Showing posts with label indictment. Show all posts
Showing posts with label indictment. Show all posts

August 11, 2023

Trump's aspirational defense rests on his being either an imbecile, delusional, or both



Top: A man's head seen from the front and back showing large ears and a deformed scalp by George Edward Shuttleworth, 1842-1928. Both images public domain

By Hal Brown, MSW, Retired psychotherapist

It should be becoming clear to Trump's lawyers that the First Amendment defense just won't fly. This seems to leave him with two viable defenses.

Consider this from 

Not just the coup: Trump used the "aspirational" defense in the E. Jean Carroll rape lawsuit by Amanda Marcotte


There was no conspiracy to overturn the government. Trump is just a delusional old man babbling at people! And empty chatter ain't no crime! 

Trump himself is leaning hard into the argument that he's too big of an imbecile to take seriously as a threat.

There are two words above, delusional and imbecile, which alone or together can be used and indeed have been used successfully to keep people either from being tried for a crime or on being convicted from being sent to a regular prison.

This has to do with laws about competency to stand trial:

It is a denial of due process to try or sentence a defendant who is “insane” or incompetent to stand trial.1 When it becomes evident during the trial that a defendant is or has become “insane” or incompetent to stand trial, the court on its own initiative must conduct a hearing on the issue.2Although there is no constitutional requirement that the state assume the burden of proving a defendant competent, the state must provide the defendant with a chance to prove that he is incompetent to stand trial. Thus, a statutory presumption that a criminal defendant is competent to stand trial or a requirement that the defendant bear the burden of proving incompetence by a preponderance of the evidence does not violate due process

 You can more read about the relevant laws here.

The term imbecile was once used to denote a category of people with moderate to severe intellectual disability as well as a type of criminal.[1][2] The meaning was further refined into mental and moral imbecility.[7][8]  (Wikipedia)

We all remember stories like "Tensions escalate after Tillerson calls Trump ‘moron’" from 2017 using another old medical term now slang for to insult someone either with low intelligence or who may be smart but who does something stupid. 

Trump's bet is to avoid being tried at all with the claim that he's too incompetent to particpate in his own defense.  If found guilty of felonies and sentenced to incarceration The Federal Bureau of Prisons can accommodate him and provide apropriate treatment and programs:


This Program Statement provides policy, procedures, standards, and guidelines for the delivery of mental health services to inmates with mental illness in all Federal Bureau of Prisons (Bureau) correctional facilities.

For the purpose of this Program Statement, mental illness is defined as in the most current Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders:

“A mental disorder is a syndrome characterized by clinical significant disturbance in an individual’s cognition, emotion regulation, or behavior that reflects a dysfunction in the psychological, biological, or developmental processes underlying mental functioning. Mental disorders are usually associated with significant distress or disability in social, occupational, or other important activities.

Classification of an inmate as seriously mentally ill requires consideration of his/her diagnoses; the severity and duration of his/her symptoms; the degree of functional impairment associated with the illness; and his/her treatment history and current treatment needs. Mental illnesses not listed below may be classified as seriously mentally ill on a case-by-case basis if they result in significant functional impairment. Reference.

Trump could go down in history as the most famous felon who ever served his time in a prison psychiatric hosptial. He'd be on the list with John Hinkley (who tried to assassinate Presdient Reagan and spent 34 years as a prisoner being treated at St. Elizabeth's Psychiatric Hospital) and Boston Strangler Alberto DeSalvo who spend years in the DOC psychiatric facility Bridgewater State Hospital before he escaped and was sent to the maximum secutiry Walpole Prison.

Addendum:

Recommended reading for Trump if this happens to him:

What Life Is Like for the 'Criminally Insane' at a Maximum-Security Psychiatric Hospital

Excerpt:

How and why do people end up in forensic psychiatric hospitals? 

All the patients have committed crimes and have been sent there by a judge, but they’re not actually criminals—they’ve been judged not responsible for their crimes.

Some are there because they’ve committed serious felonies and are being held for competency evaluations, to see if they have the capacity to stand trial. Some are inmates who come from other state psychiatric facilities because their behavior has been violent or aggressive and they meet the criteria for involuntary commitment. Most, however, have been found incompetent to stand trial or convicted of a crime that was committed when they were under the influence of a mental illness, like Brian.

Can they ever get out? 

They’re sent there until they have recovered or are considered stable enough to gradually return to the community—no matter how long that takes. For some of them, this never happens, and they stay in the hospital until they die. There’s no federal agency charged with monitoring them and no registry or organization that tracks how long they’ve been incarcerated or why.






June 12, 2023

HUFFPOST title editorializes in title, but gets it wrong, The Rolling Stones got it right.

 

There's no mention of Trumpworld playing with fire per se in the article which it titled: 

Trump, Allies Escalate Attacks On Criminal Case.

I think the appropriate saying is more like playing with matches, especially around a spilled can of gasoline. Of course children do play with fire whether they use matches or lighters and as such they are playing with fire. 





 
Just saying....


This is the second blog for the day. The first one is here.

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:

Excerpt:

“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: https://www.halbrown.org/2023/04/nobody-knows-for-certain-how-trump.html

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.

Update: 

"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"

PUBLISHED MARCH 31, 2023 1:21PM (EDT)

Addendum:

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..
More:

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. 

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