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Grace Under Fire: A Fiery Tale of Betrayal

In the land of court and claim,

where truths twist and lies proclaim,

Michael D. Cohen stood, his name

etched in light, stark against the frame

of his once lord, Donald J. Trump,

whose shadow loomed like a looming slump.

This day was more than legal fray—

a broken man's operatic play,

a bid for grace, once lost, now sought,

through the tangle of the truths he wrought.

Cohen, the loyal turned spectral guide,

leading us through betrayal’s tide.

Morning’s Aria

The dawn bore tension, thick and grim,

as Cohen swore the oath on whim.

His words, once sold to the highest bid,

now peeled the layers of the sordid grid.

Each revelation, a sharp, turned knife,

cutting free his former life.

The Defense, a Harsh Refrain

Todd Blanche rose with morning's light,

a clear intent to fight the fight.

He painted Cohen, a man embittered,

a flame of loyalty long since withered.

He probed the past, Cohen’s fall from grace,

seeking vengeance in this legal space.

Counterpoints in Afternoon’s Decline

By afternoon, the air was tight,

Cohen's resolve burning ever bright.

He spoke of silence bought and sold,

of shadowed deeds, bold and cold.

The defense, cunning, sought to fray

the timeline’s thread, Cohen's dismay.

Blanche, sharp as winter’s bone,

questioned gains Cohen’s words had sown.

Was truth his aim, or just new fame?

Cohen’s retort—a quiet claim,

his composure a shield, his armor tight,

against the slings of fortune’s spite.

Evening’s Loom and Strategy’s Weave

As twilight touched the courtroom’s face,

a change was sensed within the place.

The defense, once bold, now uncertain,

behind their whispers, the final curtain.

Cohen's story, firm and stark,

held the room from light till dark.

Epilogue: The Theater of Law

As echoes of the day’s discourse

left minds to wander, hearts to course,

Cohen, from loyal hound to lone nightingale,

sang a tale of loyalty’s frail.

In this courtly stage of human flaws,

he sought redemption, not applause.

The saga of sins, a script still writing,

with the nation as its unblinking sighting.

Each act unfurls with tragic weight,

where personal stakes claim legal fate.

In the dance of deceit and remedial song,

Cohen seeks a place to belong.

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Cohen is not a very nice person. I met him once. Arrogance is written all over his face. Anyone who spent the better part of his life bowing to a disgusting piece of human turd but is he believable? I think so. I expect the Orange Turd to be found guilty. I don’t think there is prison time attached to a guilty verdict but it might be just enough to reach that 16% of doubters to switch to Biden thereby win a contest that by any measure, should not be close. But it is and this is perplexing. I was in the overflow court last week when Stormy stated that she wished “…this orange turd would flush down the toilet.” I guess we are all hoping for the same.

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Bill - I too believe he will be found guilty. What I did not appreciate today was Mike Johnson pontificating at the courthouse that the trial was a sham and it was all lies. That was too much. He really shamed the Rule of Law. He is just as dangerous as the former President and we should all take notice this was not appropriate.

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That really pissed me off too. He had no business going there and making a spectacle of himself and showing us once and for all which master he really serves! He needs a refresher course on staying in your own lane. It is truly party over country with those people, isn’t it?

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It really pissed me off too -- so much ass kissing from the GOP. I wonder what their adult children think of this shameful pandering.

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They are likely ass-kissers, too. Indeed, there is a new subject being developed titled, “Ass-Kissing for Successful Republican Political Office.”

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An idea for my next blog entry: “a new Academic Subject requirement for Republican candidates for office” Soon to be on my billkatz@substack.com (lol)

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founding

The little pipsqueak of an elf pissed me off as well. Isn't there some kind of law or rule which he is breaking with his comments?

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I thought the gag order applied to anyone who wanted to comment on the trial. I'm not sure whatever was said was breaking the gag order, but I also think that it would be difficult for the judge to keep up with all that stuff.

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Rule of Human Decency!?!

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The "law of self respect."

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May 15·edited May 15

Hey, he owed Donnie for his support against Empty Greene's stupid 'motion to vacate'. Quid pro quo, baby. Mikey paid up handsomely, din't he?

I mean, I wasn't surprised by Mikey journey to Manhattan. I knew he

was going to have to pay for trumpy's support, but I still thought the performance was nauseating.

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Exactly!

Now excuse me while I go upchuck.

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Try Pepto...it's what gets me through the morning news.

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It's terrifying that the rule of law could actually be destroyed by players like Mike Johnson and Tommy Tuberville. ( And don't get me started on Ramaswamy). It occurs to me that there is a lot of behind-the-scene manipulation by Trump operatives. In other words, is Trump rounding up these yahoos and telling them they have to publicly support him and threatening to destroy them if they don't? We are at such a dangerous crossroads.

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May 15·edited May 15

And to believe that Johnson is a lawyer to boot. My most radical evangelical relatives truly believe that "God" is "putting tfg in "place" to effect the return of Jesus on Earth. How crazy is that?

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Yes! I think Johnson is so hell-bent on his own causes (mainly anti-abortion) that he'll throw up a little in his mouth and support Trump. And yes, the religious fervor around Trump as "the chosen one" is bizarre, as are all the conspiracies that some people believe.

