Oh mama, I’m in fear for my life from the long arm of the law   Styx Outlaw

Oh, Man! So often in these hearing things, what looks like a wharf riot in the making in the lead up, turns out to be a slap fight at a garden party. Not today. Not with Judge Tanya Chutkan on the bench.

This is not sarcasm, nor is it meant as an insult. Judge Tanya Chutkan is everything that Judge Aileen Cannon isn’t. Judge Chutkan is smart, savvy, and has almost a decade of judicial experience under her belt, not to mention vast experience in court before her elevation to the bench. Judge Cannon has almost no judicial experience, and almost no actual court experience as a former AUSA before her freak elevation to the bench in the dying days of the Trump dynasty. And most importantly, Judge Chutkan is a hard and level headed jurist, one totally committed to the law. Judge Cannon is a star struck judicial teeny-bopper, beholden to her master, and with apparently little actual devotion to the law as a concept.

And today Judge Chutkan brought her A-Game. This is her courtroom, and she’ll brook no bullsh*t from anybody. But moreover, it was obvious that she had done due diligence on the lawyers appearing before her on both sides, and had a feel for their styles and goals. Most importantly, she had obviously done her homework on one Traitor Tot.

For instance, Special Counsel Jack Smith basically asked for pretty much a blanket Order of Protection. Chutkan knows an opening gambit in negotiation when she sees it. Likewise, The Trump legal gnomes pretty much asked for permission to put whatever they get on News Max or The Drudge Report. Judge Chutkan also knows horsesh*t when she sees it.

Like King Solomon, Judge Chutkan split the baby, although not quite in half by my reckoning. Former US Attorney Harry Littman pegged it at a 60-40 split for the prosecution. My take was a little closer to 65-35%, But the way she did it covered every base she wanted to cover.

Chutkan gave Smith what he wanted the most. Trump will be unable to view any sensitive evidence, such as names and addresses of grand jury and FBI witnesses, along with other things without at least one of his paid lawyers present. Trump is forbidden from taking an y notes, or carrying any digital reproductive equipment, such as a cell phone with a camera, or a digital camera to photograph evidence. One Ruby Freeman and Shea Moss is enough for a case, thank you very much. She also put the kibosh on the Trump legal team using unpaid legal volunteers to examine sensitive information. Go sell a building or something.

But she also gave the defense enough of what it wanted to serve two purposes at once. One, it showed conclusively that she was not a prosecution lap poodle, like Cannon is for Trump. Two, she made it clear that repeated violations of her orders and rulings could lead to her adjusting the order to the detriment of the defense.

Then she kicked Trump in his ego balls, more than once. The first thing she did was to throw Trump lawyer John Laura under Trump’s own bus. She grilled Lauro on Trump’s repeated rally assertions that he doesn’t care what happens, nobody is going to violate his First Amendment Rights to shoot off his mouth and threaten witnesses and expose sensitive case information. I’m hoping that Lauro was wearing Depends when he rose to reply, otherwise he must have asked for a brief recess afterwards. Lauro stammered through numerous assurances that not only would His Lowness adhere to her rulings and instructions, he’d adhere to the Order of Protection as well. This not only places him in direct conflict with his own client, but it allows Judge Chutkan to slap him around like a tetherball if Trump defies her.

Then Chutkan gave Trump a chainsaw vasectomy. While she repeated and defended Trump’s First Amendment Rights, she also reminded Lauro repeatedly that his client is still a criminal defendant, and subject to the same rules as any other criminal defendant. And violating those rules could lead to increasing sanctions of severity if he continues his non compliance.

Then she swung for the fences when she told Lauro that while Trump had every right under the constitution to run for President, that didn’t mean jack sh*t to her. Trump is still nothing more than a criminal defendant in her courtroom. She put Trump and his defense team on notice when she said that his political calendar would have no effect on her rulings or scheduling decisions. And just to rub his nose in it, she repeated once again that he was a criminal defendant, subject to the rules and schedule of the court.

Look, we all know that this is just legal Kabuki, and Trump could give a sh*t less. He isn’t going to let some minority woman in a black muumuu tell him what to do. Looking weak in front of his slobbering base would be the kiss of death. And so Judge Chutkan put the hammer down where it hurts the most.

Trump’s entire legal strategy is to try to delay the trial until after the election when with a victory he could make it go away. And so in one smooth move Chutkan grabbed that toy out of his hand.

And then she took him behind the woodshed. She told Trump’s lawyer that it was his responsibility to make it clear to his client that he needed to dial down the threatening rhetoric. Continued escalating threats against prosecutors, the judge, and potential or actual witnesses would leave her no choice but to move up the trial date to ensure a safe and orderly environment. Talk about putting Dracula under a sun lamp.

That’s it. The two sides will meet again in her court on August 28th for the already scheduled preliminary hearing. And this time Trump will be required to be present. If any of Trump’s lawyers have the cojones to give him an unvarnished version of today’s hearing, it will be interesting to see how The Cheeto Prophet behaves himself the next two weeks. Because it should finally be starting to sink in to him that not only is he finally facing a woman who isn’t intimidated by him, that woman has the legal authority to make his life a living hell. Don’t touch that dial..

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  1. Remember a time when competence, ability, knowledge and wisdom were important?

