Al’s Afternoon Tea: And Now We Await the Verdict

By Al Perrotta Published on May 29, 2024

Welcome back in for Al’s Afternoon Tea, as all eyes turn to Manhattan.

Trump Fate Now in Jury’s Hands

The fate of Donald Trump — and some would say American democracy and the rule of law — now lies in the hands of 12 New Yorkers. After hearing instructions from a judge so biased he might as well have an “I Heart Biden” tattoo somewhere under his robe, the 12 retired to the jury room to deliberate.

As constitutional scholar Jonathan Turley posted:

[Judge Juan] Merchan just delivered the coup de grace instruction. He said that there is no need to agree on what occurred. They can disagree on what the crime was among the three choices. Thus, this means that they could split 4-4-4 and he will still treat them as unanimous…

And as the Babylon Bee noted in a headline: “Judge Instructs Jurors They Need Not Believe Trump Is Guilty to Convict Him.” Satire? Yes — but still pretty truthful.

As the jury began deliberating, Trump declared, “Mother Theresa couldn’t beat these charges. These charges are rigged. The whole thing is rigged. The whole country’s a mess between the borders and fake elections, and you have a trial like this where the judge is so conflicted he can’t breathe.”

If the jurors go by the law, we’ll have a “not guilty” verdict by dinnertime. But this case was never about the law. The prosecution — and the judge — are betting that this  jury came in wanting to convict Trump and will grasp at anything to do so, as surely as OJ Simpson’s jury was going to acquit him of murder in the mid-1990s, no matter what.

The question is whether the case is so awful, the proof of a crime even being committed so scant, that basic fairness — or even resentment over having spent the last six weeks being played for suckers – will overcome any baked-in desire on the jurors’ part to do Trump in, or at least for enough of them to result in a hung jury. 

I pray all 12 of those jurors are keeping their eye on Lady Justice and not on possible book deals and media appearances.

The Secret Service has already met with jail officials in anticipation of a Trump conviction, CBS News reported Tuesday. Forget the political outrage; the logistics of putting a former president behind bars are a nightmare.

CNN Legal Analyst: Prosecution “Fell Way Short” of Proving Case Beyond a Reasonable Doubt

CNN legal analyst Randy Zelin told viewers Tuesday that prosecutors “fell way short” in proving beyond a reasonable doubt that Trump is guilty of falsifying business records. “There is reasonable doubt all over this case,” he said.

Zelin also noted the prosecution didn’t call Trump’s bodyguard Keith Shiller or former Trump Organization CEO Allen Weisselberg to testify. If the prosecution really believed in the soundness of its case, they would have done so to back up Michael Cohen’s testimony.  

The prosecution spent well over five hours in closing arguments. Trump had a one-word response: “Boring.” Turley had another one-word response recently: “Outrageous.” He added another word this morning: “Chilling.” Judge Juan Merchan, he noted, allowed the prosecution to repeatedly assert as a given that Trump had violated federal campaign law, despite not proving its case.

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This is kind of funny, though: After his embarrassing rant in front of the courthouse yesterday, die-hard leftie actor Robert DeNiro got into it with Trump supporters, calling them “gangsters” during a profanity-laced verbal altercation.

Wouldn’t you take Robert DeNiro calling you a gangster as a compliment? After all, he’s most famous for playing gangsters. In fact, he’s made millions playing gangsters. Now suddenly being a gangster is a problem?

In case you missed it, President Joe Biden dragged another famed actor out in front of the courthouse today: James Cagney. His vote for Biden in 2024 is assured. 

Biden’s $320 Million Gaza Pier Damaged, Sinking, and Useless After Less Than Two Weeks in Operation

Marriages in the Kardashian family last longer than Joe Biden’s $320 million Gaza pier has. Under pressure to appease Muslim power brokers in Minnesota and Michigan as well as the genocidal campus crazies, Biden agreed to have the U.S. military edge closer to harm’s way to build a floating pier that would help get aid to the residents of Gaza.

The pier lasted 12 days. The Pentagon acknowledged Tuesday that it is damaged and sinking due to storms, and aid deliveries have been suspended. (Not that most aid going into Gaza wasn’t ending up in the bloody hands of Hamas, anyway.) The military is going to tug the pier from Gaza to the Israeli port of Ashdod, where it will undergo repairs.

Let’s head into the evening with some happy news.

National Zoo: We’re Getting Giant Pandas Back!

Six months ago, the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. had to send its giant pandas back to China. (Crime is so bad in the District that even the animals are leaving, we joked to ourselves.) However, good news! We’re getting a new pair of the adorable creatures by year’s end, the National Zoo announced Wednesday morning. Lonnie G. Bunch III, secretary of the Smithsonian Museum, broke the news in a humorous video with First Lady Jill Biden. (And not just humorous because he referred to her as “Doctor Biden.” Not to be mean, but Doctor Jill does comedy about as well as she does elder care. But in this case, why not have a little fun with the announcement?)

Just hoping nobody spoils the news by saying that going to the zoo is racist. Especially since nothing brings black and white together like giant pandas.

On the Stream Menu

John Z declares “Republicans Who Play ‘Nice’ With Lawless Prosecutors are Today’s ‘Good German’ Generals.”  

John Amanchukwu returns with another installment of his “Protect the Children” series: “Understanding Your School Board’s Current Composition.”


Al Perrotta is The Stream’s Washington bureau chief, coauthor with John Zmirak of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Immigration, and coauthor of the counterterrorism memoir Hostile Intent: Protecting Yourself Against Terrorism.

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