Trump Tweets Talk Terribly. May 10 Trump Criminal Trial Update

Keith
4 min readMay 10, 2024

A series of witnesses testified today as the prosecution is beginning to wind up its case against Trump. Perhaps most damaging was a Trump tweet which proved an opening statement claim made to the jury by his attorney to be a lie. Here are today’s highlights.

-On cross examination former White House aide Madeleine Westerhout testified that Trump frequently signed hundreds of documents a day, often while doing other things (such as talking on the phone) without reviewing what he was signing. This sometimes included signing checks. She described Trump as a hardworking multitasker. Defense counsel was trying to convey Trump as too busy to have been aware of any crimes going on in what they will claim was a scheme by Cohen and Weisselberg not involving Trump.

-Westerhout weakly testified on cross that Trump was upset when the Stormy Daniels story came out because it was hurtful to his family, but then added that Trump didn’t actually say that but that she could just tell. That led to a prosecution objection that was sustained with the answer stricken.

-On redirect from prosecutors Westerhout admitted that she has been talking to defense counsel and admitted she most recently did just two nights ago.

NOTE: This exchange serves as a compare and contrast lesson in how good attorneys do things vs. mediocre ones. Trump’s attorneys clumsily attempted to make a similar point directly asking Stormy Daniels if she was coached in her answers by the prosecutors, which she flatly denied. Prosecutors with Westerhout got the same idea across by indirectly asking when she last talked to defense counsel, and leaving it with that answer for the jury to fill in. Thus, the jury has the notion now that Westerhouse’s good statements about Trump, to include the stricken statement above, was schemed between her and defense counsel. Sometime good lawyering is about knowing when to stop.

-Georgia Longstreet, a paralegal in the prosecutor’s office returned to introduce tweets by Trump aimed at showing his guilty mind. The tweets show Trump praising Cohen until Cohen turned against Trump and pled guilty to federal crimes. Then Trump responded:

“If anyone is looking for a good lawyer, I would strongly suggest that you don’t retain the services of Michael Cohen!”

-Longstreet showed a series of texts from April 7, 2016 between National Enquirer editor Dylan Howard and Stormy Daniels publicist Gina Rodriguez with the two seeming to agree that the Stormy Daniels story is true.

Rodriguez: “But Stormy Daniels was his mistress.”

Howard: “I bet she was . . . Can u email me what u have on that?”

Rodriguez: “Yes, I will.”

-Over defense counsel objection, Longstreet read into evidence a May 3, 2018 tweet from Trump showing his knowledge that the retainer payments to Cohen were to repay him for hush money paid to Daniels:

“Mr. Cohen, an attorney, received a monthly retainer, not from the campaign and having nothing to do with the campaign, from which he entered into, through reimbursement, a private contract between two parties, known as a non-disclosure agreement, or NDA.”

NOTE: This is important. In their opening argument defense counsel told the jury that there was no repayment to Cohen. While other evidence has shown there was, this is a statement from Trump himself. Once again, defense counsel amplified the importance of the evidence in the eyes of the jury by unsuccessfully objecting to it.

-In another text to Howard, Rodriguez makes clear that her client (Stormy Daniels) is willing to confirm her story on the record.

-On cross Longstreet admits her role was to just read the texts and tweets into the record and she has no knowledge of their context.

-Longstreet also states that she has not reviewed a tweet made by Stormy Daniels last night. In that tweet Daniels taunted Trump and urged him to testify: “Real men respond to testimony by being sworn in and taking the stand in court. Oh…wait. Nevermind.” Trump argues the gag order unfairly prevents him from responding to taunts like that. Expect him to again ask the judge to modify the gag order because of that tweet.

-The next witness is another paralegal from the prosecutor’s office, Jaden Jarmel-Schneider.

-Jarmel-Schneider introduced reports linking phone call records to other evidence in the case, providing context for them in light of contemporaneous texts, emails, and conversations, including the conversation recorded by Cohen of him discussing with Trump the setting up of a shell company to conceal a planned payment to McDougal.

-Another report introduced with Jarmel-Schneider links the specific falsified business records to the specific counts in the indictment. It’s clearly designed to be a handy tool for jurors to refer to in their deliberations.

-The day ended early for the jury, around 12:45. The prosecution says they plan to call two more witnesses and might rest their case by the end of next week. Cohen is expected to be called Monday, and will likely spend some time on the stand, to include extensive cross examination.

-Speaking of Cohen, defense counsel complained that Cohen is making public comments about Trump and that it is unfair that Trump cannot respond. They asked for Cohen to be placed on the same gag order as Trump. The judge directed the prosecution to tell Cohen to stop, and to tell him “that comes from the bench.”

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Keith

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