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Trump Legal News: Ramble On

Donald Trump took the stand in his fraud case yesterday. And what happened? Well, it went so much according to form that we pretty much could have written this item last week.

First and foremost, Trump blustered. He continues to operate under the assumption that insulting Judge Arthur Engoron and the court staff is a smart choice. Presumably, this is because he's using these court appearances as campaign appearances. In any event, Engoron is giving the former president very broad latitude (while also getting angry, mind you), given the fact that Trump is currently a candidate for political office. However, when we're talking a jury trial, where the outbursts could influence the jury, a judge is not going to be so tolerant. Unless it's Aileen Cannon, that is.

Second, Trump rambled (and we thank reader D.E. in Lancaster, PA, for the headline suggestion). In the end, for whatever reason, The Donald struggles to maintain focus for more than 30-40 seconds, and so he goes off on tangents, and tangents to tangents, and tangents to tangents to tangents. AG Letitia James noted it: "He rambled, he hurled insults. But we expected that at the end of the day, the documentary evidence demonstrated that, in fact, he falsely inflated his assets to basically enrich himself and his family."

And on that point, third, and finally, Trump put up a defense... of sorts. Recalling that he is accused of overvaluing his properties, a charge that the AG has supported with ample evidence, he took the position that not only did he not overvalue his assets, he actually undervalued them. The former president continued to throw around insane valuations for specific holdings, like $1.5 billion for Mar-a-Lago. Needless to say, for a man who not only is on a constant search for bank loans, not to mention a man whose self-worth and public image are both wholly tied up in "net worth," it makes zero sense that he would lowball his property values. This is also at odds with the piles of evidence James and her team have presented.

We find it improbable that Engoron—who, remember, is the sole decider here—will believe the tale Trump is spinning, any more than the Judge believes in unicorns or the Easter Bunny. Actually, now that we think about it, unicorns and the Easter Bunny are actually more plausible than the stuff that comes out of Trump's mouth. Though we'll admit that watching Trump speak does make us believe that the story of Rumpelstiltskin might be truthful. There's just something about him that makes us think of spun gold:

Looks like Trump's hair

Can't put our finger on what it is, though.

Once the plaintiff (i.e., the state of New York) was done questioning Trump, the defense... chose not to cross-examine. We are not attorneys, much less trial attorneys, but that sounds a lot to us like waving the white flag, or trying to stop the bleeding. Former U.S. Attorney Chuck Rosenberg, who IS a trial attorney, concurs with our assessment, if that helps.

After his testimony, which is concluded (at least for now), Trump continued to make the day into a campaign appearance, and took a victory lap before the media, opining that his testimony went "very well." The former president's lawyers also got in on the act. For example, Alina Habba appeared on Newsmax to evaluate Tish James: "She's just not that bright. I'm sorry, I have to say it. I've seen their case, I've seen their lawyers. They don't know what they're talking about." For reference, Habba took her law degree at Widener University Commonwealth Law School, which is ranked 159th of the 192 law schools in the country. Do with that information what you will.

Next up in the parade of Trumps is Ivanka, which should be... fascinating. (Z)

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