is tolerable. When it becomes the body of the message it seems obsessive/compulsive. (IANAP).

  25. earlofhuntingdon says:

    No one should ever give Ari Melber license to talk without a break. Listening to him is like watching an ouroboros consume itself. But all the TV commentators are filling endless minutes with the most minute observations.

    More interesting to me is that the Don didn’t faux blond his hair at the temples, as he usually does. Sloppy. And his carrier flattop seems more puffy and windblown, without the usual helmet look. The poor man is fraying at the ages, or refusing to buy another can of lacquer.

    • Matt___B says:

      OK – what’s worse? Ari making overly-obvious minute observations? Or Ari fawning over hip-hop artists and quoting rap lyrics all the time? I choose the latter…

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        A conundrum and a question with no rationale answer. There must be a name for that.

        Ari usually trots out his arcane hip-hop and rap references to retake control of an interview going in a direction he doesn’t like. Or to end an interview that got too serious for him on a false, light note. I find the technique lame and irritating.

        • Matt___B says:

          Ari quoting hip-hop/rap lyrics might even be considered a form of cultural appropriation…I’m always irritated when he does that – helping to further the corporate news’ policy of legitimizing infotainment as the norm.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          As bmaz suggests, his affection for rap and hip-hop are probably legit. It’s how he uses it as an interviewer and TV host that I find irritating. It seems to be a control and dominance thing rather than endearingly conversational.

          • FL Resister says:

            For some reason women find Ari Melber charming, intelligent and interesting. He also makes his guests comfortable and we approve of that, generally speaking.
            Agree his rap roots seem authentic, It’s interesting you see his approach as manipulative while I see his framing as admirable and respect you both.

  26. HorsewomaninPA says:

    On a previous post last week, I had asked about the possibility of Trump’s charges including the payment to Karen McDougal which we’ve heard very little about – the coverage has most been around the porn star. What if it was part of a conspiracy with David Pecker (who got a cooperation agreement) The folks who are minimizing this may be missing the possibility that this may be larger and wider than we know. There have been no short supply of Trump’s minimizing / maximizing his involvement in order to put himself in a better light. I’m willing to wait to read the indictment to decide whether this was political or not – it is also possible that the reason why Bragg revived this is because additional evidence came to light.

    • bmaz says:

      Nobody has missed anything. Per people in the courtroom, the charges are common business level garbage being boosted into class E felonies through more garbage.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Has the indictment not been posted? Is that common by this stage?

        I ask because TV commentators are breathlessly telling me that the Don has left the building.

      • HorsewomaninPA says:

        I’ve not seen anything on this blog or other publication put forth the possibility that Trump organized and conspired to cover up multiple payments to people who had damaging information about him that he thought would affect his election likelihood and used his business to bury those payments as he ran for president. It would be different if he just paid people off if we were just a business man (business garbage, I suppose), but he was not just a business man, he was running for the highest office in our country and in making decisions about who will be in that office, to be lied to in such an intentional or organized way – is poison to our democracy and it is his fundamental behavior – fraud and deceit. If it is so routine that a business is used in this manner, then that is a bigger and different problem. But to use a business as a way to hide information from voters while running for public office is not acceptable. Repeatedly lying to voters and coordinating with others to make that lying look like it was true is not what our democracy should tolerate. This is my opinion as a voter.

        • bmaz says:

          If you have not seen anything on this blog discussing any and all of that, over years, you have either not really been reading or are being dishonest.

  27. earlofhuntingdon says:

    MSNBC has reached the McDonald’s phase of evaluating Trump’s indictment, which its commentators have not seen: small, medium, or large. As ever, Ari Melber adds his own category: jumbo.

    • bmaz says:

      I met Ari when he worked for The Nation. He is a very decent and likable chap, but totally a TV guy at this point. Hey, I like classic rock. If he likes rap stuff, okay. Not for me, but okay.

  28. Savage Librarian says:

    Looks like a lot was said while I was sleeping last night. Maybe that’s why I was jolted awake this morning when Hillary Clinton appeared in my dream. We were at an outdoor dinner party with many guests. By chance, she sat down across from me and we chatted. Then I abruptly woke up.

    I’ve had a few “precognitive” dreams in my life, one involving a local murder that ended up impacting my life in a weird way. Not long after that, I was walking through the library aisles and found a small card on the floor.

    I flipped it over only to discover a prayer card for a man who died. His name was identical to my brother’s, who was about to drive across country to visit in a week. Creepy. Fortunately, nothing adverse happened to my brother. But it did remind me that truth can be stranger than fiction. (And, just to be clear, I don’t expect to be chatting with Hillary.)

    I see a lot of truths in your post, bmaz. In fact, so much of what is said here makes a lot of sense to me. I can relate to much of it and wish I had known these kinds of things about politics and the law a long time ago.

    Even if Trump is held accountable for some of the most egregious things he’s done (which DOJ may eventually succeed in doing) it will still be stressful to witness. He has brought much sadness to the nation and the world.

