May 15, 2024

"Perhaps Judge Juan Merchan has been sobered by the defense mistrial motion he prompted last week."

"The judge foolishly allowed Manhattan prosecutors to elicit graphic testimony from porn star Stormy Daniels about a 2006 sexual encounter she claims to have had with Donald Trump. That testimony was irrelevant to the sole question in the trial, which is whether Trump fraudulently falsified his financial records in 2017. On that matter, Daniels has no knowledge; thus, her testimony was offered solely to inflame the jury against the defendant. Whatever the reason, the latest ploy by District Attorney Alvin Bragg was too much, even for the complaisant Merchan...."

Writes Andrew C. McCarthy in "Alvin Bragg again tries an underhanded tactic against Trump" (NY Post).

IN THE COMMENTS: Wince writes: "I still think Merchan is apt to surprise everyone by granting a directed verdict that extricates himself and the state from this unethical debacle, while avoiding an increasingly likely hung jury or outright defense verdict in Trump’s favor."

I've been wondering, which of the following 2 options is better for Trump and his supporters, going forward: Merchan grants a directed verdict, or the jury acquits. Again, consider only those 2 option and not others, and now tell me which is preferable for Trump opponents.

I'm not suggesting those are the 2 most likely options. I'm just asking who benefits politically from a directed verdict for Trump. Of course, at the point of deciding whether to grant a directed verdict, the judge doesn't know what the jury will do, and the judge should not take into account who will benefit politically (or whether he will be accused of doing so). 

Will people feel more confident in the judicial system if the judge grants a directed verdict or if the case goes to the jury? 

AND: Also in the comments: Mr Wibble answers my question: "His opponents benefit more from a directed verdict than from an acquittal. The former allows them to continue to claim that he's guilty but was only let go because of technical errors, with Bragg taking the brunt of the blame, whereas the latter would be seen as a repudiation by the public."

101 comments:

rehajm said...

her testimony was offered solely to inflame the jury against the defendant

If the jurors weren’t already inflamed the prosecution didn’t do their ‘job’…

Jake said...

I dunno. If Stormy’s story has a bunch of embarrassing details about Trump and his manhood (or lack thereof) is there not relevance to his desire to prevent his supporters from hearing about it? It contradicts his big dick energy vibe. Melania would already know those details. It’s the general public that wouldn’t and it’s them he wanted to vote for him. In other words, it goes to his intent and motivation to keep her story under wraps. At a minimum it doesn’t lack ALL relevance.

RideSpaceMountain said...

"Perhaps Judge Juan Merchan has been sobered"

The man was specifically chosen by powers that be to judge this case not to avoid conflict of interest, but because of it. The only sobering occurs when their plan fails either by jury nullification or failure of the jury to reach a verdict.

The man's daughter is a leftist apparatchik. He only gets sober if he's force fed antifabuse.

Leland said...

I think McCarthy is giving Merchan too much credit. If, as McCarthy argues at the end, Bragg doesn’t really want Weisselberg to testify, then neither does Merchan. Already, I think Merchan has allowed enough irregularities in this trial to assure a successful appeal, which Cyrus Vance seems to be showing will allow politics in the future to push the Appeals further left. They only need a conviction to keep Trump from winning in November.

Lloyd W. Robertson said...

I wonder if Bragg asked Mearchan in private if it would be OK to have Stormy strip. $1000 to take her top off. Ladies and gentlemen of the jury: this is the kind of sleazy asshole Donald Trump is. He does this sort of thing all the time.

Wilbur said...

Jake, clearly the relevance or materialty is attenuated at best, and the prejudicial effect far outweighs any need for its admission into evidence.

iowan2 said...

The law is very simple.
Wittesses and evidence MUST be probative for the charges against the defendant.

If you start a the very first step.

The assumption the Government is always going to abuse the accused in order to get convictions.

That the prism all of these must be seen through

This trial meets every requirement for a directed verdict in favor of the accused.

Wince said...

I still think Merchan is apt to surprise everyone by granting a directed verdict that extricates himself and the state from this unethical debacle, while avoiding an increasingly likely hung jury or outright defense verdict in Trump’s favor.

Christopher B said...

What's up with all the interest in Trump's d!ck?

Quaestor said...

"What's up with all the interest in Trump's d!ck?"

Jealousy.

Breezy said...

Merchan blocked the FEC guy from testifying about why they declined to charge Trump over this issue. How could that even be okay? There’s little to indicate he cares at all about seeking the truth or a fair trial or doing the right thing.

Dave Begley said...

It should be a directed verdict, but old Juan wants to send Trump to jail.

Last night on MSNBC, we were informed that the felony that Trump covered up was using his personal money to kill a bad story. LOL.

mezzrow said...

The process is the punishment.

They're just extracting any pain they can from the Trump team while they have the ability (it's good to have Riker's Island available as a cooling tank), irrespective of the impact on the election. The election is the McGuffin. This is being done because it makes the people who hate this guy feel just THAT good.

You people here are out of bounds because you are not supposed to notice any of these things you are pointing out. Doing so will threaten our democracy as it currently exists, and severely harsh the pleasure found in the debasement aspect of the whole exercise.

