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Trump Legal News: The Trial (Day 4)

Houston, we have a jury. Here are the big stories from the fourth day of Donald Trump's second fraud trial:

  1. I, the Jury: No more jurors had to be dismissed, while five more alternates were identified and empaneled, such that the jury selection process is complete. There is less information being published about the alternates, maybe because they are alternates, or maybe because the judge chastised the press for publishing too many identifying details, or maybe because it's the weekend and reporters wanted to get home.

    That said, some of the remarks from the newly chosen folks can't be gladdening the hearts of Team Trump. One of them said he likes some of Trump's policies, but that he gets leery "When I think about the Republican Party and why we bring religion and women's rights with their own bodies." Another, when asked his impression of Trump, said "I'd say it's fairly negative." A third remarked: "I think we are not in agreement with a lot of policies."

  2. Losing, Part I: When it comes to rulings from the various courts, Trump seems to win some and lose some, with the "lose some" being a much more frequent occurrence. Yesterday, an appeals court denied a request for an emergency stay and change of venue, filed by Trump's team because they don't like some of the jurors.

  3. Losing, Part II: Trump also suffered losses in Judge Juan Merchan's court—i.e., the place where his trial is actually happening. First, the Judge warned defense counsel to stop wasting time asking for reconsideration of motions that have already been ruled upon. Then, he refused to force the prosecution to identify their first witness. The witness has to come from their witness list, of course, but DA Alvin Bragg argued (quite reasonably) that if Trump knows exactly who will be the first to testify, that person will be subject to a barrage of abuse from Trump over the weekend.

  4. Don't Speak: Yesterday, Trump declared, yet again, that he intends to testify. Readers probably don't need us to explain why that is a bad idea, but just in case: (1) He's likely, in the way that the sun is likely to come up tomorrow, to say one or more damaging/incriminating things, and (2) If he gets on the stand, prior bad acts become potentially fair game for the prosecution to raise in court.

    We can't believe that Trump would be so stupid as to take this chance, and it's very possible this is just posturing, and he'll eventually say he just couldn't testify because of the Deep State/immigrants/Jewish space lasers/Hillary Clinton/some other nonsense. On the other hand, we also can't believe he'd be so stupid as to get hit with a $5 million judgment for defaming E. Jean Carroll, and would then immediately go out and repeat the same defamatory statements for the cameras, but that's exactly what he did. So what do we know?

Opening arguments are set for Monday, and on Tuesday there will not only be testimony, but also consideration by Merchan of whether Trump has violated his gag order. So, this is going to dominate the news into the foreseeable future.

And as long as we are on the Trump legal beat, there are one or two other stories worth noting. First, Trump and his "bondsman" have failed to prove that they are good for the $175 million that will be owed should Trump lose his appeals in his OTHER fraud case. So, AG Letitia James has asked Judge Arthur Engoron to declare the bond "without effect." In other words, the seizure and sale of Trump's assets would no longer be on pause. A hearing on the matter is scheduled for Monday.

And finally, a story that MAY be related to Trump. Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) has introduced a bill called the Denying Infinite Security and Government Resources Allocated toward Convicted and Extremely Dishonorable (DISGRACED) Former Protectees Act. As you might guess from its title, the bill, if passed, would withdraw lifetime Secret Service protection from any protectee who is convicted of a felony offense.

Thompson did not say which protectee he might have in mind. That said, those who have been warned as to the dangers of the forthcoming zombie apocalypse thanks to the show The Walking Dead surely must anticipate the day when the reanimated zombie corpse of Millard Fillmore emerges from its grave in Forest Lawn, Buffalo, and begins feasting on the brains of the living. That's a crime, of course, and U.S.S.S. officers obviously shouldn't be forced to enable such behavior, or to be placed at risk of having their own brains eaten. Thankfully, the artist iSkoundrel has already prepared a rendering of what an undead Fillmore will look like, so everyone can be on the lookout:

Millard Fillmore with sallow skin and open wounds

We grant that it's possible Thompson had Trump in mind, but that seems a little conspiratorial to us. Occam's Razor clearly argues for the zombie Fillmore explanation.

Incidentally, Fox "News" has started giving occasional coverage to Trump's trial, but it's only occasional. And as of 4:00 a.m. PT on Saturday, only two of the storylines mentioned above appear on the front page of the site. The lead item is about Thompson's bill, with the headline "ASSASSINATION INVITATION." And the 12th item on their page is about that meanie Letitia James, who thinks that Trump's bond should actually be legit, instead of smoke and mirrors.

By contrast, there is no space for anything related to the current fraud trial, as that story has been pushed aside for important coverage of a Clinton murder conspiracy story, a story about Mel Brooks and the 40-year-old movie Spaceballs, a story about the "antics" of a mayor who just so happens to be Black and female, and a story about Bill Maher's latest rant, which apparently had something to do with liberals and pedophiles. Keep this in mind if ever you wonder why we prefer to refer to the outlet as Fox or Fox "News" and not Fox News. (Z)

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