This fireside chat technique of Letitia James is interesting. On the one hand, it’s a great idea because she provides a factual summary of what has taken place in the Trump Organization fraud trial. That has considerable value considering all the right-wing distortion which immediately follows one of these. It’s the right-wing media’s job to reinterpret the events of the day in court in Bizarro world fashion that favors the defendant, Donald Trump.
But on the other hand, Twitter/X is such a cesspool now that Elon Musk has turned it into Hate Speech Central, that the effort is almost wasted. The attorney general gets reviled simply for doing her job. So does the judge and the courtroom staffers. MAGA has become such a hostile force, particularly on social media, that little if any actual civil discourse is possible. That said, here’s James’ latest. I give her all the credit in the world for trying.
This week, we heard testimony from Donald Trump's expert witnesses.
These witnesses weren't experts on the issues in this case and could not refute the facts.
But some of them are Donald Trump's longtime friends, political contributors, and a Mar-a-Lago member. ⤵️ pic.twitter.com/I9oWUihcdB
— NY AG James (@NewYorkStateAG) November 17, 2023
The tragic part here is that James is absolutely right. These “experts” were not experts. But in the unserious world in which we live, where the king of TV sensibility, namely Trump, is seeking only to try the case in the court of public opinion, facts get buried.
The tragedy of all this is that Trump doesn’t care. His witnesses were nothing short of ridiculous on a legal level. They did not help his case — EXCEPT for the fact that they provided sound bites and video feed. His so-called experts can be heard complaining about being insulted, or openly insulting a large insurance company, and lawyers can be heard shouting about a witnesses refusal to do normal things, like state his credentials.
This is a legal trial being warped into a right-wing performative theater exercise. That’s all Trump knows to do and that’s all that he can do.
And this lack of norms that Trump has come to stand for has poisoned other parts of our government as well. We now live to see the departure of George Santos, which cannot come soon enough. Santos was a fraudster par excellence, stealing his supporters blind and using the money for Botox, OnlyFans and Hermes luxury items. And make no mistake, Santos would have kept lying and grifting if he would have been able to.
The man needs to be not only thrown out of the House immediately — which may now happen, finally — and he absolutely needs to have his salary cease. There is no way that pyrotechnic misbehavior on this level should be collecting a salary.
And that would be a good thing for two reasons: 1. If Santos can’t collect a check, he’ll definitely want out of the lower chamber. He’s only ever been in it for the money and there isn’t an ounce of remorse anywhere in the man’s soul and 2. It would indeed set a precedent, and a necessary one, for people to see that somebody utterly corrupt is put at the door and not allowed to keep casting a ballot.
Again, this is something Kevin McCarthy or any kind of a moral Republican conference would have handled differently in a different day. But this isn’t a different day, this is now.
And so once again we watch the attorney general of the State of New York do her best to see that the rule of law is upheld, while all around her, angry voices rampage and vent, wanting to tear everything down. And we continue to watch ragged ends fray everywhere in our government.
I hope we make it through this passage. I sincerely do.