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It's actually Trump over country.

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Tutone, I, too am disgusted by Mike Johnson's performance outside the court. He is supposed to be a lawyer, someone who values the rule of law and participates in seeing that the laws are fairly implemented. It just goes to show what happens when individuals and a political party become overwhelmed by the evil and narcissism of one man and what they will do to forward and protect that man. It is especially shameful that it is the Speaker of our House of Representatives that has stooped so low. I hope that if Johnson sees the playback of his ridiculous rant, he will feel some kind of shame, both as a lawyer and as a Christian, which he claims he is. Cohen has been looking for some kind of "forgiveness" but not Johnson or Trump's other sycophants.

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What we must not forget is that the entire GOP now is engaged in an insurrection against the constitution and the rule of law.

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Don't forget, mike johnson is a "christian" on a mission.

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Patricia, oh yes, I know about his mission. He is a bigoted Christian Nationalist (OK, that is redundant). His mind is so closed nothing new enters. He, like so many of his ilk are creating their own branch of Christianity and have decided that everyone who is not rich, white, straight, pseudo-christian, and male, is inferior and should bow and scrape to that minority. There is nothing in the gospels about LGBTQ persons or abortion even though Jesus would have known about both, yet the hateful white evangelicals despise both as though their actions were god's will. I suspect Mike Johnson has some difficulties with his own sexuality, so fights it by condemning everyone he fears, the LGBTQ community and women in particular. I know all human beings are flawed, but how is it we so often put people in power who are excessively flawed? I don't get it.

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He does come across as pretty gay. I suppose he fights it hard.

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We humans do a lot of projecting...accusing, being guilty ourselves, of exactly what we are accusing others. I noticed this more than ever lately. This is effective in confusing the vulnerable who end up not knowing what to believe. So base instinct is to stick with your own side for one reason or another. Self examination and honesty seems rarer.

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Amen, sister!

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Moses Mike.........side by side with the Orange Anti-Christ

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Moral code? Flushed. What a cesspool the MAGA cult, which Mr. Johnson has fully joined.

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AND - second in line to the Presidency!! That alone should terrify anyone who believes in the right of women to make decisions about their own body. Imagine him as president!

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How hypocritical of the Christian Bible thumper Johnson to conveniently ignore the Access Hollywood tape interview with TFG where the nastiest of words came directly out of trump’s mouth!

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What did Jesus say about sharing your porn habits with your son? Could "Moses Mike" please point out that bible verse???

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I agree. I hoped Speaker Johnson had found a modicum of common sense in his work on the security bill, but no…

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founding

For republicans, common sense is an uncommon virtue.

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And Johnson ,whose life is the Bible ,to stand up for an adulterous monster is beyond the pale of belief 😮

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Moses Mike and his son share their library of Stormy Daniels adult entertainment videos.

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founding

Couldn’t like this enough times. After a moment of clarity on Ukraine, etc he has to make it up to the trump zombies , so….

Pledges congress will do what they can to stop these persecutions of Trump.

Goes to mal to kiss the golden ass.

Shows up in new york — and claims everyone can see how unjust this is.

Has not committed to support results of election.

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Well said and accurate

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If we wake up to our collective purpose as a protectorate of the freedoms borne out of the genius of our Constitution, there should be a Democratic House of Representatives come late evening on November 5, 2024, in turn relegating the sniveling Mike Johnson to the back bench from whence he first emerged. From there he will be thought of only by dint of his irrelevance to any historical significance or future relevance. He will take his place amongst a legion of human afterthoughts to progress and other contemptible quislings to which all Trumpian apologists rightfully be associated.

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It horrifies me that half of the House of Representatives belongs to this dangerous cult of personality and believes its own bullshit to the point where they're spewing it publicly. What the hell makes Trump so persuasive, and these people so gullible? There are hundreds of people, including Cohen, who have gone to prison for Trump, who is nothing but a phony and a grifter. The power of this psychopath is astounding and incomprehensible.

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It is a sad day for the future of America when ideology and personal ambition trumps respect for the rule of law and the justice system that administers that law. But this is how far we've fallen. Speaker Johnson's harangue in front of the courthouse was naked deception and manipulation at its most malignant. And what is particularly insidious about the episode is that, to a large swath of Americans, Johnson assumes the faux legitimacy of a "man of faith," a tragic assumption that has bedeviled humankind over and over throughout history.

To those same sycophantish citizens, both our political system and our legal system are hopelessly corrupt and have lost all legitimacy.

Enter the tyrant.

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founding

Yes, and it was a weekday, so I guess we the public paid for Mike Johnson's time loitering outside the courthouse! Just despicable and unconscionable on so many levels. I mean this guy is supposed to be in charge of doing "the people's business" in the House, not half the people's business. And, the half he chooses is beyond me and beyond the pale. Enough, I have to stop myself or I'll write for the next 2 hours...

