As I’ve been watching the slow motion debacle of the Trump crime family testimony from afar, there’s been one thing that has kept puzzling me. But now I may have the answer, and it might portend more good times ahead.
Here’s what’s been puzzling me. For the most part Trump’s legal flying monkeys have been pretty aggressive on cross examination. Hell, Michael Cohen spent almost time on cross examination as he spent being questioned directly by prosecutors. Diaper Donnie Redux spent a morning in court with his thumb up is ass because the cross examination of the state’s expert witness on valuation ran overtime.
But the testimony of the Trump mob has proceeded at almost warp speed. Dipsh*t Donnie Jr. was on the stand for a day and a half, which makes perfect sense, since he was Daddum’s hand picked dimwit to run the day to day “corporate” operation when Traitor Tot handed control over to the Gruesome Twosome. Concrete Boy Eric was done with his testimony in one day. And even El Pendejo Presidente, with all of his bluster and bullsh*t was done in one day. Something didn’t add up.
It does now, thanks to Suzanne Craig, the brilliant NY Times reporter who broke the Trump tax story, and who has been covering the trial inside the courtroom. She dropped the other shoe right on my flat head when she said that one of the reasons that the testimony proceeded so quickly was that the Trump lawyers didn’t cross examine any of them. Which at first blush seems almost ludicrous, since either the prosecution scored heavy points on all of them, or they did it to themselves.
But on calmer reflection, it now sings like the fat lady. In cross examination, the lawyers can only discuss issued brought up on direct examination. And the prosecutors laid their legal traps with great care. Trump’s lawyers going over the same ground on cross examination would only reinforce the initial impression of the testimony, and worse, expose them to more questions on re-direct. Better to let sleeping dogs lie.
Because by late this week or early next week the prosecution is going to rest their case. And then is will be the defense’s turn to present their rebuttal case. To be perfectly honest, my gut clenches when I think of the kind of 3rd rate, Walmart reject expert witnesses those ambulance chasers are going to call to the stand. And don’t even get me started on their character witnesses. What are they going to do, put a psychic gypsy on the stand, and hold a seance so that John Gotti and Roy Cohn can testify?
But there are three names I’m pretty damn well sure are going to be on the defense witness call list. Donald Trump, Donald Trump Jr., and Eric Trump. It’s simple legal logic. These three got their asses kicked on the stand. But when the defense calls them, they’re friendly witnesses, the defense is no longer constrained in their questioning. They can rephrase damaging prosecution questions in a way that gives The Axis of Evil literary license to create fanciful, probably unbelievable answers as to why the actions they took were not illegal, no matter what it sounded like before. And no matter how hesitant the other two may be about another trip to the legal dungeon, Traitor Tot is going to want his full chance to milk that witness stand like a Golden Guernsey cow.
But there are two real risks to this strategy. The first is that no matter what imbecilic drivel they invent on the stand, once the defense lawyer sits down, the prosecution gets their chance on cross examination, and they can do a real Freddie Krueger on them, highlighting the inconsistencies between their new, improved revisionist history and their original testimony. And these three mental midgets won’t know whether to sh*t, go blind, or wind their watches.
But as bad as that prospect potentially is, this very real risk is legions worse. Personally, I’m convinced that El Pendejo Presidente’s bargain basement mouthpieces are every bit as bone stupid as he is. Just like the MAGA caucus, they’re nothing but performance artists in this trial, because that’s the only way they’ll continue to get paid.
These twits are going to cast a wide net looking for deals containing similar circumstances to their crimes they can use as examples to show how it wasn’t fraud. But there’s the risk involved with this legal malpractice strategy.
If it’s relevant and the prosecution didn’t bring them up, it’s highly likely that legally they were outside the parameters of direct testimony, and could be objected to and struck. But if the defense asks the question, and the prosecution doesn’t object, then the question is asked and answered, and becomes part of the testimony.
And if/when that happens, then it’s Katie-bar-the-door. Because once the defense opens that door, on cross examination the prosecution is welcome to drive a platoon of tanks through that door and bombard the defense with it. They can now introduce their own evidence to prove that the new example was also fraud, and that the defense tied the two together, and tied their clients to them with barbed wire. And they can do that with every stupid comparison example the defense drags up.
The only x-factor in this equation I can see is Ivanka Trump. She dodged a bullet by resigning from the organization before these alleged crimes were committed, so she’s not a co-defendant. But if she’s hauled back up on the stand, and asked the wrong question, she could open herself up to legal liability. And if she answers the questions honestly, she could do far more damage than good to the Trump mob. My guess is that the defense will chose to let that particular sleeping dog keep right on snoozing. But with these mental defectives? Who knows.
That’s how I see it. The simple fact that the defense didn’t even try to rehabilitate their clients on cross examination leads me to believe that they’re going to try to rehabilitate them on direct examination as part of their rebuttal case. And these ass clowns are in so far over their heads they can’t even see the surface of the lake anymore. That way lies disaster. Don’t touch that dial.
I thank you for the privilege of your time.