June 29, 2023


Donald Trump's Bold Court Gamble Flops (EWAN PALMER, 6/28/23 , Newsweek)

Judge Hellerstein said that Trump's lawyers haven't provided any other proof of any legal services provided by Cohen as special counsel to the president, apart from the reimbursement for the money he paid to Daniels. "There's no proof of what he did," Hellerstein said, via CNN.

Blanche also made an unexpected move by calling on the Trump Organization's chief legal officer, Alan Garten, to testify that Trump hired Cohen as a personal attorney in 2017 when he was in office in order to help separate personal and presidential business.

Garten also testified that The Trump Organization forwarded matters involving the president and then first lady Melania Trump to Cohen, including the $130,000 reimbursement.

"My understanding was to reimburse him for the payments that he had made as part of the Clifford settlement agreement and also to compensate him for the work in the role that he was playing as counsel," Garten said.

However, as noted by MSNBC legal analyst Lisa Rubin, who was present at the hearing, Garten was "hardly the slam-dunk witness" as expected by Trump's legal team as he confirmed that he had never seen any retainer agreement with Cohen and didn't know what other services Cohen provided.

"He could not articulate exactly why Cohen was hired as Trump's personal attorney except to say that he and Eric Trump wanted to ensure that they did not undermine Trump's separation from the business, as advised by his lawyers at Morgan Lewis," Rubin tweeted.

"There was an argument on whether Trump has a colorable federal defense on preemption grounds, but the die was cast once Hellerstein accepted the crux of the DA's argument: That Cohen was Trump's personal lawyer, paid with Trump's personal funds, and handled personal affairs."

Rubin added that Garten "could not attest" to some of Trump's legal team's key points and also made some "damaging admissions" during his testimony.

"It was a bold gamble without any payoff. And something tells me that tonight, Todd Blanche, Trump's shiniest new legal toy, is no longer feeling so golden," Rubin wrote.

Blanche trying to join the disbarment parade. Garten not.

Posted by at June 29, 2023 6:33 AM