Anybody who thinks he can pull any shenanigans like this Trump guy in the future will truly know what he is in for should he dare to consider it.

mezzrow said...

on the question, I think a jury acquittal would be better. (as if...)

Mr Wibble said...

I'm just asking who benefits politically from a directed verdict for Trump.

His opponents benefit more from a directed verdict than from an acquittal. The former allows them to continue to claim that he's guilty but was only let go because of technical errors, with Bragg taking the brunt of the blame, whereas the latter would be seen as a repudiation by the public.

WWIII Joe Biden, Husk-Puppet + America's Putin said...

Oh please.

The Jury will convict Trump. they were all carefully chosen.

Dave Begley said...

“ Will people feel more confident in the judicial system if the judge grants a directed verdict or if the case goes to the jury?”

Wrong audience, Ann. How will MSNBC feel?

The correct thing is a directed verdict because there is no evidence on the federal campaign felony charge. But this guy didn’t recuse himself, so he will let it go to the jury. And the jury will convict. A DC jury ruled against Mark Steyn.

WWIII Joe Biden, Husk-Puppet + America's Putin said...

Allan Bragg is the criminal here. He needs to be dis-bared and brought up on criminal charges.

Dan from Madison said...

Great point by Mr. Wibble at 7.25am. Someone needs to be the fall guy for this joke and Bragg is expendable for the Democrats.

Dave Begley said...

Mezzerow, “ This is being done because it makes the people who hate this guy feel just THAT good.”

The wife of MSNBC’s Chris Hayes (a lawyer!) gets the best sex of her life the night Trump is convicted. Same for Maddow’s wife.

WWIII Joe Biden, Husk-Puppet + America's Putin said...

Why do people of good character think that leftists will wake up and stop being corrupt leftist Soviets?

it's not going to happen.

Jamie said...

I think if there were a directed verdict, Democrats would feel much less confident in the judicial system, since the movie they're seeing is that Trump is obviously guilty of something (my husband watches CNN and MSNBC and The Rising and such, so I don't have to), and Republicans (generally) would feel no change, since it has been Merchan allowing so much irrelevant and inflammatory testimony all along: I think Republicans will just see Merchan as the dog who caught the car.

Krumhorn said...

The directed verdict would be better for Trump’s opponents because it would be quick, soon, and fast. An acquittal would follow close attention from everyone while they wait for……BREAKING NEWS….JURY IS DELIBERATING…JURY IS RETURNING TO THE COURTROOM……JURY SAYS…..NOT GUILTY!!

The directed verdict would be delivered late Friday after beer o’clock.

- Krumhorn

William said...

This is like asking what's the proper course of action for Hamas to take after murdering, raping, and kidnapping scores of Israelis. The proper course of action is for Hamas not to murder, rape and kidnap scores of Israelis.

WWIII Joe Biden, Husk-Puppet + America's Putin said...

Judge Merchan and his family give big money to Crook Joe Biden.

Howard said...

Trump is the primary beneficiary no matter what the outcome. The question is Democrat damage control. A directed verdict makes it less bad politically for Joebiden, but overall this case is costing him votes.

A conviction is the worst possible outcome for Democrats politically. A martyr out on bail pending appeals will sell out more stadiums than Taylor Swift, Katt Williams and the NFL combined.

Christopher B said...

WWIII Joe Biden, Husk-Puppet + America's Putin said...
Oh please.

The Jury will convict Trump. they were all carefully chosen.


Maybe. The CW in 2016 was that Trump would lose in a landslide.

I lean towards Mr. Wibble's point. Are the PTB running the show trial that convinced they got twelve people who will vote to convict Trump? One holdout is all Trump needs. Are they that convinced that a guilty verdict would have a negative impact on his campaign? There's pretty good evidence the trials haven't hurt Trump at all. From the testimony so far, it seems the whole point of the trial was just giving Stormy a chance to tell her lurid tale.

Leland said...

On the update...

I don't think Merchan would ever grant a directed verdict, but in terms of Trump; I think that would be the best option. At the basic level, it takes him out of the legal jeopardy immediately. The damage might be a suggestion that big powerful Trump got off easy by a compliant judge, and certainly the hacks will suggest it, but with Merchan's daughter making millions off his daddy prosecuting Trump that information will come out and null the notion that Merchan favored Trump. The only reason I could see Merchan granting a directed verdict is if he thought to do otherwise might lead to disbarment. I'm not sure why that would matter with the money his daughter is making off this case. Merchan would never need to work again.

A jury victory would be awesome for Trump, but I'm confident the best Trump would get out of the jury is a hung jury. If New York could find a jury to believe E. Jean Carroll, then they'll have enough diehards on this jury that will refuse to vote anything other than convict. A hung jury just means another trial, because Bragg and Merchan have shown the willingness to use the process to keep Trump off the campaign trail. I can't believe a fantasy that Trump would get 12 New York jurors to exonerate him.

GayRepublicanDad said...

There is not a chance in hell that Merchan will grant a directed verdict. He's the judge on this trial for a reason: because the DA's office can depend on him. Merchan is all about Merchan. Right now, he is a hero on MSNBC and CNN and in liberal parlors. He's their new Mueller. He will not let his admirers (or his daughter) down.

William said...

