Showing posts with label Alvin Bragg. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Alvin Bragg. Show all posts

May 31, 2023

Wait a New York minute, Trump may have a case that his hush money trial should be moved to federal court

 By Hal Brown

I just read about this:

Click above to read article

Trump’s lawyers called District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s prosecution politically motivated and argued that the federal courts have so-called “protective jurisdiction” to prevent state hostility to a federal officer. This is a legal maneuver, but wait a New York minute, let's analyze this from an entirely different perspective. 

If Trump is correct in his belief about grabbing women, that is that if you're a star you can do it, or anything else that is illegal for that matter, then it stands to reason that if a president does it, he can do it too. Or, to quote Nixon, when a president does it, it's not illegal.  

From shooting someone on Fifth Avenue to sexually assaulting women, to the comparatively minor crime of paying hush money to someone who could upset your political aspirations if they went public with what they knew, to making false and misleading financial statement to get better loan deals, Donald Trump believes that he is so far above the law that he'd need the Hubble telescope to even see where the law was.

Click images below to enlarge them

Let's remember that Richard "I'm not a crook" Nixon set a precedent for getting away with being a criminal.

Here's the famous phrase in context:

...because people have got to know whether or not their president is a crook. Well, I'm not a crook. I've earned everything I've got. 

Nixon was saying he legally earned everything he had. Today Trump is not only facing charges that he tried to steal an election and stole documents, but that in the New York civil case that the Trump organization basically stole money.

Thanks to Gerald Ford, Nixon never was tried and convicted, let alone indicted for Watergate.

Not that Geraldo Rivera should be worth a thimble full of digital newsprint, but his proposal that Biden should pardon Trump was greeted by presidential laughter and Twitter mockery (read HUFFPOST article).

These are the most snarky tweets in the HUFFPOST article:

You can predict how Trump, the most psychoanalyzed world leader since Adolf Hitler, will react in given situations. On the one chance in a gazillion that Biden would issue a preemptive pardon for Trump I think we can speculate that Trump wouldn't accept it. 

It remains to be seen whether Trump will end up playing with his little putter in a prison yard, let alone be indicted and tried in criminal court for any felonies which carry a prison sentence. However if flop sweat had a stink to it I'd say that even if Trump was normal and not in narcissistic delusional denial being around him would be worse than being on the wrong end of a threatened skunk.



April 4, 2023

Michael Cohen and others claim to know what's in Trump's headspace. They don't..

 By Hal Brown

We know how Trump wants people to see him. The digital trading cards are in contrast to the photo he choose to be on "The Art of the Deal" cover. 
We might conclude that something in his mind changed between 1987 when the book was published and when he put out his digital cards. Then again, we also might say that the "I'm Superman" narcissistic grandiosity has been an underlying, perhaps driving part, of Trump's personality all of his adult life. It's probably more accurate to say that the choice of the photo on his book cover was a considered marketing decision approved by Trump but that experts at Random House, the publisher, persuaded him to use this one.

All someone like me, who practiced as a psychotherapist for 40 years, or anybody else can do is make educated guesses about what motivates Trump and what he is feeling. For example, many people say he has been frequently motivated by money. On the surface this makes sense. However, nobody, not even Trump himself, knows what money unconsciously represents to him. Even a psychoanalyst would be making an educated guess.

We see what he does but when we delve into the feelings and psychodynamics underlying his behaviors we are in an unknowable realm.

For example, this was the top story on HUFFPOST this morning:


“Diaper Donald will be filling up that diaper, because this is not something that Donald is capable of either understanding or contending with,” Cohen, who worked closely with Trump as his personal attorney for more than a decade, told Ari Melber on Monday on MSNBC’s “The Beat.”

“He believes he could control every situation. This is not a situation that he has any control over, and that’s making him sick to his stomach,” he added. “I think right now he’s beyond petrified.”
There's nothing in the above (taking the diaper remark as a metaphor of course) that Cohen absolutely 100% for certain knows. Even saying that Trump believes he could control every situation, which sounds accurate on the face of it, ought to include modifiers like usually or ought to.