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I think Mike Johnson was shoring up support from the MAGA wing of the Republican Party in the House. He needs their support even more now, since he used bilateral support from the Democrats to keep his speakership. Of course Democrats will not forget this! Maybe speaker Johnson sees the handwriting on the wall that suggests he might lose his speakership to Hakeem Jeffries in the fall😎

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This should be investigated as a break of the gag order. I don’t for a minute trump wasn’t consulted!!!

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Did "Beetlejuice Bobert" try to give each of the jury a hand job during the cross examination???

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May 15·edited May 15

There is indeed prison time attached. This is our first opportunity to see him in prison. I believe he’s going.

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Considering that NOTHING happens in Trump’s world that Trump doesn’t know about, as the prosecution adeptly pointed out, and considering that it is blatantly obvious that the payoff to Stormy was done to benefit the campaign (and not to prevent Melania’s tears from flowing), as the prosecution adeptly pointed out, and considering the fact that Trump’s own words - regarding the plan and scheming - were captured by a recording (that was played to the jury), as the prosecution adeptly pointed out, if I was a juror, there would be absolutely no doubt, no doubt at all, that Trump is GUILTY of all charges.

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Indeed Joel. Are you aware that it was Melania‘s idea according to Michael Cohen‘s notes and proof in emails that the Stormy Daniels response that ‘it is locker room talk’ came from Melania.

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I continue to think she's his Russian Handler.

(She may be handled by Putin, but I think Trump is handled by Melania.)

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100% Mark. That’s her job. Her marriage is a job.

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May 15·edited May 15

Once Trump is out of money, Melania will dump him.

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I won't say it....

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Hmm, I doubt that. She does not speak English well. And would she be familiar with a colloquialism like that? I also doubt that she speaks seven languages unless you count knowing the word "money" in all seven.

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Joel, I agree that the tape would have been the whipped cream on top of the realization that Trump is 100% guilty. I believe the other Trump sycophants know it too, but are so enamored of the power they have gained by tagging along with Trump and doing his dirty work they just can't break away. Mike Johnson knows it too. Even though he is not the smartest kid in the class, he did complete law school, no mean feat, and knows what crime looks like. He just likes basking in the light of Trumpland and wants his share. If Trump falls, Johnson will be among the first to leave the sinking ship or, he will attempt to forge another dynasty using as much of Trump's criminal network as he can. At this point, it is not clear which he will choose.

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Hi Ruth, Mike Johnson is the Golden child of the right wing Christian nationalist evangelicals MAGA: born and raised and tutored by the Falwells, who have the distinction of being known even among evangelicals As being the most racist, misogynist, and bigoted among any of the group. That is Mike Johnson, and he is not benign. He’s never leaving under his own power so long as there is a breath in The right wing Christian nationalist evangelicals who are running the show and who put Trump into the White House. Trump did not arrive on his own brand. He had help from Russia, but he was elected by the evangelicals. Then came Mikey. That was entirely organized and made to look as though “oh gee wow, we just have to have someone to replace Kevin.” Everything Mike Johnson does is calculated and organized by the evangelicals who own him. How do you go zero bank account and about $30,000 net worth to owning property on your own private island? The only good news we have is that Trump has managed to drive the Republican party off the cliff, and there may be enough good conservatives left to pull something together after we defeat, Trump in November. I’m someone who believes in a two-party system and having a conservative opposition. I’ll be glad to see the evangelicals go. And my choice will be that the Ted Cruz faction who have aligned with Trump go to jail for treason. They have crossed the line with their Russia alliance. And they know who they are.

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Considering that, in the United States of America, NO ONE IS ABOVE THE LAW, when Trump is found guilty he MUST be sentenced to PRISON, just like any other convicted criminal would be. Under the “we are all equals” doctrine, there should be no special treatment of a convicted criminal just because he or she was formerly President of the United States. “You commit a crime, you do the time, and you do the time in the exact same manner that anyone else would have to.”

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founding

That's not the "two-tiered justice system" Trump is always carping about, and of which he is the beneficiary.

I don't understand why there is reluctance to apply the law. When I've been arrested, I've received no special treatment, nor should he.

This is an enormous flaw in our system that is being exploited by the republicans..

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Joel, I do agree with you that no one should be above the law, but as we have seen in the past few years, Trump is nearly an entity unto himself. Everyone seems to bend over backward and more to see that he is not held accountable for what he has done, even our Supreme Court, now that they have seen the havoc they can cause on behalf of their own personal interests (the Dobbs case). I do not see a time when trump will be in jail; there will always be excuses why that won't happen. From Trump's entrance onto the real estate scene in NYC, Trump has been a Mafia-type don in training and has used his knowledge of how to manipulate people to great advantage, even winning the White House. Few if any presidents have been less worthy of that office, yet millions still would spend their last cent to get him back in office. I soooo hop I am wrong about Trump and jail, but I fear I am not.

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I want that guy in prison as much as I want anything in life, almost. But look how long it has taken to get Bannon in there, and he still isn't. First, he must be convicted, and that isn't a sure thing in this case. If convicted, then he must be ssentenced. I think that the sentence will involve prison. But the verdict is going to be appealed. If the verdict is upheld, it will be appealed again. This is a state case, so I do not know how many rungs of the ladder are involved. But every rung will be utilized if necessary. Could SCOTUS get involved? If so, then his chances to go free are greatly increased. Anyway all these appeals will take alot of time I think. My hope is that eventually he does teh time, but for that to happen, all appeals have to be unsuccessful, and he has to lose this November. And the polls continue to indicate he may win. Unbelieveable, but true so far.