The charges against Trump are nebulous. It's like trying to stay dry by walking through a fine mist with an umbrella....I have trouble understanding what the charges are, and, whatever happened, happened a long time ago. Why are charges just being brought now? I'm offended at Trump for getting involved with people like Stormy Daniels and Michael Cohen, but I'm more offended at the legal system for trying to jail him for louche behavior....If it is any way possible for the Judge to dismiss the case or for the jury to acquit, then that shows that the case should not have been brought.....However the trial ends, it should never have been brought. People who hate Trump haven't been given any fresh meat. People who are distrustful of the legal system and the MSM have been given a banquet, however.

BUMBLE BEE said...

Didn't The View introduce their point that the courtroom was "Too White" already?

mikeski said...

"The homophones complaisant and complacent are often confused - and no wonder. Not only do they look and sound alike, but they also both derive ultimately from Latin complac─ôre, meaning 'to please greatly.' Complacent usually means 'self-satisfied' or 'unconcerned,' but it also shares with complaisant the sense of 'marked by an inclination to please or oblige.'"

Sebastian said...

"Will people feel more confident in the judicial system"

Which "people"? Short of the Trump persecutors being persecuted, including the perpetrators of the collusion hoax, the confidence of us deplorables will not rise.

mikeski said...

You people here are out of bounds because you are not supposed to notice any of these things you are pointing out.

mezzrow summing up the entire perspective and worldview of the Left.

Esteban said...

Either way, Trump gets to declare victory. Most people think this a farce, even people like me, that in no way like or support Trump.

Big Mike said...

I've been wondering, which of the following 2 options is better for Trump and his supporters, going forward: Merchan grants a directed verdict, or the jury acquits. Again, consider only those 2 option and not others, and tell me which is preferable for Trump opponents?

@Alhouse, with respect, Professor, the question of which option is better for Trump and his supporters and which is preferable for Trump opponents are two different questions.

From the perspective of Trump and his supporters the better of the two options is acquittal. If it’s possible, which I rather doubt. Despite what people may think, jail is really the second best option as he can present himself as a martyr for the common working stiff, the folks that the elites — with no real justification — look down upon. I know for a fact that the Trump team is fundraising like crazy from this trial, and thus his worst option is the directed verdict. It kills the ability to fundraise from the perception of a crooked trial run by a crooked prosecution and presided over by a judge who cares more about his daughter’s politics than fair and equitable application of the law. A directed verdict kills that whole narrative.

I think a directed verdict is also bad for the Trump opponents, because it pretty much admits to the world that they had nothing and we’re praying for lightning to strike. So paradoxically their better option of the two is also acquittal by the jury. Then they can argue along the lines of “Trump was whining over nothing” and “See, the system works.”

wild chicken said...

Trump's only "crime" was not having Kennedy amounts of money to pay off women (or their families).

The Vault Dweller said...

I don't think there are any good outcomes for Democrats in this case. The least bad one I believe is the judge granting a directed verdict. With this the left can say something like, "If there was some vast conspiracy out to get Trump like he claims then why would the Judge give him a directed verdict in his favor in a move that is very rare for judges to do?" The problem is this is only playing defense for the left and it doesn't do it that well either. Because this raises the question if it is so rare, why did this Democrat prosecutor bring the case to begin with? It confirms that there were people out to get Trump and they were using the powers of government they control to do so.

If a jury acquits Trump it is worse for Democrats. Because then it does look like the whole system involved was out to get Trump. The prosecutor brought the unjustified case, and the judge did nothing to stop it. Trump was only saved by the people intervening through the jury. Just like how all of us can only save our country from a corrupt system at large, from the swamp, by the people intervening through the ballot box in November. Plus tactically the left has used Mean-girl othering tactics to keep it's side in line for the past 15 years or so in earnest. These tactics work through fear of social ostracization. If some folks on the left see a jury made up of presumably good NYC lefties reining in an out of control Lefty prosecutor there is the risk that many more folks on the left will voice their discontent with how things have been working on the left. A lot of the perceived unity on the left isn't because of widespread shared policy goals but rather because of a perceived shared common enemy (which is some amalgamation of white, male, straight, Christian, rural etc.) People on the left that try to even minimally raise concerns about some fo the ways the left has been behaving will be met with more of the same from the Mean-Girl enforcers of orthodoxy of the left. This will cause many to sit out the election, or cast a protest vote for someone like RFK Jr, or maybe even in rare circumstances go with Voldemort himself, Trump.

cassandra lite said...

I’ve been wondering since the indictment how many jurors would be brave enough to vote to acquit. If they all see through this nonsense enough to overcome their loathing of Trump, then no bravery would be needed. But which of them, fearing being outed by name, would be brave enough to hold out against the other 11 (or 10)? “You? You, Bob, wouldn’t vote to convict Trump, notwithstanding there was no crime? Shunned, I tell you. Shunned!”

tim maguire said...

I disagree with Mr. Wibble. IMO, between those two choices, a directed verdict helps Trump more because it gives a judicial stamp of approval to his claim that the case was political. A directed verdict at the close of the prosecutor's case means that the prosecution had no case. Its support for the indictment was so weak that Trump does not even need to put on a defense.

Brian said...

Great point by Mr. Wibble at 7.25am. Someone needs to be the fall guy for this joke and Bragg is expendable for the Democrats.

