The Brew: Deliberations Continue Into a Second Day

By Al Perrotta Published on May 30, 2024

Happy Thursday?

Did we wake up in a country that still believes in due process and the rule of law? Let’s see how the day plays out.

Anxious Hours as Jury Deliberations Continue

“Mother Theresa couldn’t beat these charges,” former President Donald Trump declared as a New York jury continued deliberating his fate yesterday. Trump faces 34 counts of something (that may or may not be election interference — the prosecution never clearly made its case, and the judge’s instructions to the jury were equally ambiguous). The fact that they have already spent hours in deliberations means the jurors didn’t simply look at each other and say “Michael Cohen. Reasonable doubt. Boom! Outta here!”

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) summarized one way Judge Juan Merchan has stacked the deck against Trump and in favor of his daughter’s political clients.

“Judge in Trump case in NYC just told jury they don’t have to unanimously agree on which crime was committed as long as they all at least pick one. And that among the crimes [they] can pick from are ones Trump WASN’T EVEN CHARGED WITH!!!”

You know it’s serious when Marco Rubio uses all caps.

What are the three items being served in Merchan’s Crime Buffett?

Violations of the Federal Election Campaign Act. However, the state of New York — the level at which this case is being tried — has no say in federal election law. The FEC has already laughed off the idea that Trump committed any campaign violations. And if Trump’s guilty of this, why hasn’t Hillary “Steele Dossier” Clinton been behind bars for years already?

Former Trump advisor and head of America First Legal Stephen Miller summarized just how unjust Judge Merchan is being.

“The magnitude of this judicial scandal cannot be overstated. Merchan BARRED Trump defense from explaining to jury that no campaign finance violation occurred but ALLOWED prosecutors to assert as fact in their closing, without rebuttal, that a campaign violation was committed.”

Falsification of Business Records. Calling a legal fee a “legal fee” is a felony? Really? Even the Soviets would try a little harder to pretend what they were doing was legitimate when persecuting their enemies. In any event, there’s no proof Trump had a hand in how the payments to former stripper Stormy Daniels were recorded, since he was serving as leader of the free world at the time. Instead, the jury is being forced to rely on the word of convicted perjurer Michael Cohen.

Violations of Tax Laws. This is the “when in doubt, call it a tax violation” crime. District Attorney Alvin Bragg claims the “participants” in this “conspiracy” “took steps to mischaracterize, for tax purposes, the true nature of the payments.” But the prosecution just told us the whole scheme was to hide Trump’s very legal nondisclosure agreement with Stormy Daniels in an effort to impact the 2016 election — even though her story was already out there, and the entire planet already knew Trump’s personal life had been, um, less than model.

Besides, Trump’s people reported the money Cohen was paid on a 1099 form. So what’s the tax problem?

This whole “We don’t have to tell you the crime, you can pick one out for yourself” approach to jurisprudence has our astute staffer Gayle McQueary wondering, “How is this not a violation of the Sixth Amendment?”

The Sixth Amendment guarantees a defendant the right to know the nature of the charges against him. Even now, nobody has any clear idea what Trump’s underlying crime is alleged to have been. (Unfortunately, when you are defeating the regime in the polls, you don’t get the Constitution. You get Kafka.)

The Sixth Amendment also guarantees citizens the right to an “impartial jury.” To Merchan, this means jurors are impartial about which of the three alleged crimes on which they are supposed to hang Trump.

What If Trump Is Convicted?

Polling seems to suggest voters aren’t going to be swayed by a guilty verdict. An ABC News poll found that only 4% of respondents would withdraw their support from Trump if he is convicted of a felony. However, this poll was taken before Michael Cohen and his former lawyer, Robert Costello, testified.

The Biden campaign is all set to run around the country calling Trump a “convicted felon.” (You know, like throwing a brick through a window and then selling the home owner new windows.) But will that strategy fall apart like his floating pier in Gaza?