I wrote the following as a comment to the article:

All people like Cohen can do is speculate on what Trump is actually feeling, on the emotions he is experiencing. All anyone knows for certain is what is observable. Let's not forget that he is posting all cap messages on Truth Social in the wee hours of the night. This could be performative but it is a fact that the time stamp say it is, for example, 3AM. Trump has been an actor for decades. Even trying to analyze his facial expressions, even if he tears up, even if his sing-song voice quivers this is an exercise in drawing a conclusion about what is in what Cohen calls his headspace. Add to this imprecision is the possibility his feelings may vacillate. He may experience fleeting anxiety but then may push these feelings down (into the unconscious) and replaces them with anger. Like anyone he has psychological defense mechanisms, the most primitive of these is denial and another is projection. More about this here:

I admit that part of why I did this was to promote my blog. However this speculation in the media continues to be rampant so I thought a reprise of what I wrote in the blog from April 2, was warranted.

This is what Omarosa Manigault Newman told Joy Reid (video here):

Donald Trump is approaching his arraignment in a Manhattan courtroom. "Yes, he is going to try to pivot and distract and make you all think that he's not upset or nervous, but Donald Trump is terrified,” Omarosa Manigault Newman tells Joy Reid. “I can just certainly tell by his telltale signs... he doesn't look well."

You can look at Trump's posture, for example, and make an educated guess as to how he feels. For example these are from The Washington Post:

Click to enlarge

These are the photos the two New York City tabloids used:

You can also make your own conclusions based on what Trump isn't doing in these photos. For example, below he is waving but not smiling at cameras he knows are taking pictures of him. 

On Fox News with  Sean Hannity Trump said (about the documents at Mar-a-Lago) "I would have the right to take stuff, I have the right to do stuff." Talking heads, for example on Morning Joe, are pointing out that this was basically him admitting to having done something being investigated by Jack Smith. 
We can conclude that admitting something that will be likely be used against him should the documents case go to court shows poor judgement. We can with a high degree of confidence say that in his "headspace" or gut when he said these words he wasn't experiencing anxiety. What we don't know is that whether or not just below the surface of awareness anxiety was roiling around in what is sometimes referred to as the preconscious mind (see below). 

Here's the public domain iceberg graphic
of the mind I used in my other blog story.

Al Sharpton, also on Morning Joe, said Trump is humiliated. Again this is a speculation about what Trump feels. He said people underestimate the effect this has on Trump psychologically. It would be correct to say that if Trump was like the vast majority of people this and all these conclusions would be accurate. 

Here's someone else assuming they know what Trump is feeling (From Raw Story)

"The View" co-host Alyssa Farah Griffin worked for Donald Trump in the White House, and she's not buying reports that he's calmly relishing his legal predicament...
..."I know him well enough to know he is not loving this. He is spiraling. As someone, who despite his terrible actions, does think about legacy and how he is perceived. Now, his life, whether it's his obituary, is going to say he was indicted, the first American president to be."

Trump isn't psychologically like most people. See my Daily Kos essay from 2020 

Add a section to the DSM-5. It doesn't come close to having a category for Trump.

The closest anyone might come to understanding what is in Trump's unconscious mind is if he honestly told them about his dreams. This is what Freud called the royal road to the unconscious in The Interpretation of Dreams.
Nobody but Trump, and Melania if she sleeps with him, knows if he is awakening at night screaming from having nightmares.

Updates: Trump leaving Trump Tower on way to courthouse:

He waved when he was entering the courthouse but his face remained as it was in other photos taken earlier.

Get it? A rain man...

'He looks sad': CNN panel sees reality 'sinking in' on Trump's face

Is he sad or maybe just tired? After all he is posting on Truth Social in the middle of the night. The panelists said he had to feel lonely too. They would feel lonely in a similar situation. Most people would. At the risk of repeating myself, Trump is not most people.

So many in the media are making assumptions abut Trump's emotions  based on what they and everyone they know would feel. He could be feelings this way, but he may not.

Andrea Mitchel on MSNBC just got got it right. She asked if Donald Trump is different and does he process things differently. She asked whether these things penetrate.

Trump just leaving and heading to courtroom where the indictment will be read and he will plead:
The MSNBC commentators observing the pictures below are saying that this is what Trump didn't want televised. They were taken prior to the cameras being removed from the courtroom. They are saying that he looks like someone reacting to being is a situation he doesn't want to be in. 