I like it to, it also avoids the sentencing problem for Merchan if there is a guilty verdict. The left will want him in jail (cellmate with a rapist), and anything less will be traitorous. But, putting him in jail all but certifies his election though. Trump has probably already written his "Letter from Rikers" missive. Plus it adds all the security issues of putting a former POTUS in confinement. Sentencing him to Trump Tower won't do for the left. Any sentencing also puts this case on a fast track to appeal, given that he's running for election.

I suppose all that could be avoided by delaying sentencing until after the election. But that provides a hell of a 3rd act. Trump as Rocky battling back at all odds. Go home with your shield or on it. Everything to lose, etc.

As typical with things Trump there is only "win-win".

rhhardin said...

A directed verdict would require knowing what the charge is.

Bruce Hayden said...

“The correct thing is a directed verdict because there is no evidence on the federal campaign felony charge. But this guy didn’t recuse himself, so he will let it go to the jury. And the jury will convict. A DC jury ruled against Mark Steyn.”

Yes, that’s the correct thing. Their ultimate problem is that the supposed underlying felony is a nonapplicable federal campaign finance violation, which the judge killed a defense to by mostly preventing the FEC commissioner from testifying about. (That the prosecutors have not yet, this late, revealed exactly what their underlying crime is, is a pretty egregious Due Process violation). The Stormy Daniel’s testimony is probably easily gotten around with a jury instruction to ignore it. Not, I think, limiting the testimony of the FEC Commissioner so significantly. Now, when Bragg zags back to try to utilize the inapplicable federal election law statute, the defense can very legitimately claim that that was the purpose of the FEC Commissioner’s testimony, that the judge kept out. And from that point of view, a mistrial is more appropriate.

The way it works is that a judge can declare a mistrial up until the jury is charged, and given their instructions. After that, Jeopardy has attached. Between the time that the prosecution rests its case, and the jury comes back with its verdict, the judge can give a directed verdict (DV). And the alternative that Ann skipped, is the equivalent of a directed verdict, but after the jury verdict: JNOV (Judgment notwithstanding the verdict, also called judgment non obstante veredicto). A lot of judges like JNOVs, since they allow for the jury to cover for them, with a non guilty verdict. Working backwards, the thing that the judge could do, is give the jury limiting instructions as to the underlying crime (the underlying crime has to be laid out in the jury instructions), that pushes them towards acquittal, and then JNOV the case if they don’t take his lead.

The place for a DV, in my mind, is after the prosecution rests, if they haven’t laid out the elements of their underlying crime. DVs typically are to the effect that the crime charged require A, B, C and D, and the prosecution has only provided evidence of A, B, and D. If they haven’t laid out the crime by that point, a DV may be appropriate. David, obviously having done more trial work than I, would likely know better.

WWIII Joe Biden, Husk-Puppet + America's Putin said...

Allen Bragg is a corrupt pile of shit.

Levi Starks said...

Just my mind wandering,
But I’m feeling that as the closest witnesses to the trial debacle some of the jurors might become Trump supporters and vote for him given the option.

Dude1394 said...

I actually think a directed verdict is better for trump. He can easily claim ( accurately ) that this was a witch hunt promoted by Biden, which it was.

Going to the jury firstly puts him at great risk and secondly if convicted ( unless you are assuming he would not be, which I very much doubt in NYC ) would be the worst.

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

Either one helps Trump. At this point, I couldn't really say which helps him more in the long run, but probably the jury. If Merchan took the DV route it kind of wipes out a lot of the "he was so unfair to Trump" animosity, but I think that behavior needs to be remembered and he needs to pay for being a crappy judge.

Dude1394 said...

"I still think Merchan is apt to surprise everyone by granting a directed verdict that extricates himself and the state from this unethical debacle, while avoiding an increasingly likely hung jury or outright defense verdict in Trump’s favor."

I disagree greatly. He hasn't started down this road to abandon it now, the goal is to GET TRUMP. Everything else, and I mean everything else is secondary. He will be a good soldier and let it go to the jury, the jury who knows, I expect they will also be good democrat soldiers.

Some continue to think our legal system has some integrity. I am not one of them.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

What Mr Wibble said.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

I don't see a directed verdict in this case. If Merchan (and the Dems) wanted an off-ramp, they would have granted the mistrial. A mistrial would have kept the illusion of a legitimate case alive. They could have even tried to do a retrial this summer.

The Dems have to roll with a jury verdict. Their best outcome is a conviction (no one cares it will be overturned on appeal). They have to assume at least one juror will vote to convict and probably all of them. Would you want to live in NYC as the person who refused to convict Trump?

A conviction is the best outcome. A hung jury is almost as good. They could try to retry him during the summer or blame him for delaying the trial past the election.

A directed verdict would be a disaster for the Dems. As others have already said, a DV would be certifying the case had no basis.

West TX Intermediate Crude said...

Initial jury vote will be split/hung.
The names of the 1 or 2 jurors who voted for acquittal will be leaked, and very bad things will begin to happen to them and their families.
The judge will excuse them from the jury for compassionate reasons and acceptable alternate jurors will then take their places.

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

Christopher B said...

What's up with all the interest in Trump's d!ck?

