21 Comments
founding

I agree with Gov. Cuomo who explained that Trump’s conviction was a farce and would not have been possible in any other state or if his name was not Trump. I do not like or support Trump at all - but I am opposed to Liberals bringing Trump to trial for things that others would not be prosecuted for. The Left is so determined to find something to charge Trump with that it is harming itself. Had Trump not been prosecuted these last 15 months, he may have fallen from the public’s mind and been nearly forgotten. Instead, by putting him on trial for things that other business people would not have been tried for, he stayed front and center on the news every night.

If the Left wishes to regain any ground in society, it needs to purge itself of the idiotic extreme Left. The Left has created more harm than good in recent years. That is a horrible legacy.

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Whatever one might think of Mr Trump, he faced a kangaroo court deliberately organized to destroy him. He lost an unfair contest. So did the honor of the United States.

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Jun 17·edited Jun 17

This was excellent! Both sides were presented intelligently by experts in the field. Lots of facts, lots of legal explanations. Anyone who thinks this discussion was one sided against Trump didn’t actually listen to it. Good Job!!!

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When you're on trial, you should know at the start what crime you're accused of. That trial made the charges at the end.

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Waste of time, not a genuine debate. Too one sided against trump. Bari, this was not worthy of your brand ;)) love you tho

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Jun 11·edited Jun 11

You lost me when Zauderer asserted that New York State was the crème de la crème of justice systems. He must have no idea how broken justice in NY looks to normies. Normally I love listening to Sarah Isgar, but a more assertive and combative interlocutor was needed to cut through Zauderer’s sanctimonious crap.

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NY law and procedure might be relatively fairer to defendants in some aspects of jury selection.

But real fairness, or at least its perception, would have been served by granting a change of venue. (Admittedly, changes of venue seem to have been falling out of favor over the several decades.)

And recusal should have been mandatory -- the judge asking the ethics panel's opinion -- rather than recusing in the first instance -- was just passing the buck from one person to a committee of people all desperate to "get Trump" -- or desperate not to be accused of aiding him.

And NY law and procedure are not so relatively fair regarding the order of presentation of closing arguments, giving the prosecutor the last (and longest) word, with no defense rebuttal. (Most states have the prosecution go first at closing (the prosecution has the burden, after all), followed by the defense, then sometimes a short prosecution rebuttal.)

The two lawyers in this podcast conversation, despite having the jury instructions available to them, do not even seem to understand the structure of what was charged.

The otherwise-misdemeanor documents charge was raised to felony level by alleging an intent to cover up a violation of section 17-152 of the New York State election law. NYS Elec 17-152 is not a "definition" (as seems to be stated in the podcast) but a stand-alone misdemeanor residing in the election code. 17-152 was the "predicate crime" for raising the charge to felony level -- not any of the other allegations.

So an intent to cover up an election misdemeanor was used in this case to raise the business documents misdemeanor to a business documents felony.

Has such a thing ever been done before? Cover up of a misdemeanor used as grounds to raise a misdemeanor charge to a felony level charge? I have not heard of such a case.

And it has been reported that there is no other instance of enforcement of NYS Elec 17-152 anyway -- or at least that no one has found any.

Why is that not surprising, you might ask?

Because NYS Elec 17-152 is an unconstitutional farce on its face.

17-152 merely says "Any two or more persons who conspire to promote or prevent the election of any person to a public office by unlawful means and which conspiracy is acted upon by one or more of the parties thereto, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor." Full stop. End of section. That's it. There's no definition of "unlawful means."

In layman's terms, then, 17-152 says "don't do anything against the law, in cooperation with someone and relating to a political campaign, or you will be guilty of a misdemeanor."

This fails rather spectacularly to meet due process requirements under the US Constitution -- both because it gives an ordinary person no notice of what conduct is prohibited ("unlawful" means "unlawful," don't you see?), and because it invites arbitrary enforcement (as we have all seen, if paying attention).

The alleged FECA violation, the alleged state tax violation, the alleged federal tax violation, and the alleged misdemeanor falsification of (other) documents -- treated by so many commentators as though they were the "predicate crime(s)" -- were only relevant as a smorgasbord of items for the jury to select or consider as "unlawful means."

Note that the jury was not even asked to actually make a finding on FECA, on a state tax violation, on a federal tax violation, or on an additional (and time-barred) business records violation. (At least the last one was arguably within the jurisdiction and competence of the court -- unlike the others.)

As far as I am aware, no one has ever been charged with a felony for covering up a misdemeanor, let alone an unconstitutionally vague one.

According to reports of the trial, the judge also allowed the prosecution during closing to claim that Cohen's FECA guilty plea meant that a violation of FECA by Trump had been established as fact. This after having withheld the defense's FECA expert witness from the jury.

And as stated in the jury instructions (page 33), only the vague predicate "crime" of 17-152 had to be unanimous: “Although you must conclude unanimously that the defendant conspired to promote or prevent the election of any person to a public office by *unlawful means,* you need not be unanimous as to what those unlawful means were.”