This is the most expressive screenshot.

March 31, 2023

DeSantis on Trump extradiction, it's all about me, me, me, me...

 By Hal Brown

Caricatures by DonkeyHotey

If the reporting is correct Trump will present himself for arraignment  in New York and not hole up at Mar-a-Lago making himself the most famous fugitive since Julian Assange . Notwithstanding this Ron DeSantis, made a play for publicity minutes after the Trump indictment was announced:

Ignoring the antisemitic dog whistle about George Soros, the key words in his tweet are that Florida will not assist in an extradition request

The procedure and process for extradition is spelled out in detail here. It is in the US Constitution:

Extradition Clause of the U.S. Constitution (Article IV Section 2) requires that:

A person charged in any State with Treason, Felony, or other Crime, who shall flee from Justice, and be found in another State, shall on Demand of the executive Authority of the State from which he fled, be delivered up, to be removed to the State having Jurisdiction of the Crime.

This is how Business Insider addresses what DeSantis tweeted: 

There are two ways that someone can be extradited from Florida to another state. These are described below.

Excerpt from Business Insider:

In the more common method — which DeSantis appeared to refer to — New York Gov. Kathy Hochul would send an extradition demand to the Florida governor. The governor's only role is making sure the demand meets all the legal requirements before ordering the extradition, legal experts told Insider. The demand would have to include a copy of the indictment, proving there's a warrant out for Trump's arrest.

If DeSantis wanted to slow the process he could ask his legal affairs office or a prosecutor to review Hochul's extradition demand and write a report before signing off on it. If the extradition demand is legitimate, however, he'll have to sign it within 60 days, legal experts said. He could also delegate and let another member of the Florida executive branch sign off on Hochul's extradition demand.

In the second extradition method, Manhattan prosecutors could bypass the governors entirely and ask a Florida court to order Trump to show up in New York court.

This Newsweek article also explains why DeSantis couldn't block an extradition request.

I can't imagine Donald Trump doing anything that might make it appear to his supporters that he is in any way, shape, or form accepting a favor from Ron "DeSanticomious". As I write this someone on MSNBC just agreed with me saying that there's no way Trump would want to make DeSantis look like the alpha dog. Jonathan Lemire just called it political theater coming from DeSantis. The MSNBC panel is agreeing that this matter has become a clown show.

None of this matters to DeSantis. He is competing with Kevin McCarthy for headlines:

DeSantis is threatening to do something that won't happen. McCarthy is threatening to do something, absurd as it is, which he can actually do. Still, DeSantis with his rhetorical flourishes has the more buzzy tweet.

Of course nobody's tweets can compete with the often all caps "truths" coming from Trump on his Truth Social platform.  

Unless the judge in Manhattan restricts what he can post or say about his indictment, or his lawyers convince him to put one sock over his fingers and another into his mouth, I expect Trump will continue to rant and rave. 

I predict that this posturing about horrors of Trump's indictment by DeSantis will pass since in his black heart I am certain he wants nothing but a shitload of bad for Trump.


"Empty posturing": Experts rip DeSantis' "cheap and performative" threat to block Trump extradition

"It shows a real contempt for the rule of law in this country"



Watch Rachel Maddox discussing what DeSantis tweeted:

At the end of her show when she did the handoff to Lawrence O'Donnell she invited Stormy Daniels to appear on her show and wished her the best in making money off of this new development..

It seem as if all the pundits predict that DeSantis is biding his time before announcing that he's going to run against Trump. Heather "Digby" Parton is the first person I've read who questions the inevitability of this:

Count me among those who think it's quite likely that instead of harming his chances of winning the Republican nomination, this indictment and any that follow, will almost guarantee it. As we can see by the reaction from the elected officials, it's not just the MAGA hardcore who feel compelled to rush to defend him. This is an organizing tool and a fundraising vehicle for the whole party and it may just vault him to the nomination without much competition. It's even possible that DeSantis might decide not to run after all. Article


On an only slightly related subject, yesterday I was wondering what the covers of the New York City tabloids would look like this morning. The New York Daily News has had a number of snarky covers featuring Trump so I was hoping to see one today. However they played it straight. It was the Murdoch NY Post which went with a snarky cover.