Back in 2016 certain Leftists politicians and media types who are a) superior to you in all ways, b) know much hidden knowledge, and c) have the ability to perform miraculous feats such as reading other's minds; told the world in no uncertain terms that Trump has the tinniest penis in all of human history. People are wondering why we've seen no quotes about penis size from Stormy Daniel's testimony since she's supposedly in the know and would definitely be considered a highly experienced schlong expert.

WWIII Joe Biden, Husk-Puppet + America's Putin said...

The judge and the prosecutor are in bed.

The outcome is per-ordained.

Soviet MSNBC and their cult followers will all orgasm together.

Milo Minderbinder said...

I'm still trying to figure out how two lawyers ended up on the jury. Were both sides out of challenges? Can anyone say, "hung jury"? Judge Merchan's out that will save him from becoming the laughingstock of the NY bar.

Merchan said after the second mistrial motion, in substance and effect, yeah I'm kinda sorry some of that came in, too. He's the flipping trial judge who controls what comes in. If what came in is problematic, then Merchan's the problem. The appeal won't be heard until after the election. But, perhaps a hung jury has been set in motion.

Christopher B said...

cassandra lite said...
I’ve been wondering since the indictment how many jurors would be brave enough to vote to acquit.


Even though Biden won NYC by a wide margin, Trump still got the votes of roughly one out of every four New Yorkers in 2020 and his total number of votes increased by around 40 percent from 2016, from just under 500K to 692K. I'm not sure how that translates into Manhattan but add to that the story from last week about the NPR(?) reporter who was aghast to find dinner companions who were positive towards Trump and it's not impossible that one or two undercover Trump supporters, or at least people who are neutral, got onto the jury.

A hung jury (I also don't expect an acquittal) would be a nuclear bomb thrown into the Democrat campaign plan.

Ron Nelson said...

Judge Marchan, like Slim Pickens in Dr Strangelove, is riding this thing to the end. He can’t do a directed verdict without revealing the sham of his administration of the trial. He is hoping for a conviction to validate his own conduct.

BarrySanders20 said...

He could wait for the jury to convict and then grant a JNOV (judgment notwithstanding the verdict). That would accomplish lots of mischief and guarantee an appellate circus.

God of the Sea People said...

Tim wants to quibble with Mr. Wibble

Bruce Hayden said...

A couple of additions. The problem for the judge with a Directed Verdict is that the prosecution cannot retry the case. With a mistrial, they can. That’s why, I think a mistrial would be more attractive to the judge here - he wouldn’t be issuing a “Not Guilty” to Trump, but rather a “Do Over” to Bragg.

The other thing is that, if I remember correctly, a judge can issue a DV until the jury comes back. Then, he would use a JNOV. Some courts treat DV motions before the verdict as JNOV motions after the verdict, while others require that the defense renew their DV motion as a JNOV.

mindnumbrobot said...

A directed verdict would be best for America. Sure, the Left would go crazy, but what's new? It would end this charade and instill some confidence in our judicial system, even if only for a little while.

Of course, that's not going to happen. A guilty verdict is a fait accompli.

Wince said...

Make no mistake, I think Merchan might do the right thing for all the wrong reasons because of political and self interest.

And, yes, Bragg was made the face of this case and is expendable at this point.

Meanwhile, will Matthew Colangelo be allowed to slink out of the Manhatten DA's office and back to a top slot in the Biden DOJ?

WWIII Joe Biden, Husk-Puppet + America's Putin said...

Trump is a sloppy cad who surrounds himself with questionable people.

Not illegal.

The left are corrupt - top to bottom.

Original Mike said...

I don't know why anybody would look to the official actions of either the judge or jury in this case to instruct their opinion. The political motivation behind this case is obvious. And it's appalling.

Aggie said...

Sorry to be dense (not a lawyer), but for clarity, the 'directed verdict' would be for a 'not guilty' verdict? Any directed verdict is going to focus a spotlight on the judge as taking control of the process of justice. He can only appear impartial if he directs to a 'not guilty' verdict, given his family's hobbies and his own obvious antipathy toward Trump. The embarrassment of justice currently underway is a gambit to torpedo Trump. What if the Democrats think the public eye is not paying enough attention to warrant it as a threat? What if the directed verdict is 'guilty'?

Tend to agree with Mr. Wibble.

Dude1394 said...


Blogger cassandra lite said...
I’ve been wondering since the indictment how many jurors would be brave enough to vote to acquit. If they all see through this nonsense enough to overcome their loathing of Trump, then no bravery would be needed. But which of them, fearing being outed by name, would be brave enough to hold out against the other 11 (or 10)? “You? You, Bob, wouldn’t vote to convict Trump, notwithstanding there was no crime? Shunned, I tell you. Shunned!””

None. First in democrat nyc there are only partisans. And the day of the courageous juror standing alone is OVER. There would be democrat brown shirts outside their home, children’s schools, office immediately. Their entire lives would be drug up and publicized with a lot of lies and smears.

Very few people in that Democrat cesspool could withstand. Red states you would have a chance. I was going to say that red states would have never brought charges but then I recalled Georgia. Although Atlanta has become black democrat haven, so.

n.n said...

