🇺🇸 Trump vs. Engoron

Plus, tailgate nuptials.

The Flag

Good morning, and happy Wednesday. In an effort to alleviate the pressures of the migrant crisis across the nation, St. Louis is proposing to resettle migrants from Chicago to boost its own workforce and population.

Plus, a pair of Philadelphia Eagles superfans showed their love for the team and each other by getting married at a tailgate party before the game against the Dallas Cowboys.

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Right: Youngkin Has Done Everything Right in Virginia Salena Zito, Washington Examiner

Right: Biden Has Lied Repeatedly to the American People Miranda Devine, New York Post

Left: How Cancel Culture Collapsed Candice Frederick, Huff Post


OH Enshrines Abortion Access, Israel to Control Gaza, Shutdown Looms

US: Ohio voters enshrine abortion access in constitution in latest statewide win for reproductive rights (AP)

US: Jewish man, 69, dies after clash during dueling protests over Israel-Palestinian conflict in LA area (CBS News)

World: Netanyahu indicates Israel plans to control Gaza after its war with Hamas ends (USA Today)

US: House advances Tlaib censure resolution after vote to block it fails (CNN)

US: Supreme Court appears inclined to uphold gun ban for domestic abusers (The Hill)

US: As shutdown looms, US House Republicans search for stopgap solution (Reuters)

World: Russia formally withdraws from key post-Cold War European armed forces treaty (Reuters)


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Trump vs. Engoron

On Monday, former President Donald Trump testified in his New York civil fraud trial, frequently giving what Judge Arthur Engoron called “irrelevant” answers and calling the trial a “disgrace”. Trump said he “would maybe on occasion have some suggestions” about the Trump Organization’s property valuations, which prosecutors allege were fraudulently inflated for financial gain.

Reporting from the Right: Trump, Judge Engoron trade jabs during former president's testimony in civil trial stemming from NYAG lawsuit (FOX News)

Reporting from the Left: Trump spars with judge and slams NY attorney general at a trial that imperils his real estate empire (AP)

From The Flag: Coverage from across the spectrum said the former president later appeared to “lose his cool.” Judge Engoron tried to rein Trump in on multiple occasions, saying, “We don’t have time to waste. We have one day to do this.” Responding to Trump’s off-topic criticism, Engoron said, “Please answer the question. You can attack me all you want, but just answer the question.” At one point, he asked Trump’s lawyer, “Can you control your client? This is not a political rally; this is a courtroom.”


Trump Won’t Be Stopped

  • Trump’s performance in the courtroom is a strategic play for his campaign and an attempt to get a successful appeal.

  • It would be a fool’s errand to try to reign in Trump in this courtroom, and it’s clear that his antics are helping him in his campaign.

  • “Former president offers a mix of calm answers and rhetoric, draws scolding from the judge for being long-winded and off-topic”

Trump’s combative testimony at fraud trial not aimed at lecturing judge Howard Kurtz, FOX News: “Former President Donald Trump was playing to two audiences yesterday in a Manhattan courtroom: the court of public opinion and the court of appeals. His repeated clashes with Judge Arthur Engoron, who Trump criticized to his face, were not aimed at changing his mind as he has already found Trump and his company guilty of fraud – and there's no jury. What the former president was doing was using his day on the stand as part of his campaign. The more he tangled with the judge, the more he was trying to create grounds for a successful appeal. Trump and his team know Engoron is not a fan, and the only thing at stake in this trial is the degree of financial punishment for the Trump Organization. He was also baiting the judge because his supporters love when he takes on a court system that they view as blatantly biased against him. His dogged defiance (with $15,000 in fines to show for it) fuels the perception of him as a candidate who can tame a crooked system.”