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Polls are worthless. Last night Bannon lost his appeal for ignoring his subpoena to Congress. So he’ll go to jail now for four months and that will take him off the streets: he spends six days a week pounding out his false message on his War Room podcast that the election was stolen.

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Trump is not an entity unto himself. He is a puppet of the right wing Christian nationalist evangelicals. That is why Mike Johnson (the golden boy of the evangelicals) was in court yesterday.

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Valere, you are right that Trump is now a puppet of the Christian Nationalists, but that is rather recent. Before that, he waltzed around New York as something quite different, a guy who believed he was in charge of whatever he surveyed and a whole lot of people agreed with him. He constantly lied about his personal financial worth and he got a lot of people to believe it. It seems with many human beings, whatever a person projects if he is rich enough, will be believed. He was a privileged white male and cared nothing for Christianity or anything else. When he entered politics, he knew he was not up to the task just on his own so he had to buy into something. christianity was easy because so many christians do not live their faith and can be manipulated; their religion of hate of everyone who does not live as they do is a "sinner" and deserves whatever can be done to them. That particularly has been shaped to include the entire LGBTQ community and women of child-bearing age who might want or need an abortion. Women who dress provocatively or who flirt or on and on are also targets. Fancy how rape and coercion of all kinds that men perpetrate are not among the things they are programmed to hate. Trump and his personal hating and insulting and reality TV "hero" status made him a perfect match for Christian Nationalism. He just didn't realize he would become their puppet and maybe, they also became his puppets. I think the puppetry has been mutual. Now that Trump has dementia, it is uncertain who will be pulling the strings. Trump, though has sufficient minions at this point (ala Mike Johnson) that they will take over more and more as he becomes more and more incapable.

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*…prison time attached

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Valere: it may result in the Judge sentencing him to strict house arrest in his apartment in NY with Secret Service guards, no tweets, no social or political phone calls and limited visitors for 4 to 6 months which of course would not be served until a year or so from now after two levels of the NY Court of Appeals approve the guilty verdict and the sentence.

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I think I could live with this kind of sentence. But would he be free to campaign during the appeals? So the sentencing wouldn’t take affect until after the election. I’m quite sure he will be defeated. And he can roost in solitude. Thank you Ira - for the dose of reality. No Rikers. I’ve never thought that, but I did think a federal complex like Langley close to Walter Reed.

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Yes, he could campaign and whine and complain until the Courts of Appeals finally approve the sentence and I agree with your assessment that he will be badly defeated, thank goodness! I believe he will receive less than 60 million votes and Joe will receive more than 80 million as women and younger men will vote in amazing numbers to protect reproductive rights as well as to defeat him forever! Moreover, that majority of votes in blue and purple states (plus even NC, TX, GA, and maybe FL, MO, and Nebraska) will guarantee a significant Dem majority in both the Senate and the House! Let’s make it happen, folks; please contribute tax deductible dollars to brilliant Harvard students who are and will register and turnout hundreds of thousands of younger voters specifically in 78 “competitive” CDs and 14 “competitive” states— www.TurnUp.US. Thank you!

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founding

I just want Trump out of the news cycle. I'm tired of his assaults on my senses.

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This is a state prosecution and the feds have nothing to do with it.

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Valerie - what makes you quite sure he will be defeated? Sooner or later we have to start taking polls seriously. I cannot recall well, but prior to Bidens 2020 win, was he not consistently ahead in polls (close but ahead)? I think he was. Not so much now. Looking for comparisons 2020 to 2024.

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That seems like a really measly sentence given how much wrong he has done. Maybe I'm hoping that the NY state sentencing takes into account all his federal crimes, making up for the fact that tfg has totally foiled the federal trials.

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Susan: Judge Merchan is going to take into account his age and mental state as well as his former position in the sentencing process! What is being suggested by many is that strict house arrest and lack of public communication will be very impactful to this disgraced nutcase!

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founding

Yes, but the orange turd will do the attacking..

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Of course I believe Michael Cohen. He perjured himself at the behest of Trump. The audio tape makes it a slam dunk for the prosecution.

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Can he sentence him to time starting on November 3rd?

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He will have the regular amount of time to appeal, maybe 30 days and it goes through a couple of levels and so he’s going to have a couple years of appeal. It’s the New York Way and one of Joyce’s substacks outlined the whole app peal process

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Grandma Vicki, Attorneys have to answer, but I think the appeal process has to run its course. Ira just wrote that it’s a couple year process.

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At least one year I would guess!

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I’m with you. Prison.

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Out while on appeal.

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Valerie, I agree wholeheartedly that he deserves prison time. But, I don’t believe he will ever be imprisoned. Many crooks have been, but I really cannot see it for him. I would expect parole, perhaps community service, and if he loses the election (he must, he must) maybe house arrest . I hope I am just being pessimistic. If he loses in November and is punished for his crimes, that could loosen his appeal to his sycophants.