    In THIS judges courtroom, they never went away.

    Bad news for criminal defendants with idiot lawyers.

    • You forgot to point out the fact that she also used to be a defense lawyer so she literally knows how to support a defendant’s rights in a courtroom. (Of course, I’m guessing few of the defendants for whom she worked were arrogant white sociopaths who thought only of themselves and thought everyone else was little more than a peon or a paper plate that you threw away after use.)

  2. I think Judge Cannon’s superiors will be rethinking letting her stay on the bench much longer, what with this wonderful example of how a trial SHOULD be run!!!

    • She has a lifetime appointment. It’s hers for life unless she resigns or is impeached by the House and convicted by the Senate, something that’s never happened if I’m not mistaken. (a handful have resigned instead of facing the larger disgrace) Even if disbarred she can’t be removed without being impeached and convicted – only barred from hearing cases.

      • Doing a check, and there have been some impeachments that did lead to removal.

        In 1912, Robert Archibald faced 13 articles of impeachment and was found guilty of 6 articles. He was removed from office because 5 of those met the 2/3 majority requirement (the most noteworthy being Article I in which he was found guilty by 68-5 and Article V with a guilty vote of 66-6). Apparently–from the Wiki article covering impeachment investigations–there was an additional vote to remove him from office and disqualify him from future office which passed 39-35.

        In 1933, Halsted Ritter was also impeached (for the crime of “bringing the judiciary into disrepute”) and convicted by the bare majority of 56-28 and then he was removed from office.

        In 1986, Harry Claiborne was impeached and removed from office, but he was also serving a prison sentence for tax fraud during his impeachment (he didn’t resign his position but, oddly enough, the sole article which didn’t lead to his removal involved his having been found guilty of tax fraud by a jury).

        In 1989, both Alcee Hastings and Walter Nixon were impeached and removed from office. Both men filed lawsuits challenging their Senate convictions and removals which was finally decided by the Supreme Court in 1993 (in a ruling on Nixon’s specific case) that courts had no jurisdiction over the impeachment process as the Constitution affords the Senate “sole” jurisdiction over impeachment.

        Even more recently, there was Thomas Porteous in 2010. He faced 4 articles of impeachment, and was found guilty on all 4 counts (and was then barred from ever holding a public office again).

        But, more of those who faced impeachment investigations chose to resign rather than go through the investigations. (There were also a sizable number whose investigations didn’t actually make it to impeachment as the House committee or the full House failed to pass any articles of impeachment.)

    • Can the trial be taken from her? If that is possible I would think her superiors had better be considering it. They should consider it if they want the citizens of our country to have any respect at all for the judiciary and it is pretty damned close to no respect whatsoever right now.

  3. I watched msnbc cover her instructions and warnings. I would love to be there to see how his attorney tries to rein him in, and, how he will need to emphasize this judge has made it crystal clear he is just another criminal defendant…not ‘president’ or any other elevated title. After all the media pimps keep calling him ‘president’ to feed his delusional ego, this will be a slap across his face. That is if his lawyer has the cajones to rely the message. Either way, Vegas should start taking bets on exactly how long baby huey can live with this wound to his narcissism before he does exactly what she told him clearly to not do. This weekend? A week? Anything beyond that is wishful thinking. Either way, we ALL know he won’t make it to trial.

    • I don’t for a second think Trump will behave himself. But on the 28th, he’s going to be there in court and will get a cold dose of reality from the judge. If only cameras would be allowed, even just still cameras to capture his facial expressions. However, while being a criminal defendant is still new territory for Trump, and he’s only got a bit of “sigh” from the magistrate judge that handled his arraignment he DOES know that once he’s in a formal court proceeding, even if only a deposition he’s not in control. Not that he hasn’t been surely and uncooperative but he’s avoided pushing things ss hard as to avoid the “well, we’ll have to go see the judge” thing. As a criminal defendant he can’t avoid sitting there with the judge looking DOWN at him. Hearing judge Chutkan tell him right to his ugly face he’s no different than any other criminal defendant in her court will be a sobering momeent for him. Worse, I think she’s dead serious that if he tries playing his games outside her courtroom his worst fears will be realized – he WILL have his trial date start when the prosecution wants. Realistically it can’t be moved up from the schedule Smith has proposed but the judge will have a lot of discretion in making the trial take place on the prosecution’s proposed schedule. AND, unlike Cannon judge Chutkan knows what she’s doing and how to write orders/rulings that will hold up on appeal after Trump is convicted. THAT is the thing that will have Trump’s lawyers shaking in their boots. She wouldn’t have made that threat if she wasn’t serious about doing just what she said, and they are going to have to at least try to explain to Trump he’s not in the MAGA World version of Kansas anymore!

      • Bingo. He will continue to act like the spoiled toddler he is. It is a given. Now what can be done about that when he does violate everything laid down by the judge? I’d like to know why putting his idiot a$$ behind bars was not mentioned? Did I miss that?

  4. Finally someone that doesn’t give a dam who or what Trump is. And it’s a black woman. This rocks. And I guarantee Trump is dumb enough to test her. And I guarantee it will go over like the proverbial lead balloon. Good luck Trump. You going to need it. I almost feel sorry for the loser. Almost, nah you deserve everything you are going to get.


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