You know, when compared to the normal 3rd rate bottom feeders that Traitor Tot ends up signing criminal retainer checks for, Todd Blanche is a rock star. He is actually well regarded as a smart, competent, competitive lawyer.

The only problem is that Blanche has those credentials more for his 10 years as a federal Assistant US Attorney. Blanche actually has minimal criminal defense experience, and that lack of experience is killing his client. It doesn’t help that His Lowness is constantly angrily shoving notes at Blanche and whispering in his ear.

MSNBC legal analyst and criminal defense lawyer Danny Ceballos summed up the defense attorneys pre trial speech to his client, Look. Don’t roll your eyes in court. Don’t toss your pencil in the air, growl, shake your head or mutter. Just sit there and try to look not guilty. And whatever else you do, Leave. Me. Alone!

It’s not like Blanche isn’t trying. Trying to walk a tightrope that is. He sits there and listens to his client, or reads his notes, leans over to respond calmingly, pats him on the shoulder, and then turns around and does what he wants. That’s the only way to handle a client like El Pendejo Presidente.

But his inexperience is killing his client in court, and in two major areas. But here I must digress for a moment. The entire purpose of the post trial appeals process is to give the defense and the defendant a place to redress possible excesses and incorrect judicial rulings from the bench that detrimentally affected the defendant during the trial, and let the jury consider things they shouldn’t have.

But here’s the McGuffin. In order to appeal a ruling, you have to object to the question or statement. And Blanche isn’t objecting! The most common form of an objectionable question is a leading question. That’s a question that’s phrased in such a way that the question itself telegraphs the answer to the witness. The common routine is for the lawyer to ask the question, and the other lawyer immediately surges to his feet and says, Objection Your Honor. Counsel is leading the witness. To which the judge replies Objection sustained. Whereupon the first lawyer rephrases the question, which the witness proves the already known response to. But the critical point is that by objecting to the question, the defense attorney reserves the right to bring that point up on appeal.

But Blanche isn’t objecting. It’s so bad that when Blanche asked for a mistrial after the Stormy Daniels testimony, in declining the motion, Judge Merchan told Blanche in open court, If you wanted to raise this motion now, or raise it on appeal, you needed to object to the questions when they were asked. 

Worse yet, the prosecution has already twigged with what’s happening. There’s an old adage in football and basketball, If a play is working, keep running it until the defense shows that they can stop it. And as a result, the prosecution is shamelessly leading witnesses during questioning, knowing they’re safe as houses since Trump can’t raise those points on appeal since the questions weren’t objected to. And the funny/sad thing is that when the defense has objected to leading questions, Judge Merchan has sustained the objections the majority of the time. You would think that this would mean that the defense would be more freewheeling in their objections. Keep objecting until the judge stats ruling against you.

The second area of inexperience rearing its ugly head is cross examination, and that’s actually a combination of inexperience and arrogance. It killed them with Stormy Daniels, and it’s killing them with Michael Cohen.

First stormy Daniels. As I wrote at the time, and as Blanche should have known, It’s kind of hard to slut shame a porn star. Especially a porn star like Stormy Daniels. Daniels isn’t some star struck, disillusioned young woman trying to make a living selling her body. Stormy Daniels is a professional.

And she’s shown it since day one. She started out as an exotic dancer, but quickly found that the dancers who made the best tips had appeared in porn movies. So she started appearing in porn movies, and had a talent for it. To the point where she no longer has to appear before the camera, now she does her work behind the camera, in producing and direction. And she’s proud of her career and accomplishments.

Whether your legal shark is wearing tailored suit pants or a tailored suit skirt, you’re screwed with a woman confident in her own skin. One line of questioning Daniels fielded was as follows;

  • You have appeared in more than 100 adult movies, is that correct?
  • Yes
  • And you have produced and directed more than 100 more afult films, is that correct?
  • Yes
  • With that background, I should think that it wouldn’t surprise you to walk out of a bathroom to the sight of a man sitting on a bed in his underwear?
  • On the set, I know the characters and the script

That’s devastating. She’s not ashamed of her profession, and has the perfect reply. When she testified that when she was Trump on the bed in his underwear, with a bodyguard outside the door, her stomach knotted. Sje was asked if she seriously feared for her safety, to which she calmly replied, Not at all, that was just my natural female insecurity as a woman in a modern world. stand up and take a bow, FOOL! Show me a man or woman on that jury that can’t sympathize with a woman suddenly finding herself in a potentially compromised position.

believe or not, ther’re doing even worse with Cohen. My greatest fear was that on the stand on direct examination, Cohen would pull a Stormy Daniels, and start embellishing her answers and cruising off into the woods, forcing the judge to admonish her to restrain herself only to the questions askes. But Cohen was spot on and controlled, answering every question precisely, and humbling admitting to the errors of his ways. He was a model witness in drawing the roadmap of the previous testimony and documentary evidence.

Todd Blanche f*cked up. Bigly. He ignored a simple question, What good does it do to whop on a whipped dog? Cohen already emotionally testified on direct examination that his fixation with Trump had cost him his freedom, his law license, millions of dollars in New York and Chicago taxi medallions, since convicted felons cannot own them, his business, his legal bills damn near crippled him, and it finally took a family intervention to break him from Trump and keep from hitting rock bottom. Michael Cohen described himself on the stand as a broke and broken man. What the f*ck is there left for you to do to Michael Cohen?

Todd Blanche made the tactical decision to go after Cohen like Freedie Krueger. And it backfired like a ’64 Dodge. Blanche ripped him with previous negative statements that he had made about Trump, and asked him if that were true?, to which Cohen quietly replied, Yeah, I would have said something like that. Blanche kept hammering away at him, and Cohen kept sitting there placidly answering the questions.

Sweet Jesus! How many different ways can a couple of lawyers find to make sympathetic characters out of people who, under almost any other conditions, couldn’t buy sympathy with bitcoin? Blanche hammering away at Vohen like that is like a principal taking a rod to a kid who has already admitted his mistakes, apologized, and cried. It had to be painful to watch if you have human feelings.

If Trump does down on this thing, which it’s going to be a combination of two things. First, it will be an exceptional case presented by the prosecution, finding every last thread of conspiracy to Trump’s payoffs, and then having a master craftsman like Cohen to weave it into a devastating tapestry. And second, for being inexperienced enough to make it a cake walk for the prosecution to get evidence in without fear of reversal on appeal, and for making sympathetic figures out of two witnesses that the jurors normally wouldn’t have been caught dead shaking hands with. Don’t touch that dial.

I thank you for the privilege of your time.

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  1. Cohen is more believable and sympathetic than Trump.

    That’s all he needs to be.

    And let’s face it, it’s not a high bar.

  2. Amidst all the devastating testimony, the comment that stood out to me was when Cohen testified that he asked Trump how Melania would react to the news of Trump’s affairs. Trump answered, “Don’t worry. … How long do you think I will be on the market for? Not long.”
    If there was any doubt about how little regard he had for Melania (or his previous wives), that comment really sums it up.


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