Directed benefits Democrats who will cancel and reassign the judge. A jury verdict can be written off as an indictment of deplorables. Bless their hearts. Let us bray in common cause a third way.

Mr Wibble said...

A hung jury or mistrial would be a disaster for the Dems. It would give Trump a partial victory, make the case look weak, and any retrial would have to occur right in the midst of the general election, which would cause all sorts of controversy. Hell, Trump and Biden are very likely to have a debate on June 27th now. Imagine if Trump is in the middle of a retrial during that time, under a gag order from the Judge, and Biden starts trying to attack Trump over the charges.

Yancey Ward said...

Trump would benefit politically more from a jury acquittal than a directed verdict. A hung jury could be beneficial to Trump as long as it is more than 3 holdouts for acquittal- if the jury is hung by only 3 or less, it is all but certain that Bragg and Merchan will proceed to retrial to run again by July or August and into September- they might even try to retrial if a majority of the jury voted for acquittal.

I think there is little chance Merchan will do the right thing and end this trial when the prosecution rests- he appears to be both stupid and unethical and there is no fixing that. I also think there is a less than 20% chance of a hung jury/acquittal- the pool from which the jury was selected was very likely deliberately designed to make it as tough as possible for any pro-Trump juror to squeak through.

But a jury acquittal would be a magnificent thing to witness here- the whining and the rending of clothing by the Left would be a joyous thing to behold.

PB said...

If Merchan give a directed verdict acquitting Trump or declares a mistrial, his daughters usefulness to the party is less than zero and her income will become zero. As this was all along a possibility, it's another reason he should have recused. But even then his daughter's income would still have gone to zero.

Ann Althouse said...

“ @Alhouse, with respect, Professor, the question of which option is better for Trump and his supporters and which is preferable for Trump opponents are two different questions.”

I stated it as two questions and meant it as two questions. I’m sorry it was at all ambiguous and you saw only one question stated 2 ways but thanks for the respect that did not include spelling my name right.

Fred Drinkwater said...

DV throws Bragg under the bus, and allows Dems to claim the case was legit, just poorly executed.

Hung jury, pretty much the same.

My own preference is for Brandon to be standing on the courthouse steps, surrounded by all the most important media folks, waiting for The jury verdict. Then SMOD vaporises everything in a kilometer radius.

Achilles said...

Howard said...

A conviction is the worst possible outcome for Democrats politically. A martyr out on bail pending appeals will sell out more stadiums than Taylor Swift, Katt Williams and the NFL combined.

And personally.

Right now the average democrat can say that it was a corrupt judge and corrupt prosecutor.

If they add 12 average New York Democrats to the list of Trump's persecutors that just adds all democrats to the shit list of fascist pieces of crap that need to be shipped to China.

I still think that is the most likely outcome too. It would be glorious.

Joe Smith said...

I've been wondering, which of the following 2 options is better for Trump and his supporters, going forward: Merchan grants a directed verdict, or the jury acquits. Again, consider only those 2 option and not others, and now tell me which is preferable for Trump opponents.

A directed verdict and sanction the DA.

The judge is a liberal hack and other liberals know this. They would have mo means to criticize him.

If this is done, Trump needs to find some way to sue the city for damages.

Joe Smith said...

A martyr out on bail pending appeals will sell out more stadiums than Taylor Swift, Katt Williams and the NFL combined.

Meanwhile, the leader of the free world can't sell out the Sheboygan Elks Lodge Chapter on prime rib night.

Sad...

Leland said...

I’m now thinking a hung jury is the best play for Bragg and Merchan. It extends allows for a retrial and extends the legal jeopardy for Trump. Can anyone appeal a hung jury case? If not, then Merchan gets a mulligan. This time, he doesn’t need to include Stormy Daniels testimony, because whatever damage to Trump her testimony could do happened in this trial. Merchan could demand Bragg stick more closely to trying this particular case. The result of the second trial is as much a probability as the first trial. Meanwhile, everyone on Bragg’s team still get paid with taxpayer dollars and Trump still has to fund his legal defense. If you are tired of the trials now, wait until you see a full repeat of this trial!

Achilles said...

"Judge" Merchan is probably aware of an almost certain defense witness Robert Costello.

"In testimony prepared to be delivered to the House subcommittee on the weaponization of government, prominent New York defense attorney Robert Costello will tell lawmakers that Cohen told his lawyers back in 2018 that he had concocted himself the hush-money scheme that Trump is charged with and had no incriminating evidence against the former president.

Costello, once the deputy chief of the Manhattan U.S. attorney’s office' prestigious criminal division, alleges in his prepared testimony obtained by Just the News that Cohen repeatedly insisted that Trump had done nothing wrong when he was debriefed in 2018 while federal prosecutors were investigating whether Trump violated any election laws in 2016. Ultimately, federal prosecutors chose not to bring charges."


On the other hand "Judge" Merchan wont let the US FEC Officer that investigated this case tell the jury why he doesn't think Trump broke any federal laws so he will probably figure out a way to gag Costello too.

Achilles said...

Leland said...

I’m now thinking a hung jury is the best play for Bragg and Merchan. It extends allows for a retrial and extends the legal jeopardy for Trump. Can anyone appeal a hung jury case? If not, then Merchan gets a mulligan.

I revise my above comment.

