Roger Parloff Profile picture
Jun 2 18 tweets 6 min read Read on X
Trump apologists now argue that Trump’s 34 crimes were wrongly upped to felonies—as if 34 misdemeanors are A-OK, on top of civil judgments for persistent fraud on lenders, charity fraud, sex abuse, 3 defamations, his company’s 17 felony convictions for tax fraud, etc. ...
... But what of the simple scumminess of this candidate, as evinced by the NY trial evidence? Let’s look at a few examples. E.g., remember that one component of the Trump-Cohen-Pecker deal was to smear Trump’s primary opponents. ...
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... According to AMI CEO David Pecker’s testimony, Cohen would say “we would like a negative article on, let’s say, Ted Cruz” or Ben Carson or Marco Rubio. After a primary debate, Cohen would direct the National Enquirer on “which direction we should go,” Pecker testified ...
... So between 10/17/15 & 12/7/15, the Enquirer ran 6 hatchet jobs that plastered Carson with epithets like “bungling surgeon,” “brain butcherer,” “Ben the butcher” & accused him of “ ‘lies’ over military & violent past." (Trump later named him his HUD Sec’y.) ...
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... And between 2/12/16 & 7/25/16, the Trump-Cohen-Pecker deal smeared Ted Cruz 18 times, dubbing him “boozin’” & “pervy”; linking him to a “porn star”; “5 secret mistresses”; an “alleged prostitution secret”; & linking his father to JFK assassin Lee Harvey Oswald ...
... And between 12/16/15 & 2/2/16, the trio, per their deal, allegedly smeared Marco Rubio in 3 headlines, suggesting a “love child” scandal; a “cocaine connection”; & a “cheating scandal.” ...
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.. Remember when a political party might have recoiled from a candidate who, when he was 60, allegedly pressured a 27-yr-old to have sex with him, saying, “I thought you were serious about what you wanted. If you ever want to get out of that trailer park—” ...
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... Or by loyalist Hope Hicks’ testimony that when confronted with the Access Hollywood tape transcript on 10/7/16, instructed Trump’s team to “deny, deny, deny.” The lie was “reflex,” she said. She wasn’t embarrassed about the lie on the stand—only about its inefficacy ...
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... And when the WSJ came to Hicks on 11/4/16 with its info about AMI having bought Karen McDougal’s silence about her alleged affair with Trump, you see the whole Trump lie factory reflexively kick into operation once again. ...
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... Hicks instantly drafts four potential statements blaming “the liberal elite” & “a publicity hungry individual with a get rich and famous quick scheme.”...
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... She shows her 4 proposals to Trump & then to Cohen, who know they’re false ...
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... Cohen then proposes an alternative false statement. He blames “the liberal media” and “Clinton machine.” ...
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... Hicks then shows Cohen’s proposed lie to Trump, & informs him of a proposed lie by Pecker, admitting paying McDougal but claiming it was just a legitimate contract for her to write health columns. ...
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... Finally, Trump instructs Hicks to adopt a vaguer lie—to just deny everything and deny knowledge of any payment—the approach she takes.
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... When choosing a presidential candidate, the crucial question isn’t whether, on appeal, he can persuade an appellate court that his crimes should have been charged only as misdemeanors. The question is whether the candidate is a pathological liar with no moral compass. ...
... If you doubt the fairness of my descriptions, you can review the full context of Pecker’s testimony in this Dispatch by my @lawfare colleagues @annabower, @tylermcbrien & Ben Wittes ...
@lawfare @AnnaBower @TylerMcBrien ... and, similarly, if you want to see the full context of
Stormy Daniels’ testimony, see this dispatch by my @lawfare colleagues @annabower, @tylermcbrien, Ben Wittes, & @quintajurecic here:
@lawfare @AnnaBower @TylerMcBrien ... There are similar dispatches for every day of the trial. Finally, please consider a donation to the @lawfare crew to continue covering the Trump trials below. Thanks!