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Can you really see tfg doing community service???

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No.

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I have always thought he would be imprisoned and if it’s very secure place like Langley, close to Walter Reed, in case he needs the hospital because he is ex-president, however, now I’m thinking this particular case will be what we would call hand slapping, and he’ll be put in some kind of house confinement in New York, Limited visitors and no outside communication

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Observers note he has pissed off the judge with his refusal to respect the process of the trial and the rule of law. He'll go to jail.

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Most — notice I say most — Judges try the best they can to balance so many things when sentencing a duly convicted defendant, including the seriousness of the crime, the number of counts, a presentence report possibly, reports from other interested parties, the defendant’s own statement of remorse — or not — at sentencing, the defendant’s past history, the prosecution and defense recommendations, the fact that there was a lawful gag order that the defendant violated several times, and yes, the defendant’s general demeanor during trial and other proceedings — gosh, so many things — but the fact that he pissed the judge off so many times and showed his constant disdain for the court in general probably will be one of the least important, if at all, that this judge will consider in sentencing because if it were one of the considerations, that would probably get this case sent back for a new trial with a new judge. I really doubt that Judge (Justice?) Merchan would let that happen because he has been so diligent in taking care that this trial is done right. I could really see him sentence, if one or 34 guilty verdicts are rendered, the defendant to a minimal time on house arrest like Ira Lechner outlined above, and I’d be ecstatic about that. I’m not sure how they handle probation in NY, but for added security of the people, I’d like to see him get several years of probation too, with a probation officer assigned and the requirement to check in regularly with his probation officer!

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I want two consecutive 5 year terms, which will "finish him off." He'll die forgotten.

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That would be great, TC.

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“Close” as in Hillary is a shoe-in! I think the polls are just that: polls in this day and age. Won’t ever take much stock in polls again.

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Bill, Johnson is so horrible as a speaker, he was saved by democrats and now he spits on us. Shame on the wolf in wolves clothing.

tRump is GUILTY of so many actions against our democracy and people.

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Michael Cohen is the last person in this world that I would ever, not ever think about.

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I would vote to convict, based largely on the education i received from Professor Vance in these substack pages. jnh

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Yes, but if you were on the jury and not been reading the inestimable Ms. Vance's columns, how would you vote?

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"Trial first, then off with his head!"

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Guilty

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Guilty…. And I’m enjoying the Royal 👸 « off with his head »…

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How can anyone possibly answer this unless they’ve attended the trial every day and seen/heard all the testimony for themselves? Anything else is just wishful thinking.

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Tfg’s behavior in court proves the case against him. He has no respect for the law and will lie and cheat to get what he wants. And that’s what this trial is about.

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Everyone on the jury has been asked to not read or watch anything about T

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No way in Hell that could force me to be on Trump's jury and have to look at his ugly hateful face for days.

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I would vote to convict. Anyone in their right mind would.

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Guilty

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Guilty

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Excellent!

It was interesting to hear what led Cohen to chase the dream of being at the foot of POTUS. His ego got the best of him and his loyalty was finally questioned despite all of his hard work.

It seems his family finally had the needed “come to Jesus” moment with him to set him straight once and for all.

Listening to what he said today was the icing on the cake for me (not that I needed it)!

TFG is guilty! PERIOD😡

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"Trial first, then off with his head!"

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First, a public shaving of his head …..

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Talk about humiliation🤣🤣🤣

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Bonnie, thank you with laughter and glee!

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Glad you still have a sense of humor, TC

🤣🤣🤣

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Good idea!

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founding

Magnificent poem, Gloria!!

Nina Truslow McKee

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Indeed! I am in awe!

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BRAVA‼️

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Glo-girl, you’ve been doing all the heavy lifting. So this haiku is for you:

Michael went astray

Following his cult leader

Refrigerator.

I couldn’t figure out a five syllable ending line, but this word worked.

V

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LOL. That’s clever.

How about …

Chill grips his lost soul,

Silent hum of frigid light—

Truth in ice foretold

OR!

Michael, lost and wild,

Follows his cold-hearted chief—

Chaos in the chill.

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OR!

Trump has lost this case

His sycophants in brain fog

Refrigerator

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You two are keeping me from getting my beauty sleep tonight from laughing!

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Me too! But what a marvelous break from tedium!

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Well, Reader/Writer, Gloria Horton-Young is a well-known rebel and troublemaker from way back. Lately she’s been doing a lot of very clever, speaking truth to power with her keyboard. She’s also been known to dance on the table and kiss all the cowboys. I’m just trying to tame her down and ‘refrigerator’ seems to be the perfect diversion. I have another five syllable short descriptor/sentence. Neither makes any more sense than ‘refrigerator,’ which is a common five syllable word, but what keeps coming to my mind is ‘beefed up indictment’ I could almost trademark that one. There is so much money in naming and that one is something I think we could sell to maybe a high end restaurant like Chris Ruth’s (I don’t know, I’m vegan) but Wendy’s, or Burger King (are they still in business?) but we need to trade mark it first and I probably shouldn’t have made it public on here. we can’t sell it to McDonald’s for obvious reasons. Perhaps I’m being too futuristic. Whenever I try to replace ‘refrigerator’ the phrase ‘’Jack Smith strikes again’ pops into mind.