This would be even better than a conviction for Trump. Keep this trial going all of the way to November. Keep "Judge" Merchan in front and center. Make Merchan continue to gag Costello. Make Merchan continue to gag The FEC investigators.

The longer this trial continues without the Regime able to articulate an actual crime committed the better it becomes. They have gained all of the benefit they will ever get out of this trial. From here on out it is all downhill for the Regime and persecuting a political rival with obvious BS puts them in the worst possible light.

But even better they are just pulling the pendulum higher and higher. The longer this continues the deeper and wider the backlash will be.

Prof. M. Drout said...

I think a plan (not "the" plan, because it seems to me that there are multiple entities acting only partly in concert) has been for any one of these ridiculous trials to produce a conviction and then that will be the excuse when the polls suddenly 'turn' and Biden becomes the "Comeback vegetable." The headlines will be something like "Survey: Moderates can't bring themselves to vote for convicted criminal, blah, blah, blah" and then the combination of faked polls and ballot-dumps will produce a shocking surprise, etc.,etc.

Both this trial and the farce in Georgia were just the pile-ons, anyway. ("Convicted in Three States!!!!"). The classified documents trial was always the dangerous one because that has all the earmarks of having been a deep-state entrapment. Fortunately, it turns out that there are substantial numbers of actual morons involved in each of these circuses: now even normies can see that the NY and Georgie trials are jokes, and not only didn't the FBI put exactly their best and brightest on the "classified docs" scam, but they ran into a judge with at least a little integrity.

In answer to the specific questions: A directed verdict is better for Trump's opponents because they'll be able to claim "HE SO WAS GUILTY! but the judge messed up." (But I don't think they'll get that because the hack judge and his sleazy daughter probably fear the online mob that will turn on them). An acquittal by a jury is better for Trump supporters for obvious reasons, but in recent years juries in high profile cases have turned out to be highly partisan and obviously stupid. The grand jury system in this country has been utterly broken for decades, but petit juries are now almost as bad. We need major reform, but I'm not at all sure what would work to fix the broken and abusive system.

Static Ping said...

Merchan is a political animal. Any judge with a bit of integrity would have recused in this situation, given his daughter is making bank opposing Trump. Any competent judge would never have let Stormy Daniels testify given she is irrelevant to the case at hand. Any competent judge would force the prosecution to declare overreaching crime that would make these misdemeanors felonies. Any fair judge would allow Trump to bring forth witnesses to refute the overreaching crime, but the judge is denying that. For that matter, any decent judge would look at this case and toss it out, since it is absurd on its face. And, for that matter, a good judge wouldn't gag the defendant while allowing the opposing witnesses to say whatever they damn well please.

Yes, there should be a directed verdict, though it should never have gone to trial in the first place. The real question is whether Merchan's fear of being disbarred is greater than being denounced by his own tribe, and, for that matter, what he thinks will be most beneficial to his side. The law is not important to the decision.

mikee said...

"Will people feel more confident in the judicial system if the judge grants a directed verdict or if the case goes to the jury?"

Question fails to allow for people feeling LESS confident in the judicial system following this case, no matter the means the judge uses to arrive at a verdict.

Jake said...

Wilbur, I'm not so sure. The story she could sell had value only if it was salacious and outrageous. It became especially valuable once he was the nominee. She wasn't just going to sell sex. She was going to sell the dirty details. I think that's highly relevant to the motivation and potential beneift to his campaign. I'm pretty sure intent is still and element of the crime. Frankly, the more salacious the allegations, the more likely I would argue Trump would have been to want to silence her for the sake of his campaign. So, in a way, the more prejudicial, also the more probative.

Readering said...

Acquittal is best for Trump and his lawyers. Directed verdict is worst for prosecution and judge.

Readering said...

Cannot see mistrial. Cannot see retrial after hung jury.

Christopher B said...

@Jake

As has been explained to numerous people numerous times, paying Stormy Daniels to shut up is not a crime. Even paying her to shut up during a Presidential campaign is not a crime if Trump also had personal reasons for making the request. Unless Bragg (or you) can come up with a violation of some campaign finance law (and the FEC head has already publicly stated that Trump's NDA with Stormy was not a prima facie violation of Federal Campaign finance regulations) then the fact that Trump didn't want her story blasted across the news media has no bearing whatsoever on the crimes that Bragg is supposedly trying to prove. The NDA exists. There is no reason to prove he had motive to get her to shut up.

Hassayamper said...


The real question is whether Merchan's fear of being disbarred is greater than being denounced by his own tribe, and, for that matter, what he thinks will be most beneficial to his side.


Disbarred? Yeah sure. The bar association in every state is a supine subsidiary of the Democratic Party. Totally captured by indefatigable leftist termites.

Fanatic anti-Trump lawfare wouldn't expose a judge or lawyer to disbarment in Wyoming, let alone in New York. It's far more likely he wins an award at their next annual banquet.

Tom said...

A jury acquitting Trump is more beneficial to him but comes with more risk as he might have to expose more about himself to mount an effective defense. A directed verdict is a safer outcome but it shields the prosecutors and judge from their anti-Trump bias. Trump will have less ability to claim he’s being railroaded with a directed verdict.

