We’re back to the main event today – with a bang

Sign up for the Palmer Report mailing list
Help keep Palmer Report firing on all cylinders in 2024:

After Donald Trump spent the weekend humiliating himself in dementia-riddled fashion at disastrous campaign events, including at one point nearly falling over and then blaming the stage, one might be tempted to forget that Trump is still smack in this middle of his criminal trial.

Of course that’ll change quickly today once Trump’s criminal trial gets back underway this morning. The trial is at a crucial juncture, as Trump’s attorneys are 80-90% of the way through their cross examination of Michael Cohen. So far they’ve thrown every random bit of nonsense at him they could think of, but they’ve been unable to break him. Given that Cohen is the last major witness for the prosecution, and that the defense presentation (if there even is one) will be irrelevant, today is Trump’s last shot at any realistic hope of acquittal.

That said, it’s far from clear what Trump’s attorneys will do with their last shot. During Cohen’s first two days on the stand, Trump sat there looking at photos of rally crowds, suggesting he might not have even remembered or understood who Cohen was. On Cohen’s third day, Trump seemed to have some faint awareness of who Cohen was, and accordingly, Trump’s attorneys tried being more “aggressive” toward Cohen.

But after a long weekend in which Trump tried to hit the campaign trail and fell flat (almost literally), will he come into court a total zombie today? If so, and he doesn’t even know what’s going on, will his attorneys decide to just run out the clock against Cohen? Or will a worn out and agitated Trump come in looking for vengeance today?

Either way, I don’t expect Michael Cohen to crack. Moreover, I don’t think Trump’s attorneys have managed to score any points on their cross examination, because I think it can all be properly addressed by the prosecution’s redirect of Cohen. In fact that redirect, which could take place this afternoon, will probably end up being more relevant than the remainder of the cross examination.

As always, we’ll see what happens. If things play out on time today, and if Trump’s team really doesn’t end up mounting a defense, we could be looking at closing arguments (from both sides) as soon as tomorrow. The case could then go to the jury later this week, and we could be looking at a conviction shortly thereafter.

In the meantime we’ll likely be subjected to more fear mongering about the verdict than ever. The media will remind us every few minutes that “It only takes one juror” – but so what? That’s true of every trial. And we’ll surely be told that Trump will face no punishment even if he’s convicted, or whatever other fear and doubt the media decides to insert into the discussion during these final few days.

But let’s keep our eye on the big picture here. Various polling has shown that if Trump becomes a convicted felon he’ll lose a significant percentage of would-be Republican voters. This is supported by the number of registered Republicans who are turning out to vote in the ongoing Republican primaries just to cast protest votes against Trump.

And throughout this process, let’s keep in mind that Trump’s dementia-like symptoms continue to get more frequent and more severe. More to the point, after a period in which Trump’s handlers tried to keep him from doing any events, he’s now doing multiple events a week. He’s not up to the task – not even close – and it’s showing.

So if the Republican Party wants to go through with nominating a senile convicted felon at its convention this summer, then so be it. We were always going to have to defeat some awful Republican nominee in 2024. So let’s take the win from this trial and get to work.

Sign up for the Palmer Report mailing list
Help keep Palmer Report firing on all cylinders in 2024