June 22, 2024

Don’t Assume Jurors in Deep Blue Manhattan Won’t Acquit Trump

Having served on three Manhattan juries, I’d not be shocked if the 12 women and men listening to New York v. Donald J. Trump acquit him of all prices.

During two civil actions and one legal case, my fellow jurors have been severe, skilled, and movingly civic-minded. A quiet, solemn patriotism infused our deliberations. Several jurors stated that we should always respect the justice system as a result of, sometime, we would want it to respect us.

My first case was a medical-malpractice lawsuit involving a botched abortion. We empathized with a lady wounded by her docs, however her lawyer didn’t show negligence. So, we backed her physicians.

“But we’ve got to give her something,” one juror insisted.

Others immediately rebuked him.

“That’s not how it works!” one stated. “I feel sorry for her, too,” one other admitted. “But her lawyer never made her case.”

So, we despatched the plaintiff dwelling with out a penny.

Next, we deliberated intensely for nearly three days earlier than concluding {that a} Harlem drug counselor by no means demonstrated his defamation-of-character declare towards his employers. My sympathetic pleas went unheeded, and he left empty-handed.

Finally, in her closing argument, a legal prosecutor displayed a CD-ROM of a police dispatcher’s “Be on the lookout” announcement after an armed theft. When we requested the choose to play that recording, he advised us that it was not in proof. 

Disgusted by this prosecutorial deception, we immediately and angrily acquitted the defendants. Minutes later, as foreman, I proudly introduced our verdict in court docket.

These three instances verify that Manhattan juries are sober and completely able to equity.

That is sweet information for Trump.

A jury of levelheaded Manhattanites would recognize these details that confirm the profound vacuity and basic unfairness of District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s “case” towards Trump:

  • An April 25, 2023, U.S. Justice Department Memorandum of Understanding with the Federal Election Commission leaves Bragg powerless to prosecute this matter. “The Department has exclusive jurisdiction over criminal enforcement of the federal campaign finance laws,” the memorandum states.

“The Commission has exclusive jurisdiction over civil enforcement,” the memo says.

Nowhere does this federal rule grant native prosecutors authority to implement federal election legal guidelines. Thus, Bragg’s case is a shack constructed atop a cloud of helium. 

  • Bragg skirted the statute of limitations by claiming that Trump falsified enterprise information to commit a second violation. After two weeks of this trial, that second crime stays a thriller.
  • Prosecutors described a “catch-and-kill scheme” by means of which the National Enquirer purchased the rights to tales which may embarrass Trump after which buried them. Rather than a plot to affect the 2020 election, the Enquirer routinely caught and killed tales about Trump—and different newsmakers. More essential, “catch and kill” could be dodgy, however it isn’t unlawful.
  • Former nude thespian Stormy Daniels signed a nondisclosure settlement promising quietude about consensual intercourse that Trump and, at varied instances, Daniels herself deny ever sharing. NDAs are completely authorized. I’ve signed a minimum of three (whereas dressed), and nondisclosure language has appeared in quite a few contracts I’ve endorsed. Confidential out-of-court settlements function equally and legally.
  • Former Trump legal professional Michael Cohen paid Daniels to clam up about her alleged intimacy with Trump. Again, intercourse or no intercourse, it’s authorized to pay individuals to disregard journalists (though shopping for silence earlier than regulation enforcement is obstruction of justice). 
  • Trump’s checks allegedly reimbursed Cohen for funds to Daniels. It is completely authorized for a consumer to repay his legal professional funds superior in a lawful transaction.
  • Bragg claims that Trump ought to have paid for this non-public matter with marketing campaign money. That would have been unlawful. Instead, Trump legally used his personal cash.
  • Trump faces 34 counts of alleged falsification of enterprise information as a result of his bookkeepers posted ledger entries for checks to Cohen as “legal expenses.” Would Bragg desire false descriptions like “plumbing supplies” or “marble tiles”? Trump faces jail for reporting authorized bills as “legal expenses,” which is authorized.

With 48% of registered voters telling Reuters-Ipsos final month that Trump’s Kafkaesque instances are “excessive and politically motivated” (41% disagree) even a Manhattan jury might scrap Bragg’s contraption.

My reminiscences of jury obligation, together with inside the Stalinesque constructing in which Trump is being persecuted, inform me that deliberating jurors might suppose, “I won’t vote for Trump. But I cannot convict him beyond a reasonable doubt in a shaky case about actions that are lurid, but legal.”

If only one juror agrees, this case will finish with a hung jury. A second trial could be unlikely earlier than Election Day.

And if “lurid, but legal” displays the opinions of 12 of my fellow Manhattanites—who are typically powerful, however honest—then Trump can be acquitted on all prices and return to the place he belongs: The marketing campaign path.

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