What I actually worry is that Trump will be found guilty not consistent with the evidence but CONTRARY to the evidence. J6 was a case of the anti-Trump justice department entrapping Trump supporters into some very stupid acts. The Left wants to make the Right look violent and crazy. What better way to do it than to convict Trump when the evidence CLEARLY establishes his innocence? Heck, have you ever seen the fans react when a baseball replay gets a clearly obvious call wrong? Now do it with well armed people who believe their entire country is at stake.

Narayanan said...

What's up with all the interest in Trump's d!ck?
=================
so obviously Kamala wants to know!!

Chuck said...

I could understand if the Althouse commenters fixated on supposedly lurid details of the sexual encounter between Trump and Stormy Daniels, since that is the way that Althouse set up the blog post.

But as usual, the Althouse commenters expose their own ignorance. There were almost no salacious details that were revealed in Stormy Daniels' testimony. No penis size, no penis shape, no timing of the intercourse, nothing like any of that. There were a number of embarassing non-intercourse details that were related from the witness stand, for sound evidentiary reasons. Some of the details helped Stormy Daniels establish that she was indeed in his room, was in the bathroom of his suite, and that it was not fabricated that she had engaged in sex with Trump which Trump later wanted to cover up. Because there were some embarsssing facts that Stormy knew.

A defendant who was most interested in defending the criminal charge might well have conceded that there was sexual intercourse, and instead focused on how he had been concerned above all with the effect of the affair on his marriage and family. Stormy Daniels' testimony might have been made irrelevant. But because Trump admits to nothing, the prosecution keeps hammering away with evidence and testimony. Countering Trump's many, varying, loosely-crafted public denials.

boatbuilder said...

Which outcome is better for Merchan?

That is the real question.

Sloanasaurus said...

I think people are deluding themselves to think that this jury/judge will do anything but convict trump of these made up crimes. This is the cynical era that we live in. If trump then goes on to lose the election, where will that take us - our culture our society? Will the people be upset with the judge? The prosecutor? Or will it be the jury. My guess is the latter. It will be the jury.. the people - the democrats who wanted the illegal outcome. Then what…

Josephbleau said...

The motto of the Beiden administration is “ Pander to everyone, even if contradictory.” So Beiden will not rescind his orders to the Judge to jail Trump. Hell yes, I ordered the Code Red!

Josephbleau said...

Stormy thinks Trump is not well endowed. But due to her professional exposure, she thinks 12 inches is too small.

Josephbleau said...

On one hand, we have Braxton Bragg, a Democrat who was a traitor to the US, and on the other, Alvin Bragg, a Democrat who is a traitor to justice. As the Wicked Witch said, what a world, what a world.

Yancey Ward said...

Chuck,

Again, you cunt, I want you to explain what crime took place here that is being tried. You are a fucking coward dodging this question every single time. A coward and a cunt.

ballpeenX said...

The purpose of this trial is to embarrass Trump and keep him in court in New York. A directed verdict ends the farce. Politically, a directed verdict is an admission that the case shouldn't have been brought to trial. I think they will stretch it out as long as possible.

Bruce Hayden said...

“Sorry to be dense (not a lawyer), but for clarity, the 'directed verdict' would be for a 'not guilty' verdict? “

Pretty much yes. Completely yes at the federal level, the 6th Amdt protects the right to a jury trial for criminal defendants, and a DV takes that decision away from the jury. Unfortunately, this is one of the Amendments that has not, as yet, been fully incorporated as to the States by the 14th Amdt. A state court DV against a defendant could still though violate Due Process, under the 5th Amdt, which has been fully incorporated.

Leland said...

Chuck still demands Trump and other defendants ignore the 5th Amendment and just plead guilty to lesser charges so that he can get paid for offering bad advice. Chuck is lazy and a coward.

Rusty said...

Yancey Ward said...
"Chuck,

Again, you cunt, I want you to explain what crime took place here that is being tried. You are a fucking coward dodging this question every single time. A coward and a cunt."

And about as honorable a whorehouse spittoon scubber. He's under some delusion that he's an equal to Althouse.

Tim said...

Either is a disaster for the Biden campaign. A not guilty verdict by the jury vindicates Trump. A directed verdict can be framed by Trump as even a corrupt judge seeing how bad this case was. Their best hope is that Merchan lets this go to trial and diehard Democrat who watches Maddow all day long forces a hung jury. Because I see no route to a guilty verdict which would require 12 votes.

Cameron said...

Jake - the whole trial is about a fraudulent book entry. The Democrats keep trying to make it something else as they need a crime to bypass the expired statute of limitations. Hush money is a media term - its simply a non-disclosure agreement which is an every day transaction. No ordinary person thinks a Non-Disclosure Agreement is anything other than a legal expense.

Vivek has the best take. He says assume Trump did the exact opposite and used campaign funds to pay for the NDA. Does anyone seriously think they would have not gone after him for misuse of campaign funds.

Trump is damned if he does, damned if he doesn't.

Cameron said...

IMHO a directed verdict for Trump would be better for his opponents would be better for a number of reasons.

1. It would allow them to argue that the judicial system was not weaponised - see it didn't convict him!

2. It would avoid the spectacle of being overturned by an appeals court.

3. It avoids Trump being found innocent by a jury.