Well, it wasn’t a crowded courtroom (at least at the prosecution and defense tables) but today we had the first televised hearing on the RICO case for Trump and his 18 co-defendants. I watched much of it live on MSNBC. If you want to catch up on details of the hearing and related matters in GA here’s a link to CNN that will fill you in some. As for today’s hearing it was focused on three things. 1) Whether Chesebro and Powell would have a “speedy trial” that would start in late October. (Seems so) 2) Would Chesebro and Powell (and possibly John Eastman who’s moving for a speedy trial, as others might also do) get separate trials or be tried together.
Although the ruling didn’t come down until after the hearing while it was going on the judge seemed inclined to have them tried together. Later in the afternoon he formally ruled yes, they are in fact going to be tried together in the same trial. 3) Will, as DA Fani Willis is requesting since some defendants are exercising their right to a speedy trial and are prepared to go in October everyone else can/should be too so have one big trial for everyone. Starting in late October. The judge seemed skeptical on that issue and while he hasn’t issued a formal ruling it seems likely there will be at least two trials. One for those who want a speedy trial and an additional trial(s) for those who want more time.
Whew! That was a lot of ground to cover in a hearing that took less than an hour and a half but it’s just the beginning. I found it interesting that the judge let the lawyers for both sides know there would be weekly status hearings. The important point is that like today’s they will be televised. That’s how they roll down in Georgia. All the courtroom have cameras and if todays seemed to only show the judge’s face and the backs of the heads of the lawyers I have a feeling that before long another camera or two will be added. Perhaps from over the jury box so we won’t see the juror’s faces when the time comes. (Something Willis is concerned about which the CNN link gets in to.)
So-called Reality TV isn’t. It’s scripted, albeit to varying degrees depending on the show but writers and producers craft what people do and say to make things “more dramatic.” For everything that’s shown in some hour long episode of some “Reality” TV show (say The Apprentice) there are countless hours of footage that simply aren’t what producers think will be interesting. Not to mention outtakes of when “stars” (say Trump) flub their lines and they have to do multiple takes. If only all those thousands of hours of b-roll locked away of The Apprentice were to see the light of day…
Anyway, without The Apprentice and the carefully crafted image of Trump as super businessman and one of NYC’s “Masters of the Universe” (he never was actually one of those considered part of that group) he’d have never become President. But being a showman as well as a grifter Trump knew damn well how to rule production with an iron fist to make sure HE came out of every episode looking like he wanted to look – all knowing and all powerful.
The man who could break careers and lives with a curt or even nasty comment and of course the two words he loved to say (“Your Fired”) at the end of episodes, or the person who could make the “winner’s” dreams come true. A fabulous job with gargantuan pay and perks and be set for life career wise. It would be interesting to do a follow up with all the “winners” to see what “reality” turned out to really be.
My point though is that with his TV show Trump was in control. Especially when it came to his own time on camera. NOTHING with him in it was shown without his express approval and he paid attention if he got tipped off about praise or “less than praise” from contestants and maintained control over that too. Image. HIS image was all that mattered to him because that’s what made him money both via the show and in wider business dealings. Trump just loved “Reality” TV, at least when HE was in control of the “reality” that appeared on people’s TV screens each week.
Well, he’s going to be starring in an actual REALITY show. But in this one he has NO control. Not of most of the cast as in his co-defendants, the prosecutors and the judge. Only himself (and this is one show he DOESN’T want to appear on!) and his lawyers. Hell, he can’t even control who does the lawyering for his co-defendants. It’s been said by many for a long time Georgia was going to be different for Trump. Even that he was more worried about the Georgia case than all the others including the January 6 case up in DC where he knows he’s going to lose and “bigly.”
Georgia people said was going to be different and that Trump’s been aware of it for a while. Why? Sure, there’s the issue of no pardon in Georgia which is one of only three states where a Governor doesn’t have pardon powers. Not to mention Kemp has long signaled he will respect the process and the rule of law when it comes to Trump.
But the more I’ve thought about it the more I’m thinking that what is freaking Trump out is that a new and quite real Reality TV show has started. One in which he will be the star.
And one in which he will have NO control!
It’s all going to be shown live and unfiltered. Trump will be sitting there with a group of co-defendants. Maybe not starting next month but the time will come. But even if he’s not part of the first batch to stand trial he’s going to be front and center because it’s become clear a central theme from his co-defendants is going to be “I did what Trump told me to do”, or what someone (maybe one of their co-defendants even) told them “Trump told them to tell me do do and I believed I was acting on his orders.”
This is a RICO case, sprawling as such cases are in scope and even if it’s a long time before Trump himself is sitting in the courtroom all the dirty laundry of the entire multi-faceted criminal conspiracy is going to be exposed. Some of it from people with names MAGAs will know. People they know had Trump’s ear and who he (at least once upon a time) trusted. AND people he once trusted and whose names they know (Bill Barr in particular) saying Trump was told the truth, didn’t like it and sought out people who told him what he wanted to hear. People who are now on trial with him!
RWNJ news, including at least for a while Fox will try to shield MAGAs from it all, but it will be like the Watergate hearings back when I was in high school. Staunch Republicans back in my small midwestern town might not have watched the evening news (there was no cable news network with 24 hour programming back then) so as not to hear things they didn’t want to hear but people talked about it every day damned near everywhere. As a result, even for those who tried…
THEY COULDN’T ESCAPE IT!
That’s what’s going to happen to Trump in his Georgia Court TV Reality Show. Day after day, week after week it’s all going to be on TV and he can’t do a damned thing to control it. Or who sees it or worse tries to avoid it but still hears about it and from people they know well enough to start thinking to themselves “Say what? Man, I didn’t know THAT!”
The flaming orange human shaped rectum we know as Donald J. Trump considered himself the “Master of Reality TV.” Well, he’s THE star of a brand new REAL Reality TV show.
And IT is going to master HIM.