    The Manhattan stuff, though, is nerve wracking, for multiple reasons, but I don’t expect to find much, if any, satisfaction there. But, then again, even though I eventually prevailed in my own civic civil case, it was a long and painful process that I wouldn’t want to repeat. It feels more like the nation is going through a time of grief than anything else. Sometimes winning doesn’t feel anything like triumph.

    • Ginevra diBenci says:

      After dreaming Unbridled won the Kentucky Derby, I told a bar full of bettors who made money when he won as an 11-1 shot. Dreamed my father-in-law had a heart attack while I was in the hospital after surgery, pleaded with nurse to override the rules regarding out-calls before 7 a.m., called my husband and insisted that he check on his dad…who had a heart attack a few hours later. Not the only ones. Pre-cognitive dreams aren’t gifts but responsibilities; every time I have struggled to determine what to do with the insights, which can be hard to decode.

      SL, when friends contemplate litigation I always tell them to think twice, and then think again. Mine is much the same as the story you relate, spending a year in criminal court with my friend and less time but way too much emotional capital on my own civil matter. The legal system is not the answer to your prayers. It won’t give you “closure.” You have to find that or create it within yourself.

    • John Lehman says:

      “ Hillary Clinton appeared in my dream. We were at an outdoor dinner party with many guests. By chance, she sat down across from me and we chatted. Then I abruptly woke up.”

      Maybe the…”lock her up!…lock her up!…lock her up!…” karma returning to Trump?

  29. bmaz says:

    Now that Bragg’s precious indictment is out, I will be waiting on the apology of “Civil” and all the others that said there was magic we must wait for.

    • c-i-v-i-l says:

      I said and implied nothing about “magic,” and I’m not going to apologize for something I didn’t say. I doubt you’ll apologize for pretending that I said something I didn’t say.

      • bmaz says:

        No. You are a joke. Find some other magical thing to magically “wait” for. Would a simple “golly, there really is nothing there” be too hard for you?

        • c-i-v-i-l says:

          Thanks for the continued insults. It wouldn’t be hard for me to say that if I agreed with you, but as I said before — and which you clearly have no interest in understanding — I don’t claim something as knowledge when it’s not justified true belief for me, and you and I are working from different knowledge bases. That’s not “magic”; it’s a basic part of epistemology. Maybe ask Ed Walker about it — perhaps you’ll learn from him even though you won’t from me (this is a reference to a classic essay by Herb Kohl, “I Won’t Learn From You”).

  30. Matt___B says:

    Oh gawd. Just saw a photograph of the Trump and his 4 lawyers sitting at the table in front of the judge at the arraignment. One of the 4 lawyers is Boris Epshteyn.

  31. hollywood says:

    Although there is some meat in the statement of facts, the indictment itself seems very bare bones boilerplate. Bragg must be confident that for each count he can marshal testimony and documents to make a prima facie case.
    Now what sort of motions will Team Trump file attacking the indictment in addition to the expected change of venue motion?

  32. Mister_Sterling says:

    Criminal conspiracy and many counts of falsifying financial records in the first degree. Not nothing. Small, compared to what is coming from DC and Georgia. Probably unnecessary, given how it has only sealed Trump’s GOP nomination. But let’s give the DA credit. Assuming each count has sufficient testimony and evidence, Bragg has a case here. It will proceed. Sloooooooowly.

      • Ginevra diBenci says:

        Yes. How can the DA assert conspiracy in a separate Statement of Facts when those aren’t among the charged crimes?

        Is the Statement supposed to put jurors in the mood to view the indictment or something? I don’t see how this material is admissable. Won’t “Facts” like the Doorman story get thrown out on the basis of not being in evidence?

  33. Alan Charbonneau says:

    I thought I’d wait until I knew about the evidence in the indictment, but now that I’ve seen it, I am rather unimpressed. That doesn’t mean Bragg cannot win, just that I was expecting something more, like conspiracy or witness tampering. Now THAT would’ve been impressive! (assuming they had enough evidence to prove that in court).

    So far, the thing that impresses me most is the posting of one of my favorite Led Zeppelin songs. I got Led Zep II for Christmas, 1969 and fell in love. WIAWSNB is great, known to fans, but not to radio stations. So thanks for that, bmaz!

    • Elvishasleftthebuilding says:

      I was working out last night in an group gym setting – usually they play music – it tends to run to things like Metallica, Guns n’ Roses – you know – things that people lift to. But out of the blue, in a situation where it was entirely unexpected, “Hound Dog” played. Holy crap. I can know comprehend that it must have been shocking when it came out. It’s a visceral listen, at least for the first 5 seconds, if you don’t expect it.
      As for the indictments, I haven’t spent anytime reading or listening to analysis. They certainly don’t seem to speak for themselves. And as for the coverage, I don’t know if the “no appealable final order” applies in the criminal context, but in my head I was wanting to yell out the term at Andrea Mitchell:

      • bmaz says:

        Big Mama Thornton or Elvis? Given your name, I’ll take the latter as a bet, but both are incredible.