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More from @rparloff

Jul 18
Please allow me one more thread on the immunity ruling. The substantial wrench SCOTUS has thrown in the NY case against Trump comes solely from one passage in the decision, section III-C, and it relies on a weird, inexplicable detour in CJ Roberts’ reasoning. ...
... Until III-C, the ruling is based on separation of powers arguments & its policy goal is to ensure that presidents can act “without undue caution” & “free from undue pressures & distortions.” But in III-C, Roberts suddenly veers off course into a discussion of jury bias ...
... Until then, remember, his ruling only erects limits on prosecutions for *official* acts.” If he’d stopped there, the ruling would have had had no impact on Trump’s NY convictions, which are for purely unofficial acts. ...
Read 17 tweets
Jul 12
Many conservatives now accept with bored acquiescence the near certainty that Trump, if elected, will dismiss both federal indictments against himself. Yet it would be an abuse far greater than the Saturday Night Massacre that once shocked the nation...
In Oct 1973, Nixon fired AG Elliot Richardson & then Dep AG Wm Ruckelshaus for refusing to fire Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox, who was subpoenaing Nixon’s White House tapes. The firings galvanized bipartisan support for impeachment proceedings ...
... which began 10 days later. Quaint though it may now seem, US District Judge Gerhard Gesell even ruled, later on, that the Cox’s dismissal had been illegal. ...
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Read 7 tweets
Jul 4
I’m puzzling over the chief justice’s crucial but impenetrable fn 3 in the immunity ruling. It discusses when evidence of official acts can be admissible to prove crimes involving unofficial acts. I invite guidance/correction from lawyers, professors, & others ...
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... Roberts is rebutting here the views of “concurring” Justice Barrett. (And I don’t get why Barrett says she’s only concurring when she’s clearly also dissenting to a crucial part of the ruling.) Explicitly agreeing with the dissent, Barrett writes ...
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... “The Constitution does not require blinding juries to the circumstances surrounding conduct for which Presidents can be held liable.” Then Barrett talks about proving a bribe, which is an official act performed for unofficial & criminal reasons. ...
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Read 12 tweets
Jun 22
Govt's reply last night, asking Judge Cannon to stop Trump from claiming that FBI wanted to kill Trump & his family, gives details about Ricky Shiffer’s 2022 attack on an FBI hdqtrs & a more recent threat to an agent working on the Hunter Biden case...
... On 8/11/22, three days after the Mar-a-Lago search, Shiffer attacked an Ohio FBI office with an AR-15 & a nail gun. When FBI pursued him, he fired on agents & then engaged in a 6-hr standoff, per search warrant application appended to the reply.
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... Addressing Trump’s claim that Shiffer’s attack can't be linked to Trump, govt cites 8/8/22 Truth Social post, calling the search “political persecution,” & Shiffer’s Truth Social posts later same day, saying “this is it,” “I am proposing war,” & “Kill the FBI on sight.”
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Read 9 tweets
Jun 9
My ambitious goal here is to give an overview of the arguments for & against Trump’s motion to dismiss due to the alleged unconstitutionality of the appointment of special counsel Jack Smith. Judge Cannon is weighing the motion very seriously & will hold a hearing 6/21. ...
The motion is supported by 2 amici, who take different tacks. A 3d amicus supports the govt.
The 1st pro-Trump amicus includes former AG Ed Meese & FedSoc co-founder Steve Calabresi. Their atty is Gene Schaerr.
The 2d pro-Trump amicus is @SethBTillman. His atty is Josh Blackman. Tillman’s brief devotes much attention—63 references—to an 1879 SCOTUS ruling, US v Germaine, about an extortion prosecution of a surgeon who’d done piecemeal work for the govt for $2 per exam....
Read 31 tweets
May 29
Was D.A. Bragg Right to Bring the New York Charges Against Trump?
(Answer: Yes) ...
... Now that we’ve seen the People’s case, we can make an educated guess about why DA Bragg brought it. Though we don’t know Bragg’s thinking, we do know a bit about his predecessor’s. ...
... In Feb 2021, Cy Vance Jr hired Mark Pomerantz to lead his Trump probe. After surveying the evidentiary landscape, Pomerantz envisioned bringing a case for “enterprise corruption,” (NYS’s little RICO statute) he later wrote in his book ...
Read 28 tweets

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