So if Gloria fires up her Smith Corona again, I’m going to send her back another haiku with one of the five word phrases. Knowing Jack Smith, we may have need for both of those for special haiku in the next while.

But ‘refrigerator’ usually works to tame her.

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Oh, that is just the most perfect accompaniment, Valere!

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Thank you Gloria... this is "a Beaut" ... it's a deeply tangled web that you wrap in prose. Always a fun read.

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Well Gloria Horton-Young what a formidable literary work that captures the play between two men in court. Like a choreographed dance of two criminal minds jousting as we await the jurors’ take.

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John, It might interest you to look up the ballet titled The Green Table choreographed by Kurt Joss in 1932. It's a masterwork. Robert Joffrey revived it when he formed his second ballet company in the late 1960s.

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Wow!

That poem/saga should win an award of some type!

Utterly fantastic!

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Pulitzer

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May 15·edited May 15

Now to read Joyce. I saw you posted and couldn’t wait to read your offering for today.

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Bravo Gloria as always!!! 🎯🎯🎯

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Excellent, Gloria.

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What an amazing poem. Thank you!

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Wow!

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Rap on Glorious Gloria!!

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I think as a juror I would believe Cohen because his story makes sense of the other evidence. To disbelieve that big picture you have to believe Cohen -- not a rich man -- gave Stormy $130,000 of his own money with no guaranty it would be repaid. I find that hard to believe.

As for Cohen’s shadiness, it was Trump who chose Cohen as his tool and his fixer for years. So it just tends to show Trump is dirty too.

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author

You pointed out something very interesting, that Cohen's testimony makes sense of the rest of the testimony!

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Yes, I thought that was so simple and astute also.

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Not just 130k of his own money, but he took out a second (or reverse) mortgage for said money.

Even if I thought Cohen was a dirty liar (which I don't, I actually respect his change of heart in the last 5 years) it's not difficult to believe that Cohen would only risk losing his home for Trump. He gains nothing from paying Stormy Daniels off, other than rapport and a gold star from TFG.

Even if the defense manages to gain some ground with the "he's just disgruntled and wants trump to pay" argument, it still solidifies that trump f*** him over, which the jury could easily deduce to mean trump allowed Cohen to take out the loan to pay Daniels. Cohen lost his job, his license, went to prison, and nearly lost his wife and kids - all for trump. Of course he's gonna be pissed at him. 🤷

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Well said Cae

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I believe his change of heart as well. Some of the like buttons aren’t working. I thought I’d say. I believe a lot of what Cohen said and acted like was a personality defect Trump was able to amplify and exploit. It’s the way I fill in the blanks. I hope the jury will also.

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I don’t see what the Defense could possibly have on Cohen. Every lie he told was on trump’s behalf for goodness sake. He went to prison ultimately for the things he did for trump. Trump should get a more severe sentence than his errand boy. (PS, i admire Cohen now! His turnaround gives me hope.)

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On a different post a gentleman posted the gag order from Judge Merchan stating: he (trump) could not say certain things or cause or suggest those stated things to be said. In other words calling his shoe lickers to come to New York to speak for him (as he acknowledged today) is breaking the gag order again. If the Prosecution team files on this, then Judge Merchan's next move should be to jail him for the duration of the trial.

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this is the post I mentioned, Vague Craig went on to research and post the exact wording of the Gag order . From A Fine Mess by TCinLA

Vague Craig

9 hrs ago

·edited 9 hrs ago

Liked by TCinLA

I seem to recall Judge Juan Merchan's gag orders very specifically stating "or have others.."

$1,000 fine for contempt against Mike Johnson. Plus 30 hours incarceration for contempt against Donald Trump, to be served from 8pm Tuesday to 2am Thursday (covering a period when the defendant is not required to appear in court and which will not interfere with him attending weekend political rallies).

Guess they're lucky I'm not a/the Judge.

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In our dreams this would happen. However, the slimy mini-turds will claim it was all their original idea, that the boss did not issue a directive. Of course, he didn’t have to. All he had to do was complain.

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And all Alvin would need are the call logs from Trump's phone (available from the phone company with warrant) If Trump called those empty headed loyalists (which I suspect he did) game over. He's broken the gag order.

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Good for you Fay - on top of it as ever:))

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Thank you, Valere,

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Yeah, I believe Michael Cohen in what he testified under oath. Even without his testimony the prosecution's case has been made beyond a reasonable doubt. Statements made under oath in court have weight.

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Amen!

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Mitchell - I see the former President as only hiring those he saw as vulnerable (an easy mark to manipulate).

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As a lawyer, I often detected similar personality types or aggression levels between clients and attorneys.

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Let’s just hope I’m a representative juror!

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Agree! The very fact that Trump hired Cohen as his fixer just adds to the image of Trump being a master manipulator and very much in charge of his operations. I think the evidence from Cohen and others show that Trump was never in the dark about anything and used whatever tools available to maintain secrecy and, therefore, power.

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Mitchell, please forward your observation to the Prosecutor for closing arguments

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Rest assured they already plan to make these points!

