If you’ve been wondering why today’s New York civil fraud trial against Donald Trump doesn’t have a jury and will be solely decided by the presiding judge, today we got our official answer. The judge announced at the start of the trial that no one involved asked for a jury trial.
Smart legal experts are saying that this is because NY Attorney General Letitia James filed a form seeking a non-jury trial, and Donald Trump’s legal team didn’t file anything seeking a jury trial. This decision appears to have been made by Trump attorney Alina Habba, who appears to be in charge of Trump’s defense in this trial (we say “appears” because his legal team is essentially a scatter drill at this point). So why would Trump and Habba not seek a jury trial? There are few possible explanations:
– They thought their odds of winning would be better without a jury (if so, this has already proven faulty, given that they’ve already preemptively lost the trial).
– Trump didn’t want to have to pay for the extra legal bills that might have been involved in selecting and screening jurors.
– Trump and Habba are under the mistaken impression that they can use this as the basis for an appeal (if so, good luck with that, given that they didn’t object to a judge-only trial today).
– They simply didn’t understand that they needed to file a form seeking a jury trial.
Take your pick. Any or all of them could be true. But remember the guiding principle these days when it comes to trying to figure out what Trump and his remaining people are doing, and why they’re doing it: they’re idiots. There’s a natural tendency to try to apply logic, reason, or common sense to the moves that Trump and his people are making. But in the end we keep being reminded that they’re simply inept idiots, doing arbitrarily idiots things, with no rhyme or reason or strategy or goal. And it looks like their idiocy has struck again.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report