You Have to Laugh | Steve Berman

I think the word “guilty” was uttered around 45 times yesterday: 34 times by the jury foreman, and another 11 times when the individual jurors were polled. Number 45 is Trump’s lucky number. “No bail,” said prosecutor Joshua Steinglass as Trump shuffled out of the courtroom. Of course, we know that means the state isn’t seeking bail; not that anyone expected Judge Juan Merchan to tell the bailiff to take the convict into custody.

But a convict he is. And yes, the State of New York has the perfect right to revoke Mr. Trump’s release on his own recognizance and throw him in the pokey. For failing to keep accurate accounting records. Of a transaction to a liar, thief, tax cheat, and felon. To pay off a woman who made a living having unfulfilling sex on camera. So men like Trump could ogle her and pretend they were the guy doing the shtupping. Or, in Trump’s case, be the guy (he denies it). Pay her to not tell how un-wonderful the experience was for her. 

Because the Access Hollywood tape didn’t stop Trump from being elected in 2016. Because Hillary Clinton was such a terrible candidate that she could lose to a guy like Donald Trump: who bankrupted a frickin’ casino, where the house is guaranteed to win; who bankrupted an airline with the most profitable route (Boston-New York shuttle) from the bankrupted Eastern Airlines; who bankrupted an entire professional football league; who sold steaks, fake college degrees, vitamins, and now golden sneakers; who turned his father’s real estate empire into an ash-heap of rococo and gilded debt. That Hillary.

The Hillary whose snot-nosed Brooklyn campaign paid off Fusion GPS through white-shoe Perkins Coie, using DNC money (because the Clintons owned the DNC like Trump owns the RNC now), to buy an over-the-top “dossier” from a man named Steele, telling of how Donald Trump engaged in the most debauched conduct in a Moscow hotel room (among other things). And the dossier is actually believable, knowing the kind of guy Trump is. It was so believable that the FBI believed it, and used it to open “Crossfire Hurricane,” the master trap for so many Trump campaign people. Except that Paul Manafort really was a professional Russian stooge, not to mention Mike Flynn (who was an amateur).

In 2018, Michael Cohen was going down for tax evasion. Federal prosecutors tacked on two campaign finance violations to a long list of charges they already had dead to rights on the lying crook. Cohen pled guilty to eight counts, including the two charges related to the Stormy Daniels payments, and was sentenced to three years in prison by U.S. District Judge William H. Pauley III. As part of that light sentence (5 counts of tax evasion and a charge of making false statements to a bank carry up to 55 years maximum penalty), federal prosecutors also made a deal with David Pecker’s American Media (AMI), owner of the National Enquirer, which secured its statement that the Daniels payments were illegal campaign contributions.

Why do you think Pecker (Trump loves Pecker more than most men of a certain orientation) testified so easily at Alvin Bragg’s invitation?

Cohen reported to “America’s cushiest prison” Club Fed at Otisville on May 6, 2019 to serve his three years, where the amenities included lockers for prisoners to keep their stuff, ice machines, tennis courts, horseshoes, cardio equipment, washers and dryers for the residents to do their own laundry, and microwave ovens. Just over a year into his sentence, Cohen was released to serve the rest of his time in his Park Avenue digs, because of the “threat” of COVID-19. Funny how the other inmates had to stay behind.

The Feds had Cohen on tax evasion of over $4 million in unreported income. They had him on all kinds of bank schemes to get lines of credit on phony pretenses, trading on New York City taxi medallions as collateral. He used the same collateral over and over again without telling the new banks who loaned him money he had already pledged them. He lied his butt off to banks, and hid income to the IRS, to pay for his exorbitant life style. None of this had a single thing to do with Donald Trump.

But what’s really funny is that Trump, as the sitting president in 2018, could have pardoned Cohen. It was a federal case, and Trump actually had unlimited power, like Palpatine, to free Mike. But he didn’t. And Trump—I don’t know if he thinks ahead, because even rat brains can avoid mousetraps—paved the road to his own conviction.

Did Donnie really think he could skate on this accounting error like he had with so many other crimes, payoffs, ripoffs, and schemes his whole life? Maybe?

But it’s okay to laugh, because this is all very funny. It’s funny, haha, like a clown, like Joe Pesci in Goodfellas. It amuses. It’s okay to be amused.

Trump chose to pursue the political path. He chose to ignore the best defense strategy, which even his defenders like former prosecutor Andrew C. McCarthy thought was bad for him—in order to claim he’d been railroaded. And yes, yes, Trump was railroaded—by himself. He build the rails, he bought the locomotives, he put them on the track, and he was the engineer who hooted the whistle and disengaged the brake as the Trump Train rumbled toward Riker’s Island.

He did all this so Franklin Graham could tweet:

Yes, questions are raised, hands are up. Enquiring minds want to know. How could such a thing happen? How can our legal system be trusted? I mean who could possibly question trusting Donald Trump, but the legal system, it’s trash. Except when Democrats accuse Justice Samuel Alito of flying a J6 flag. Then we must defend the legal system to the death.

Laugh. Please laugh. What we have here is…this:

Right up until November 5th, when, very possibly, Donald Trump wins the presidency. But if he does win, he might not be president. Because New York has the last laugh in July, when Trump is sentenced. If they do it right, they can guarantee Trump is in custody on January 20th, 2025, at noon, when he’s supposed to be taking the oath of office. And New York can deny the inmate visitation from the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and deny the inmate taking the oath of office, so he can’t be sworn in.

That would be very funny. Because at the stroke of noon, Joe Biden would not be president, and Trump would not be president. By the 25th Amendment, whoever Trump picks as a running make would be acting president. And then we’d witness the backstory to Fallout begin to play out. Choose your vault carefully.

But it might not happen that way. Trump might lose, and Joe Biden might win another term. He could be the first president to die in office of natural causes. But don’t think for a moment that Biden’s staff would let that stop him. Biden forever; from the grave. Just keep him off camera, and bring a lot of Febreze to his press conferences.

Seriously—there is no seriously. 

The trial changes nothing politically. Trump has this covered, and has been chanting “rigged” for so many years that no matter what he’s convicted of, it’s rigged. In this case, it was his own rigging. But so what?

It’s funny. Try dark humor, because it’s the best humor. Ask any Jew, or Ukrainian.

#FelonTrump. Or in German, SträflingTrump. It’s always funnier in German.

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevengberman.

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