Click above to enlarge. Old Trump and Stormy cover upper right.

Thanks for reading. Scroll down to make comments and share on social media. The archives and tags are on the bottom. 

March 10, 2023

How will Trump react to being indicted?

 By Hal Brown, MSW

If you're reading this you are a news junky and probably have read some of the news and opinion articles shown above. You've seen what is being reported as Trump's likely indictment in New York City by DA Alvin Bragg.

The closest thing I have heard about how Trump will react to being indicted, whether in New York or Georgia or both, is that he will use this to his advantage. This is the glove that does fit when it come to applying what we know about his personality to this situation.

A frequently used phrase is that he will play the victim card. I doubt he will bemoan his plight as shown in my second illustration, at least not in public. Trump may actually feel overwhelmed at times but he won't show this where a camera can catch him. 

Most likely he will rant and rave at an escalating level reaching a crescendo of incoherent rage so far unseen. The man lives by the polls and when he see his support for the GOP nomination dropping this will be a trigger. Then the more the chance that he may actually go to prison percolates into his awareness he will begin to slide down the slippery slope of mental decompensation. 

Trump has what mental health experts calls rigid psychological defense mechanisms. These are unconscious built-in ways all people protect themselves from experiencing anxiety. Depending on the level of stress and threat of major life setbacks this anxiety can be devastating.

Those with flexible defense mechanisms are considered more psychologically healthy. They can adapt and adjust to life stress without breaking down. Those with rigid defense mechanisms are more likely to have them shatter and be vulnerable to having severe psychiatric reactions from debilitating depression all the way to psychotic episodes.

If this happens to Trump, as good a performer as he is, he won't be able to fake it successfully. He's a good actor but he's not that good.

Trump may never do the perp walk to Rikers or another jail, but his downfall may very well be a psychological breakdown. This could result in his either being secretly spirited off to an inpatient psychiatric hospital, or more likely being treated at Mar-a-Lago which mysteriously will be closed to guests for renovations.

Click above to enlarge

Click above to enlarge
Donald J. Trump
@realDonaldTrump. 16s
I did absolutely nothing wrong, I never had an affair with Stormy Daniels, nor would I have wanted to have an affair with Stormy Daniels.
This is a political Witch-Hunt, trying to take down the leading candidate, by far, in the Republican Party while at the same time also leading all Democrats in the polls, including Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. Congress and numerous Democrat District Attorneys, Attorneys General, and the...
Donald J. Trump
@realDonaldTrump. 53s
...Department of Injustice itself, which has unprecedentedly placed top DOJ prosecutors into the Manhattan District Attorney's office in order to "get Trump", have found that I did nothing wrong. Now, they fall back on the old, and rebuked case which has been rejected by every prosecutor's office that has looked at this Stormy "Horseface" Daniels matter, where I relied on counsel in order to resolve this Extortion of me, which took place a long time ago. Since then, I have won lawsuits...


Someone on Mastodon wrote:

Maybe you can riff on his CPAC self-description as a “warrior.” This from the guy who dodged the draft with his spurious Bone Spurs diagnosis. Hence my suggestion of a new hashtag: #BoneSpursWarrior

So I added to one of Trump's NFT trading cards:

Click above to enlarge. The image on the upper left is from this blog.

Anonymous Ben Kalom said...


In his usual bloviating style.
He will never see the inside of a correctional facility.

He has opened the door for the real dangerous people - -the individuals who did perform, who did participate, who did accomplish, who have held their personal desires and fantasies in check, who are truly dictatorial, who will amass a weaponized force, who can institute martial law, who are not going to defend the U.S. Constitution because it stands in the way of their grand schemes.

If you give Mr. DeSantis a first look, merely peruse his wikipedia page, not stop to think about the underlying architecture of who he is, his roots, his upbringing, his participations, his accomplishments, his credentials, his current success at pedagogic and unilateral dogmatic management of his Florida statehouse, his unilateral way of wiping out history and "nationalizing" the areas of Florida where Disney Theme Parks reside, his singular method of revealing a militarized precision for assault

If all you do is stop at his superficial characteristics, you would think he's a good candidate for making things great.

