Early evening Monday here in California’s Central Valley and the horrid life continues unabated.
Especially in the repellent antics of the T-Rump (The Daily Beast):
A visibly angry Donald Trump appeared in a New York courtroom for the start of a bank fraud trial that has already sentenced his real estate empire to death.
A little after 10 a.m., Trump and his son Eric walked into court, surrounded by his large team of defense lawyers and a cadre of Secret Service agents. Trump, wearing a dark blue suit and a scowl, slowly made his way to his seat at the front of the courtroom. New York Attorney General Letitia James, whose investigators will make the case that the former president’s lies violated laws meant to maintain a fair and honest marketplace, sat in the front row behind her team of lawyers who have been digging into Trump’s faked personal financial statements for more than three years.
Justice Arthur F. Engoron, who oversaw bitter court fights during the investigation and had to repeatedly reprimand defense lawyers—and even fined the former president himself $110,000—commenced the long-awaited trial with a warm “good morning.”
Although Trump was not required to appear in person this week, he ran the risk of being found in contempt of court in yet another court case—against his former lawyer, Michael Cohen. He claimed to be unavailable for depositions on Monday and Tuesday in that case, citing the AG’s bank fraud trial, so he is expected to appear both days in New York City.
Yet in all his lying, whining bullshit, no jury to be seated:
"I think it's very unfair I don't have a jury" — Trump, who doesn't have a jury because his lawyers elected not to have one pic.twitter.com/N2K5FHMOQk
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) October 2, 2023
Quick note: ‘Earlier this year, New York Attorney Letitia James filed a form with a checkmark next to the field: “Trial without a jury.” Trump’s legal team didn’t file a corresponding form, and the former president may have regretted that inaction ever since.‘
Background/details per Salon this afternoon:
New York Judge Arthur Ergoron on Monday said that he is holding a bench trial in New York Attorney General Letitia James fraud lawsuit against former President Donald Trump because “nobody asked for” a jury trial on either side, The Messenger’s Adam Klasfeld reported. “Trump isn’t getting a jury trial in his $250m civil fraud suit brought against him by New York AG James because his legal team didn’t request one on the paperwork,” explained The Guardian’s Hugo Lowell.
Legal experts were stunned by the revelation, characterizing it as a blunder by the former president’s lawyers. “So Alina Habba didn’t demand a jury trial?!” wrote MSNBC legal analyst Katie Phang. “I wonder how Trump feels about this screw-up by his legal team.” Former U.S. Attorney Harry Litman called the decision “mind-blowing.”
“For Trump to have his fate in the hands of this judge, whom he has vilified, is malpractice by his lawyers and very ominous for him,” Litman wrote on X, formerly Twitter. “It’s incredibly easy to ask for a jury trial. You just check a box on a form. Hard to believe that Trump understood that his lawyers hadn’t done it when he’s been savaging the judge who is now the factfinder in his huge fraud trial,” he added. “I honestly can’t believe that any lawyer hired on such an important case could make this mistake,” wrote defense attorney Andrew Fleischman. “But I also can’t think of any strategic reason you’d want a bench trial in front of a judge who just sanctioned your lawyers for making frivolous arguments.”
Nutshell conclusion of the day via Bess Levin at Vanity Fair this afternoon:
During opening statements on Monday, Kevin Wallace, a lawyer for the attorney general’s office, reportedly declared that “Year after year, loan after loan, defendants misrepresented Mr. Trump’s net worth.” He argued that while it might be okay—or not illegal—to do so to get on a magazine’s rich list, “you cannot do it while conducting business in the state of New York.” Wallace also referred to what is presumably a very touchy point on Trump’s part, that, per the government, he valued his triplex in Trump Tower based on a size of 30,000 square feet, when in reality it is about one-third of that size. In a statement, James said: “Donald Trump falsely inflated his net worth to enrich himself and cheat the system. No matter how rich or powerful you are, there are not two sets of laws for people in this country.”
Trump’s legal team—the one that didn’t file the paperwork to get a jury—has of course claimed that the ex-president did nothing wrong, with Alina Habba reportedly arguing during her opening statement that the Trump Organization was just “doing business” and that “there was no intent to defraud, period, the end.” She also claimed James’s sole purpose in running for attorney general was to “get Trump,” the Times noted. Speaking to reporters outside the courtroom, Trump called the case a “witch hunt” and “a disgrace,” saying, “You ought to go after this attorney general,” because if there’s one thing the man loves, it’s a not-so-veiled threat against his enemies. According to the Times, “As he left the courtroom on Monday afternoon, Mr. Trump passed Ms. James in the front row. He glared at her. Soon after, his son Eric walked by and shook her hand.”