In other words, you all just have to agree that Trump did or intended to do something "unlawful" for the "unlawful means" part. (The three (really four) choices put forward by the prosecution -- FECA, state tax, federal tax, and other business documents falsification are discussed further down in the instructions.)

Was it wrong to convict Capone of tax violations? Not if the laws and rules he violated were Constitutionally sound and the evidence was clear and convincing.

Is Capone's tax case like Trump's business records case?

Not really, as far as I know. The tax laws in Capone's time might have been reasonably clear, and violations such as Capone's might have been well established as illegal and enforceable before Capone's case came along.

If so, Trump's case is NOT the same.

Nobody should be glad of even a prosecution, let alone a conviction, in such a case as Trump's Manhattan case. Asserting that the process was fair and that the jury did their job is ignoring the elephant in the room -- the "crimes" charged.

Justice required that such charges never be brought. No defendant should have been required to answer them. When brought, they should have been dismissed for failure to state a case or for violation of due process or both.

Allowing the farce to play out and handing it off to a jury -- who generally can only decide what they are asked to decide -- changes nothing -- except that now "felony" and "felon" are degraded in the minds of objective observers, and the people of the country are more divided than before. You can only cry "wolf" so many times before the power of the word (and of the false alarm) is lost.

And if you cut down all the laws of England to get the Devil --

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founding

You are exactly right! I agree with you and I am a never-Trumper. We cannot beat our enemy by doing things that are morally or ethically wrong also. Two wrongs do not make a right. Thank you for your analysis and explanation. Well said.

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This whole thing makes me really sad.

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I had high hopes in the beginning with the female guest, because she sounded like she might be fair regarding Trump's predicament. But alas, no. There was no one--neither the two guests or the host--who mounted a vigorous defense against the obvious lawfare against Trump. Goodness, I have heard enough folks on the Left deride this case as being essentially lawfare: Alan Dershowitz, Chris Cuomo, Elie Honig, Mark Geragos, Alex Berenson, Glenn Greenwald et al. And I can't believe the guests didn't mention anything about Judge Marchan not allowing Bradley Smith, the nation’s foremost expert on campaign finance law, to testify. Instead, Marchan tried to explain it to the jury himself! Usually, I can count on Honestly to be...well...honest. It fell short with this episode.

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As a latecomer to American citizenship, I have little clutter about precedents in my head. It seems to me that this event will just be stacked up along with all the other judicial farces this country produces. Politicized judges. Organized crime. Careerist and showboating lawyers. State variances and foibles. Over-remunerated legal firms. It all keeps the economy ticking over.

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The saddest part about this point in our great American experiment is that so many of our fellow Americans have come to accept and allow for the idea that they cannot possibly know better than those who hold higher station.

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I would love to see Derschowitz debate the legal merits of this with these attorneys. Dersch says this was "the worst legal verdict in 60 years of practicing law" and he " doesn't know what he was convicted of." Also "nobody has ever convicted for hush money payment."

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Honestly, do not waste your time with this episode of the podcast. It’s a conversation between two Trump hating lawyers moderated by a Trump hating journalist. One lawyer spews complete nonsense while the other makes mild criticisms of the way this case was handled. At the end, all three have a big belly laugh about a person they hate being subjected to criminal prosecution. A useful debate would have pitted either of these two lightweights against someone like Alan Dershowitz, also no friend of the former President, but not afflicted with TDS. Do better - honestly!

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Thoroughly agree, hard to consider this an unbiased discussion. If you ever listen to Left Right Center (which I tried repeatedly in an attempt to better understand the Left's position on many topics), you are well aware Sarah is not representing the Right (she may be slightly right of Left though). When the moderator begins to inject his 2 cents opinion followed by the belly laughing, it is full on TDS and hard to seriously consider any truth to their arguments.

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Agreed. It was like watching The View. I guess that Jonathan Turley, Andrew McCarthy and Alan Derschowitz are all illiterate dunces.

I didn’t learn anything except that Bari’s TDS has not abated in the least (she didn’t do this “debate” but those in her staid just run their anti-Trump game full on).

Hmmm. Maybe I’ll learn something incredible if the Appeals Courts -> SCOTUS confirm stuff like keeping the crimes secret from the defense, Federal Election Law being tried by State Court, and testimony unrelated to the charged crimes being OK -all of which these two prodigies never touched.

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As Stepenopolous? asked the aquestion how could one support Trump we see one of the greatest flaws about the . Take the name out of equation and critique the system. What happened to Tump is only relative since our legal system has been weaponized again and the consequences of those actions are lack of trust in the legal system and taking the blindfold off lady justice.

It’s about the system stupid. Not the person. But then, what goes around comes around.

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Stephanopolis did the same thing as Cohen for Bill Clinton when women were accusing him of rape.

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The only question is: If Trump had retired to Mar a Lago, would the case have still come? If we are honest with ourselves, no matter our allegiances to Party or Politician, we would say "NO". Because of this, we have passed the Zenith of the slippery slope and will hurtle downwards...

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There is nothing "honest" about this episode of Honestly...

The Democratic Party of America, DELENDA EST!

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