          • Elvishasleftthebuilding says:

            It was Elvis.

            This generation (mine) spends a lot of time probing the roots of Elvis, and rightly so. That being said, Elvis in his day (and even later) was a shockingly compelling performer.

            Note for the moderators – I had attempted to first edit and then delete my original comment because I didn’t think it added anything to the discussion (I had not yet done my homework on reading the statement of facts). For some reason the site would not let me delete the comment, although I think it accepted my edits.

  34. chum'sfriend says:

    Was it charges of election fraud and tampering? Conspiring with Russia to thwart the will of the voters? Trying to overthrow our democratically elected government through violent insurrection? Theft of top secret documents and espionage resulting in the death and disappearance of American assets?
    It was clever use of legal statutes to run up 34 counts of accounting shenanigans in order
    to take down a former president and candidate, who needed to pay off a porn star.
    That ripping sound is the fabric of our society.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      You weren’t paying much attention to the ripping sound emanating from Trump’s White House for four years, were you? And the crime was not paying for sex. As students of Nixon are wont to say, it’s the cover-up. And here, the cover-up of the cover-up.

      As Rayne implies, most stand-ups fail miserably for years.

  35. Dipshierus says:

    ** The kind of right-wing troll mung you attempted to leave here won’t be tolerated. Beat it. /~Rayne **

  36. David F. Snyder says:

    I dunno. This is looking more like a PR win for Trump amongst his brownshirts. Sitting in a courtroom with pretty weak, seemingly-inconsequential charges … this is an image that his WWF fanbase will relate to. And the evangelicals may see him like Jesus called before Pontius Pilate.(I know, it’s a stretch, but their reality is pretty flexible). Let’s see how this plays out.

    First the J6 committee withholding interviews from DOJ, then the misfired Cannon, and now this circus sideshow pulls into town … sheesh! Still, Smith has been pretty successful lining up testimonies from within the inner circles, so may the wheels of justice continue to grind on slowly and finely.

  37. FLwolverine says:

    Marjorie Taylor Greene has already compared Trump’s arrest to the arrests of Nelson Mandela and Jesus.

  38. Mattpete says:

    For the former prosecutors;

    An apparent homeless person walks into a Miami store, eats a candy bar on camera and walks out refusing to pay.

    The next day Ron DeSantis does the exact same thing.

    Who do you charge?

    [This comment is off topic. /~Rayne]

    • bmaz says:

      Jed is a really good chap, and very right about this. Glad the Old Grey Lady gave him the space to say so.

    • Robot17 says:

      Really kind of looks like the campaign finance violations could be a crash and burn for Bragg and he’ll be left with trying to use the tax violation to enhance the records bit to a felony.


      • theartistvvv says:

        FWIW, some talking head or another tried to say that Pecker also falsified business records as a direct result of the “catch and kill” and even the other related stuff, and that might be argued to so enhance; they also mentioned the fact document speaking of conspiracy, or implying same.

        A question I have is, and I think the answer is “yes”, does the SOL affect ability to supersede?

        • Rayne says:

          That’s Pecker. There had to have been some horse trade where Pecker avoided being charged if he testified against Trump. Since Pecker and AMI weren’t charged this is not the predicate and has little value except as evidence of the scheme.

  39. Thomas Paine says:

    The longer I read these JD discussions about the wisdom and veracity of DA Bragg’s indictment, the easier it is to tell which JD’s sit at the left table and which one’s sit at the right table in Court. Just an observation from the peanut gallery.

    The DA knows his County’s Jury pool better than anyone else in the loop and he has previewed his case to a subset of the pool in the Grand Jury who voted to indict Citizen Trump. Second, we don’t know what he has, and he is under no obligation to tell us and Trump what he has until the Judge makes him. Three this ain’t bean ball. Bragg’s obligation to NY County is to nail Trump. He can DO anything he wants to do so, excellent invent evidence, within the Judge’s discretion. Despite what the guys who sit at the table on the left want to think, it does NOT have to be perceived by all parties to be fair. Most DA’s win more cases that go to trial than they lose. There is a reason for that.

    • bmaz says:

      Let me respond to this nonsense:

      1) No, you cannot tell squat about who is on what side of the proverbial aisle.

      2) Bragg does not know anything more about the “jury pool” than a thousand attorneys that work in Manhattan daily.

      3) You do not know anything about what happened in front of the grand jury, and you never will unless the transcript thereof is made public.

      4) Yes, Bragg is actually under obligation to work for the public and do so in public.

      5) Bragg’s “obligation” is NOT to “nail Trump”, it is to do justice.

      6) The implication, actually outright statement, by you that Bragg “can DO anything he wants to do so, excellent invent evidence” is gross, inexplicable, and inappropriate for this blog.

Comments are closed.