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Brilliant, Mitchell!

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Trump is a micromanager who keeps a tight grip on his money. He used Cohen for a long time even though Cohen lied and was a bully, and he publicly praised him. There's no reason that Cohen would pay for Daniels without Trump knowing about it and approving it. Cohen clearly wanted Trump's approval and Weisselberg would never go behind Trump's back according to years of working for Trump and the notes on the bank statement. I think it's a logical straight-line that leads to Trump.

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Very clearly and succinctly put.

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Praying the jury also sees that clear straight line!

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founding

I am so afraid that trump is going to get off because one juror will hold out. It was disgusting to see all the GOP sycophants supporting Trump court today and they all had blue suits and red ties!!!! Pathetic!!!

Let’s hope for a guilty verdict!!!

Nina Truslow McKee

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It's like the trial is being used as an audition/dog & pony show for the vice presidency. I bet T is dangling it in front of everyone to get them to prance and dance and put on a costume that announces their loyalty to the world.

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The sycophants have brain fog: they’re sitting in a trial with testimony from one of Trump’s greatest supporters who got thrown under the bus (and thrown into prison). And they think that won’t happen to them.

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Valerie, I agree! Cohen is a poster child for anyone who would do tfg’s bidding. Pence found out!

No doubt, they will too.

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All except Mike Johnson. He is actually the surrogate puppetmaster for the right wing Christian nationalist evangelicals. Trump is their minion not the other way around

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Smarmy, in the most consistent fashion. I wonder if they'll wade neck deep in sewage to break him out of jail?

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These brown nosers have been going out and talking what Trump would say if he was not gagged. It is disgusting.

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Louise - and they too should be gagged. I’m wondering if there are any rules around this. I would hope so.

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The gag order also stated that Trump was not allowed to encourage others to speak out on his behalf.

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I have no doubt, reasonable or otherwise, that that is exactly what is going on. Party over country.

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Unfortunately it wouldn't be surprising. Republicans: putting the "sick" into sycophant.

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I wonder if the boot lickers are showing up, not because they all want positions in his second admin, but because they’re relatively sure there WILL be a second admin and no one wants to be caught out as the last man standing

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Ha! Like musical chairs! Oh, the fakiness and the fear!

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Mama Bear - it announces their focus on power and greed, certainly not the people.

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It’s the apprentice vp edition. But it was noted that they all dressed alike and stared at cohen during his testimony which is clearly what the mob does.

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Yup. Just like the mob.

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The dumb and dumber version......

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They looked like better-tailored members of Stalin's Politburo.

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Especially the crowd of "Alternate Members" that showed up today.

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I share your fear, Nina

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founding

Jayne, we can only hope that truth will ultimately prevail!!! I am sending strong vibes to the jury members!!👍

Nina Truslow McKee

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Truth and Trump do not go together, like salt and pepper!

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This is a true story from my federal court days. After several days of deliberation in a serious criminal case involving a local politician, the judge was given a note from the jury; it stated: Dear Judge, we have come to the conclusion that juror number “so and so” is not deliberating in good faith for “such and such a reason.” Please advise. (The note was signed by the foreman and 10 other jurors.)

The judge calls everyone back to the courtroom, confirms with the foreman that what the note said was the truth, but does not ask any further questions of which direction the 11 jurors are leaning or anything else about the deliberations, then dismisses the jury for a break but asks everyone else to remain in the courtroom. The judge then tells both counsel that he wants to talk with the identified “bad faith” juror, and counsel agree. The juror comes in and is questioned generically about his perceived lack of interest in good faith deliberating, he says that he thinks the whole thing is a sham and other nasty things about the charges and the court system. The judge thanks him and tells him to go take a break with his fellow jurors. The juror leaves the courtroom. The defense asks for a mistrial, and it is denied. The judge suggests that he is considering dismissing the one juror and substituting an alternate. The government agrees, the defense objects, but the judge does dismiss the juror, substitutes an alternate, instructs the jury to start their deliberations from the beginning. They do, and we had a verdict 3-4 hours later.

Of course that issue was a big one on appeal, but eventually the judge was affirmed unanimously.

All that to say: the jurors will know if one of their number is not deliberating in good faith, and there are remedies. Maybe some judges would declare a mistrial and others would not, But all is not lost even if a mistrial is declared; it does not mean the defendant “gets off.”

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founding

thanks for that reassuring story. are juries generally told that they have the option/obligation to report bad faith members?

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No, that subject is not talked about in jury instructions. And please understand that the judge had no idea which way the jury was going, guilty or not guilty, and the aberrant juror said nothing about which way he was leaning in voir dire, so I think he just wanted to get on the jury and then throw it for the defendant in that case. It was obvious in that case that the rest of the jurors were having none of it and did their duty when they realized that that juror had no intention to be fair to the defense or the prosecution.

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Nina - It was shameful of Mike Johnson to appear on behalf of the former President today to say what the X-President is gagged from saying. There should be some penalty for this. It was irresponsible and I’m really mad he got away with it.

