America and the world watch as Donald Trump faces trial, ITV News reports
There is no outward sign of alarm or panic at Team Trump. We have spent the last two weeks talking to his lawyers, extended members of his family, his adversaries and his fans.
All seem in agreement that he is relishing the legal fight ahead and is rubbing his hands as the campaign donations pour into his coffers.
In just seven days more than $7million has been donated by his supporters. But there are some signs of perhaps unease as Donald Trump prepares for this historic court appearance in lower Manhattan.
Yesterday, he added a new lawyer to his considerable team.
Todd Blanche is more measured than Joe Tacapina.
He is a former Federal prosecutor who also represented Paul Mannafort, Donald Trump’s former campaign director who was convicted of mortgage fraud in 2019.
Perhaps there is a dawning realisation that the charges Donald Trump is facing cannot be demolished by braggadocio alone.
It will require a careful, reasoned dissection of the law and importantly it will require Donald Trump to stop attacking the very judge presiding over the case.
Not only has the 45th President personally impugned the reputation of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg but he has also rounded on Juan Merchan the judge hearing the case claiming he was “hand picked by Bragg & the Prosecutors” and "The Judge ‘assigned’ to my Witch Hunt Case, a ‘Case’ that has NEVER BEEN CHARGED BEFORE, HATES ME.”
Blanche may well want to rip Donald Trump’s smart phone from his hand and throw it in the Hudson, because of the damage which is being done to his defence before this trial has even begun.
There may even be a direction from the judge for Donald Trump not to talk further about the case.
It will meet its first test this evening when Donald Trump addresses a TV audience from Florida, a few hours after appearing in court.
There is no doubt this case centering on alleged hush-money payments to former adult film star Stormy Daniels is the weakest Donald Trump is facing.
But what makes it significant is it is the first. And it won’t be the last. There are suggestions other cases may follow as early as this week.
One involves the former President’s removal of classified documents from the White House, another centres on the tumultuous events of January the 6th, yet another revolves around alleged election interference in Fulton County Georgia.
We are still a long way from Donald Trump giving evidence in court, but be in no doubt, as we head towards another election next year, Donald Trump won’t just be fighting a political contest.
He’ll be fighting a legal battle, which will require him to watch his words in a way which goes against every instinct he has.
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