And in all the Orange-Turd drama, Marcy Wheeler at emptywheel, also this afternoon, showcased a possible scenario from the T-Rump — bonkers reality TV:
Here’s how it works. On the way into the trial, Reality TV Star Donald Trump made a public statement in which he told his cult followers that the judge that the judge was rogue and the prosecutor was racist. He renewed his claim that Judge Engoron erred by using Palm Beach’s valuation (the one they made in 2011, not in 2021) rather than his boast that Mar-a-Lago is worth a billion dollars.
Few outlets reported that 77-year old Reality TV Star Donald Trump had slurred his words.
No one asked why his spouse hadn’t accompanied him to this trial. (Though this time, one of his co-defendant sons accompanied him to the courthouse.)
Few outlets reported Tish James’ comments about how no one is above the law.
Many outlets were so busy reporting on Reality TV Star Donald Trump’s statements that they didn’t explain that Trump’s Parking Garage Lawyer, Alina Habba, didn’t even try to push for a jury trial, something Judge Engoron confirmed as the trial started.
Trump is going to lose this trial. Know how I know? Judge Engoron already ruled against him!
But most of Trump’s followers don’t know that. Most of Trump’s followers believe that Chris Kise’s comments about valuation were still at issue. Most cult members will see Trump’s comments today — it won’t be hard, because every outlet is carrying them — and remember that before the trial, Trump “predicted” that The Corrupt Judge and The Black Woman Prosecutor would gang up on him.
Reality TV Show Actor Donald Trump used his presence at the trial to create a reality in which he will have correctly predicted a loss that was baked in last week. Because he “predicted” such an outcome, his millions of cult followers will not only treat him as more trustworthy than the journalists playing some role in Trump’s Reality TV Show, cluck-clucking about his attacks on justice without focusing on the fraud and the more fraud and the already adjudged fraud.
Not only will Reality TV Show Actor Donald Trump have “predicted” the outcome, leading his followers to renew their faith in his reliability, but they will implicitly trust his explanation: that he lost the trial not because he is, and has always been, a fraud, but instead because Corrupt Judges and Black Prosecutors continue to gang up on him.
And in the process, Reality TV Show Actor Donald Trump will have continued the big con, the very same fraud of which he has already been adjuged. He will have once again distracted from his own fantasy self-worth and instead led people to report on his golden brand.
When you let Reality TV Show Actor Donald Trump to set the stage, as journalists, you are yet more actors in his Reality TV creation.
It’s not that journalists are bad or biased or corrupt (though some of their editors are). It’s just that Trump already cast them in a role and they’re playing it to a T.
Ain’t that some shitty shit?
Meanwhile once again, this time down in DC, another stroke of the disturbed notion in our nowadays as House Republicans crab at one another in back-stabbing, loser bullshit:
The war is on. ? https://t.co/WA8oHpltAc
— Ron Filipkowski (@RonFilipkowski) October 2, 2023
However (The New Republic):
House Republicans are planning a motion to expel Matt Gaetz from the chamber, even as he continues to threaten to expel Kevin McCarthy from the speakership.
The House GOP will move to expel Gaetz if the Ethics Committee finds him guilty, Fox News reported Sunday. Earlier this year, committee investigators reopened a probe into the Florida Republican for allegations of sexual misconduct, illegal drug use, and other wrongdoings.
Gaetz’s repeated threats to move to vacate McCarthy are apparently the straw that broke the camel’s back. “No one can stand him at this point,” a House Republican, speaking anonymously, told Fox. “A smart guy without morals.”
Fits in with the T-Rump, though. Another question — can Republicans get any worse?
Bitch babies all, or not, yet here we are once again…
Image out front is my favorite of the T-Rump mugs, though, ‘favorite‘ does not mean in any form or fashion, as in, ‘my favorite movie,’ or ‘my favorite song.’ It’s more of an anti-appreciation/like.
And aptly titled, ‘Basic Shapes,‘ by caricaturist/illustrator Chong Jit Leong (and found here), it’s an image that displays the elemental form of a purloined sociopath — a bloated profile of flatulent bile and arrogant ignorance.