Playing Devil’s Advocate: How Trump Can Still Win This Case

2 min readMay 16, 2024

Right now Trump has an electorate of 12 people. So I’ll talk about those 12 people and why Trump can still win this case. The prosecution has presented a strong case, one which may well secure a guilty verdict. However, it is not quite the absolute certain slam dunk that many would like to believe it is.

Cohen’s testimony, corroborated by documentation, provides strong evidence that he, Weisselberg and Trump were in a meeting where the creation of the false business records at issue was planned. However, Trump’s role in, or involvement in that planning is less certain, as is his understanding of it. Defense can argue that Trump simply listened to the CFO and lawyer work out an approach he assumed was legal.

Complicating this defesne is Cohen’s testimony, corroborated by documentation, that Trump was aware the plan was being executed and was part of doing so. Trump signed checks that had the business expense invoices falsely representing the payment as for legal services (as planned). Also attached was a check stub also falsely representing the payment as for legal services (as planned).

That’s a pretty powerful chain of documentation and testimony. What the evidence shows is powerful, but we should also understand what the evidence does not show. The defense can argue there remains a missing link in that chain.

Defense can argue that no evidence shows that Trump himself either made the fraudulent entries or personally ordered that they be done. At most the evidence shows Trump didn’t object to a vague plan concocted by others to do so in his presence. While he signed checks with documentation consistent with that fraudulent plan there is also testimony that he sometimes signed checks in a hurry, while doing other things (such as talking on the phone). Combine this with the proof beyond reasonable doubt standard and the defense has a case to argue.

If the prosecution loses the case for this reason the decision to not call Weisselberg as a witness will loom large. He is the one who could have connected that final link.

Notice that none of this requires deciding whether Trump had sex with Stormy Daniels. That’s why I was so adamant that the defense’s making a big issue of that was a mistake. I still believe it was. Defense should have treated her testimony as utterly irrelevant.

It also does not require cross examining Michael Cohen for 1 1/2 days to smear him as a liar. In fact, doing so risks making Cohen a victim and could be counter productive.




Retired lawyer & Army vet in The Villages of Florida. Lifelong: Republican (pre-Trump), Constitution buff, science nerd & dog lover. Twitter: @KeithDB80