Random Wednesday Morning Thoughts

We forget about the wheels off tenure of the Toronto mayor.  He would die from cancer two years later. 

  • Trump trial:
    • Despite promising us he would testify, Trump rested his defense yesterday without doing so.  This should come no surprise.

    • Ronny Jackson embarrassed us yesterday by showing up at Trump's trial. He was there with other groupies including Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick.

  • Trump suggested a federal restriction on contraception yesterday (he'll get us policy very soon, you know) but later backed off those statements. 

  • Local connection mentioned in this story.

  • Tarrant County will pay a record $1.2 million settlement. Does this guy know how to run a jail or what?

  • If we thought that the D.A. in Atlanta would face public repercussion for having an affair with the special prosecutor she hired to help with the Trump election fraud case, we were mistaken.  The judge, also up for re-election, won as well.

  • Despite the headlines, it's not his decision. It's that of the D.A.'s office. 

  • Legal nerdy stuff: The Trump jury trial just got more complicated and messy. They lawyers had a conference yesterday to prepare the jury charge so we now have a bit of an idea on what exactly the jury will be asked. Stay with me here. 
    • First, the jury is asked whether Trump falsified business records.  That's a misdemeanor which (1) is a dumb law and (2) is a misdemeanor and (3) he can't be convicted of it alone because it's barred by limitations.  
    • But if the jury finds that he did that, they are next asked whether he falsified those records with the intent to commit some other crime. If so, that's a felony which he can be convicted of. 
    • This is where the wheels fall off. The "other crime" that the prosecutors have now identified it as New York Election Law § 17.152 makes it a crime to “conspire to promote or prevent the election of any person to public office by unlawful means.”  Wait a second. What the hell does that mean? That says nothing more than "hey, it's a crime to commit some other crime."  
    • So now we've got another step because there has to be another law that was broken to make the conduct "unlawful means" under 17.152.  Yesterday, the prosecutors ask the judge to instruct the jury of three other laws that make the conduct unlawful: (1) a federal election law violation, (2) falsification of other business records (sheesh), or (3) "a tax crime."

    • Maybe I'm missing something, but for those three "other crimes" to be so critical to the case, I haven't heard prosecutors so much as mention them throughout the trial.  
    • This is an absolute cluster. And did I mention the jury will be asked all of the above thirty four times because the prosecutor thought it was a good idea to make it a 34 count indictment -- one each for 34 business records (even those which were only invoices created by Michael Cohen?) (PDF of indictment.)
    • I may be wrong, wrong, wrong, but I don't think there's anyway Trump gets convicted. 
  • Once you get past the "that's disgusting" reaction, this really is a pretty interesting legal question. It's not illegal to just think those thoughts. And it wouldn't be illegal for him to pencil sketch those thoughts, right? But if he uses a computer to produce fake images of those thoughts we've now entered into the arena of a crime. 

  • Finally.

  • Trump appointed 243 federal judges in his four year term. Today, Biden will have his 200th confirmed.