Not even America’s legal system can stop Trump Freddy Gray, The Spectator: “Nobody can control, or stop, the 45th President – least of all, it seems, the legal system. … The Trump train will chug on towards the Republican nomination – and, perhaps, to the White House again. ‘This is not a political rally,’ said Engoron, who himself seems to be enjoying the theatre a little too much. ‘This is a courtroom.’ But we all know, in our hearts even if we can’t admit it, that the manifold prosecutions and judgments against Trump are political. In this particular case, aimed squarely against the Trump business, the judge may well find that, as reports always claim, the Trump family ‘systematically inflated’ – systematically is an inflationary word – his assets on financial statements to get more favourable rates from banks and insurers. It will make Trump angry, it could hurt his business, people will point to the verdict and all the other legal counts Trump is facing and ask ‘how can this man still be considered a viable presidential candidate.’ None of that will matter. … Yet the legal trials of Donald Trump only help him politically: the latest polls suggest he will beat Joe Biden in next year’s presidential election.

One more opinion piece from the Right: Trump Testimony Sparks Testy Exchanges in New York Civil-Fraud Trial Corinne Ramey and Jacob Gershman, The Wall Street Journal


“Trump Is Gonna Trump”

  • Judge Enogoron and the prosecution made the right call to let Trump rant in the courtroom, as it locked him into his testimony.

  • Trump has used this tactic of rambling and ranting in most other aspects of his life, but it won’t work in the courtroom.

  • “Former president’s testimony was reminiscent of his rallies – and Judge Engoron was having none of it”

Judge Engoron Made the Right Call: Let Trump Rant and Rave Shan Wu, Daily Beast: “…former President Trump repeatedly criticized the judicial process itself, testifying that the case brought against him was ‘unfair’… There were only hints of substance and relevance in Trump’s responses. As expected, he relied heavily on the so-called disclaimer clause in the company’s financial statements, the one which he had claimed in a previous deposition rendered the statements worthless and meaning nothing. He also took on the question of inflated valuations by asserting that— in his opinion—values were underestimated, insinuating that his own valuations were the ones to be trusted. Mostly, however, Trump simply threw tantrums. … The prosecutor, Kevin Wallace, did a solid job of not engaging in excessive fighting with Trump but simply taking him through questions. It’s a wise tactic to use with a bombastic witness like Trump. Just let them talk. That’s a tactic often used in grand jury investigations where prosecutors bring forward a witness and let them say whatever they want. This fully previews their testimony and locks them in from changing their story later.”

The One Audience Trump Can’t Hoodwink Jesse Wegman, The New York Times: “That signature rambling filibuster has propelled Mr. Trump through every venture of his life, from real estate to reality television to the American presidency. He relies on it to control the room, to manipulate the crowd, and to avoid addressing any topic he doesn’t want to. He says it all, loudly and repeatedly, and never answers the real question. That doesn’t work in court, where the judge is in charge, the rules of evidence are in effect and the witness has sworn to tell the whole truth. Justice Engoron illustrated this over and over on Monday during Mr. Trump’s testimony, which deliberately meandered from the questions the prosecution was asking in order to blunt their effect. … Despite spending countless hours in and around courtrooms during his unusually litigious life, Mr. Trump still seems not to fully grasp this truth. Or, as with all other rules that bind the rest of us, he thinks it doesn’t apply to him.

One more opinion piece from the Left: Speeches and grandstanding: Trump scores few if any legal points in court Lauren Aratani, The Guardian


Favorability Among Republicans Is Strong

Trump's combative rhetoric gets considerable pushback and is regularly fact-checked. However, this appears to not make any difference for Republican voters, as his favorably remains very high among the group.

At the end of October, Trump’s favorability rating was at 83% among Republicans according to YouGov polling. On the other hand, his favorability is considerably lower at 29% across the general population, according to an Ipsos poll from the beginning of November (FiveThirtyEight).

Do you believe Trump's combative approach is helping or hurting him in this trial?

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Rep. Sonny Bono (R-CA), Better To Dos, Cash in Handbag

On This Day in 1994: Salvatore “Sonny” Bono’s career in elective politics takes him to the United States House of Representatives from California’s 44th Congressional District.

Today I learned Aretha Franklin required that she be paid in cash before any performance. The cash went into her handbag, and the handbag either stayed with her security team or would rest on the piano during her onstage performance.

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