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Johnson is now the leader of GOP representatives, a majority of whom (like Johnson himself) voted against accepting the results of the 2020 election -- which is to say, to overthrow our democracy. These people aren't brain-dead, so they know Trump peddling a lie about election fraud. Yet they stand with him. The GOP is a zero integrity party of political sex workers (we might put it nowadays).

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founding

Hope seeing MAGA Mike at the courthouse has made House Ds regret saving his Speakership!

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The Dems should not bail him out again.

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GOP sycophants. Perfect! Every last one of them - a hypocrite. Tommy tubby being

one of the most disgusting. I am constantly overwhelmed by the gullible American people who think this is all ok. WTF 🤬

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Don't quote me, but I believe there is a recourse for a lone juror refusing to accept the evidence.

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founding

Let’s hope!

Nina Truslow mcKee

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I don’t see a holdout - unless there’s a MAGAt supporter who snuck on there with the intention to be the holdout. Juries generally are very good at seeing the big picture and filling in the cracks. They can tell what happened.

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Actually, yes, I do believe Cohen. He's literally got nothing left to lose, and might as well tell the truth.

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Much of what you just said is what I think. T should be convicted but one secret MAGA nut is on the jury and he goes free. I do believe M. Cohen. His reputation is already ruined and he will be lucky to find a job at minimum wage.

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Most of the MAGA have committed far worse felonies than that for which Michael went to prison. And they have lifetime retirement-salaries and lifetime high-end insurance at far more than minimum age. Michael can be hired as a consultant in a law firm and he doesn’t have to have his law license. He can consult, he can publish, there are many things he can do and he is not hiding behind any false persona. He has taken full responsibility for whatever he’s done. Just for the record, I’ve met far worse in business. They are so slippery. They haven’t been charged for any of their crimes and their children go to religious schools.

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They don’t necessarily have lifetime high salaries and/or high-end insurance. They have to be employed for at least 5 years to qualify for any pension, and can’t collect it until they are 56/62/65 depending on how many total years they are employed by the federal government. Then their pension is based on a percentage, around 1-3%, of their highest salary times the number of years they worked. For example, Greene and Boebert don’t qualify yet, and Santos won’t ever qualify for a pension because he was with the government less than 5 years. As far as insurance, as with any large employer, there are many choices at many levels ( HMO, PPO, etc.) depending on how many dependents you want to cover and how much you want to pay. And you pay about half of the premium. That’s a real nutshell version, but I’ve heard so much misinformation through the years on that issue that I just had to jump in. Whew. I’m chatty tonight.

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May 15·edited May 15

Thank you! Extremely useful. And while these three are plenty bad, and two are representative of the MAGA in Congress - Santos is not, I was referring more to the damage from Ted Cruz and Mitch McConnell. Are you aware of Cruz’ involvement with Steve Bannon and Cambridge Analytica before Cruz turned that data over to Trump in 2016? 100% of Trump’s data came from CA (originally intended for Ted Cruz at his request) It was supplied and created with the assistance of Russian computer scientists who did the Technical work of stealing 75 million Facebook accounts unknown to the owners from Facebook with an API that hooked Facebook to Cambridge Analytica. This is the reason Trump praised Steve Bannon as the guy who made his election happen in 2016. Then he gave him an important position in his administration until he was forced to leave because he didn’t have a security clearance. Bannon Then headed to Hungary to work with Urban to organize against democracy In Europe. The FB accounts were from Republican voters and Steve Bannon and company still have access to those names and email contacts. He is broadcasting six days a week from his ‘War Room’ still claiming ‘ the election was stolen by Biden.’ His audience includes the hard-core MAGA cultists. we can’t pretend we don’t know about Russian involvement when a bipartisan Senate committee Russian interference in the 2016 and 2020 elections and we expected in 2024. This is very much a part of it. The good news is Bannon has lost his appeal to stay out of jail and may soon be incarcerated for four months. He’s not going to be able to spew his drivel, but he has an assistant.

The counter to Bannon and Trump is joining Ira’s group:

www.turnup.us

or Daniel Solomon’s:

fieldteam6.org

Ira is a former attorney, Daniel a judge who lives in Florida.

Both groups register Democrats. turnup.us was formed by a group of Harvard students who contact community colleges a population that includes large numbers of unregistered young folks. They are working with them.

Cruz needs to be indicted for

treason. He is much much more than a sleazeball from Texas. He was the initiator behind the Russian involvement with Cambridge. He’s been protected by his cronies, and I hope Jack Smith has his headlamp on him. When I write a Haiku about Jack Smith ramping up his indictments, I have Cruz in mind for the first go round.. Cruz is running again: his opponent is Colin Allred.

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Many atrocities committed over the centuries in the name of religion...

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True. We are seeing it today.

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There was a MAGA on the E Jean Carroll first trial and she voted to convict in civil court and award 5 million.

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Thank you Rusty. Logic prevailed on that one. Robbie was an excellent attorney. This jury has two attorneys and a pretty good prosecution here so he’ll beconvicted.

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Well Glenn Kirshner said it’s not always a slam dunk but he said the job of corroborating everything was perfect.

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He's made enough money already I think. I'm not worried he'll go hungry.. 400,000 just for one book.

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No, the worst that would happen is a mistrial would be declared and he would be tried again.

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