Personally, I see nothing more than another Lorenzo Di Medici - a power-hungry, careful, tactical strategist who can get done what Donnie could never do...

Let's start looking at DeSantis as a more dangerous, more "Il Duce" type, with even more of the Etruscan peninsular genetics flowing through his very Italian veins.

As bad as Donnie was, Meatball Ron is far worse. Far, far, worse. Exceptionally dangerous.

Peace, brother from another mother...

Ida Haley commented:

I think he will continue his victim hood. He is now pronouncing himself the one who will take retribution against those who are bedeviling the faithful.

He apparently posted hunter Biden d**k pics on his own truth social. He will ramp up the assault on the Biden s to distract from his and his spawn's own criminality.

His fifth column is alive and well and very active under the radar. Bannon, Flynn, stone, manafort, the Russian and Arab government's are all working to protect him from prosecution and TO GET HIM BACK IN THE WHITE HOUSE.

Qanon runs deep. We are still being surprised at the depth of involvement by Fox news, we haven't even opened the can of worms at the FBI and secret service. They just arrested a retired FBI agent from NY for conspiring with the Russians. He was in charge of the FBI in NY covering Russia and he's the one who announced trump had no Russian help. We have secret service people who have destroyed evidence about jan6.

Not to get hysterical, but we don't know how deeply compromised our government is. We have insurrectionists sitting in Congress who now control the house and possibly the Senate. I'm not hearing anything about Mitch McConnell; if he has to be replaced, who would that be?

We still have a supreme court that is Vatican 2.0. how far are they willing to go to undermine the democracy because that is certainly their plan.

We are facing possibly the biggest threat to our democracy in modern times, yet the MSM PLAYS IT LIKE BOTH SIDES DO IT. It's business as usual, it's not. We had a huge fasc*st movement in the 30's that funded Hitler's rise to power and plotted to overthrow FDR.

Please comment below

January 18, 2023

Will Manhattan DA's case against Trump have deadly tentacles

 Will Manhattan DA's case against Trump have deadly tentacles
By Hal Brown

I read this article in RAWSTORY and the phrase shown above leaped off the page and sent me to DuckDuckGo Images to find man-of-war jellyfish.

The article begins:

Manhattan district attorney Alvin Bragg may finally have changed his mind about indicting former president Donald Trump.

The recent conviction of the Trump Organization and its chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg gave a glimpse of evidence that could tie the ex-president directly to the tax fraud scheme, such as a memo he signed approving chief operating officer Matthew Calamari’s illegal request to reduce his taxed salary to cover the cost of his untaxed corporate apartment, reported The Daily Beast.

Here's the portion about the tentacles:

“This case has tentacles,” said Duncan Levin, a former prosecutor who now represents Jennifer Weisselberg and has been communicating with investigators.

The district attorney's office declined to comment on what Bragg meant about another chapter, but former prosecutors from that office say their experience leads them to believe prosecutors will go after Trump.

“For people who want a certain outcome — to go after Trump — it gives hope," said Catherine A. Christian, a former assistant district attorney who investigated financial fraud. "They’re going to be thorough. I’m doubtful he would have said ‘next chapter’ if they weren’t looking."

To tell the unvarnished truth I don't have anything particularly original to say about this. I just wanted an excuse to make a couple of illustrations. I leave it to readers to indulge in fantasies about the Teflon don Don falling into a jellyfish swarm.

I think he might a need a full immersion wetsuit rather than a coating of Teflon to protect him from the jellyfish swarming around him not only in New York (cue music video) but also in Georgia (cue video two).


Irrelevant to today's story, items to share:

Funniest puniest of the week:

More seriously, everyone should share this image.

This hopefully will be the final straw to break for Santos and humiliate McCarthy. It would be truly great if McCarthy has to take steps to remove him from the House, and at least to immediately kick him off his committee assignments. There are a number of Republicans who shoot their dogs because they can't hunt anymore, but far more are dog lovers. I just wish more articles shared this photo:

"He would say, 'oh well, that Jew will give more if you're a Jew," Morey-Parker quoted his former roommate.

I wouldn't say that you can make a firm judgement of how smart someone is by how they look, but then again.... (article)

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