When people’s personal finances are in shambles, the border is wide open, and the world is in chaos, does the Big Guy running around yelling “Felon! Felon! Felon!” resonate with the citizenry?

Will a guilty verdict spawn Red State prosecutors to finally take the gloves off and use the New York model to immediately charge Biden with, say, child sex trafficking for his role in facilitating the smuggling and abuse of illegal immigrant children?

The Stream’s John Zmirak argued yesterday that Republicans need to stop playing pattycake while Democrats are slitting throats.

Did Jill Biden Really Say That?

Tuesday brought the Politico story that Democrats are in a full-blown “freakout” over Biden’s chances of being reelected. Wednesday brought another reason they need to be freaked out: Biden’s primary handler has as tenuous a grasp on reality as her husband.

While on The View Wednesday, Jill Biden — or, ahem, Doctor Jill Biden — actually said this, when asked about the first upcoming presidential debate:

“My husband, you’re going to see how smart he is and the experience he has. And then you’ll see somebody who can’t put a sentence together.”

She was referring to Trump. Not her husband.

Justice Alito Refuses to Recuse Himself Over Flags

To the senators who want U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito to recuse himself from Trump-connected cases because he flew the “Appeal to Heaven” flag at his beach house recently and an upside-down American flag (a sign of a country in distress) last summer, Alito says, “Go pound sand.”

Alito sent a letter to Sens. Dick Durban (D-IL) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) Tuesday, laying out why the two recent flag kerfuffles “do not meet the conditions for recusal” for anyone who is “reasonable.”

“A reasonable person who is not motivated by political or ideological considerations or a desire to affect the outcome of Supreme Court cases would conclude that this event does not meet the applicable standard for recusal. I am therefore duty-bound to reject your recusal request.”

Translation: “You want my seat on the Supreme Court? Come and take it.”

Question: Will these same senators demand that progressive judges who fly rainbow flags or participate in Pride Month events recuse themselves from any cases involving sex changes for minors?

Your Votes Matter: Drag Queen Pusher Ousted From School Board

Paul Brennan is a Sutton Public Schools (Mass.) board member. The district recently caused a stir by hosting a drag show for students. This included a drag queen flashing his underwear in front of young ones.

Libs of TikTok reported earlier this month that when asked if he thought drag shows in schools were appropriate, Brennan said yes.

The update? On Tuesday, Sutton held its annual town election and Brennan got crushed, getting only 565 votes while the two people who won school board seats got nearly a thousand votes each.

Doctor Kicked Off State Medical Board for Protesting Sex Changes for Minors

Putting the “Why?” in Wyoming: Dr. Eric Cuban has been booted from the State Board of Medicine by Gov. Mark Gordon because he supports a law banning sex-change surgeries and treatments for minors.

Gordon, a Republican, claims Cuban’s public comments showed too much bias for him to continue serving on the licensing board. Cuban had sent a letter to all 62 members of the Wyoming House of Representatives in February urging them to support the Children Gender Change Prohibition, commonly called “Chloe’s Law” after detransitioner and activist Chloe Cole.

“At the end of the day, I stood up for my principles, I stood up for what’s right, and I stood up for the children in the state of Wyoming,” Duban said, according to Cowboy State Daily. “Because I did that, I was removed from the board.”

Protecting Children and the Unborn: Tennessee Bans Transporting Minors for Abortion

It’s now a crime in Tennessee to help a minor circumvent Tennessee’s abortion laws. Gov. Bill Lee signed a bill Tuesday to stop so-called “abortion trafficking,” which takes minors across state lines to have the procedures done elsewhere. Minors can still be transported for abortions — but only with signed and notarized parental consent.

Along The Stream

William Kilpatrick tells us “What the Mexican War of the 1850s Can Teach Us Today About the Israel-Hamas Conflict”

Coming up later this morning, Wanda Alger returns with “Are You Looking for Pastoral Support in Community and Regional Prayer?”


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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