The Space-Time Continuum You Must Live in to Believe NYC Trump Prosecutors

AP Photo/Yuki Iwamura

I know next to nothing about string theory, but it looks like the prosecutors in the Trump trial in Manhattan are hoping the jurors do. They want them to join the prosecution's time-space continuum — that's the only way to make sense out of how trying to kill a bad story in 2011 and again in 2016 turned into 34 alleged bookkeeping errors in 2017, and how those misdemeanors magically elevated into felonies in 2024 — including stealing the 2016 election.


That's the legal case being tried in Manhattan. You're welcome. But stick with me, because it gets more convoluted and you'll need to keep book on it.  

Prosecutors in the Manhattan bookkeeping case against Donald Trump had their "star" witness, Michael Cohen, back on the stand to testify that payments to him to stop injurious stories were somehow in furtherance of stealing the 2016 election from Hillary Clinton. The "serial perjurer" was put on the stand to testify that the former president was a "micromanager" who knew every move made by the thug he'd hired to be his personal attorney. 

"I'm not lying this time!" Cohen may as well have testified. 

Questions about why Trump hired this person — who secretly recorded at least one conversation, which was played before the court on Monday — to be his personal attorney may be shelved for the moment. The question is, how is it influencing an election in 2016 when Cohen killed the story about the professional adult film copulator for the first time in 2011? Were prosecutors suggesting that Trump killed the story then because he was running for president in 2012? 

Related: Serial Perjurer Michael Cohen Testifies for the Prosecution in Trump NYC Trial

I happen to have some insight into this. Recently, I spoke on my Adult in the Room Podcast with Lord Conrad Black a Trump friend, author of a new book about world history, and international newspaper publisher (and a former inmate, which we talk about). It's an extraordinary interview because Black is an extraordinary man. But I happened to find an interview that Black did with Donald Trump after the 2012 election. Trump spoke about the presidential race, made shockingly nice comments about Mitt Romney, and talked about how he shelved his political ambitions because of his "Celebrity Apprentice" show. 


In other words, if Michael Cohen testified accurately that Trump wanted the story killed in 2011, it wasn't because Trump was trying to clean up his political image; it was because he didn't want to embarrass and anger his wife. The same rationale as in 2016, as Hope Hicks testified in this dumb trial.

Indeed, the only time Trump showed any reaction to Cohen's testimony during his Monday debut was when his former lawyer alleged that after the "Access Hollywood" video leaked in October 2016, Trump "wasn't even thinking about Melania; this was all about the campaign." Trump shook his head, mumbled, and looked at his attorney. 

Prosecutors are attempting to link the killing of the 2011 Stormy story with politics and convince jurors that was the only thing that motivated the then-TV star in 2011. 

Related: Just One More Thing, Stormy: Do You Know Anything About Trump's Business Records?

Here's how CNN reported the exchange: 

Michael Cohen first learned about Daniels' story in 2011 when he worked with Keith Davidson to get to remove a blog post about the alleged account.

"After I received the information from Dylan Howard, I immediately went to Mr. Trump's office, knocked on the door. "Boss, I gotta speak to you," Cohen says.

He said he told Trump what he learned. 

According to Cohen, "I told him that one of the things that we need to do is obviously take care of it. He said, 'Absolutely. Do it, take care of it.'" [...]

Trump didn't run in 2011, Cohen says.

"There were several large real estate projects that he had acquired as well as another season of the 'Apprentice.' As Mr. Trump told me, 'you don’t leave Hollywood, Hollywood leaves you,'" he testifies.

Cohen is choosing his words very carefully as he describes the 2011 discussion. He is pausing between words, prolonging the sentence.


As Fox News host Jesse Watters put it, Bragg's case rests on a "convicted lying rat and a porn star ghostbuster."  

It might interest you to know that it's illegal to call witnesses whom lawyers know are going to lie to a court. 

Prosecutors hope to drive home the idea that Trump "micromanaged” all of these efforts to kill bad stories. But testimony shows that far from micromanaging, Trump’s marching orders to Cohen were to "take care of it.”

This is where we are now: Trump is charged for bookkeeping errors on the 34 payments to Cohen for legal fees in 2017, which were made to facilitate stealing the 2016 election. Sure, Trump’s CFO testified that he took care of all payments to Cohen, but let's not allow facts to spoil the space-time continuum tale the prosecutors are selling.

Related: The Judge Won't Allow Stormy Daniels' Arrest to Be Brought Up in Trump NYC Trial

Of course, Hillary Clinton won New York overwhelmingly in 2016, which is where these lawyers practice law. But that doesn't mean this Manhattan jury in this lefty city was among those who wept in shock at the Javits Center on election night 2016.


Prosecutors plan to play Cohen's plea bargain deal for his fraud charges to make him flip on Trump. Part of the deal with Cohen was to plead guilty to two completely unrelated federal campaign violations. 

Now do you see what's going on? 


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