“Are You Staring Me Down?”: Judge Merchan Becomes an Oddity in his Own Courtroom


by Jonathan Turley

Below is my column in the New York Post on the meltdown of Michael Cohen on the stand in the Manhattan trial of former President Donald Trump.  In a trial careening out of control, Judge Juan Merchan seemed to be furiously working to just get the matter to the jury as fast as possible. Judge Merchan seems in open denial of the legal farce playing out in his courtroom. He is only the latest person pulled into the vortex of the swirling corruption around Michael Cohen.

Here is the column:

The completion of the testimony of Michael Cohen left the prosecution of Donald Trump, like its star witness, in tatters.

In the final day of cross-examination, Cohen admitted to committing larceny in stealing tens of thousands of dollars from his client.

Even more notably, he admitted to the larceny on the stand — after the statute of limitations had passed. There will be no dead felony zapped back into life against Cohen, as it was for Trump.

Cohen clearly has found a home for his unique skill as a convicted, disbarred serial perjurer. 

It was not the first time that prosecutors looked the other way as Cohen admitted to major criminal conduct: In a prior hearing, Cohen admitted under oath that he lied in a previous case where he pleaded guilty to lying.

If that is a bit confusing, it was just another day in the life of Michael Cohen, who appears only willing to tell the truth if he has no other alternative.

The result is truly otherworldly. You have a disbarred lawyer not only casually discussing lies and uncharged crimes, but prosecutors who proceeded to get him to remind the jury that he is not facing any further criminal charges.

If any one of those jurors had stolen tens of thousands of dollars, they would be given a fast trip to the hoosegow.

Yet Cohen then matter-of-factly said he plans to run for Congress due to his “name recognition” — the ultimate proof that it does not matter whether you are famous or infamous, so long as they spell your name right.

As a legislator, Cohen would have the unique ability to say he will not be corrupted by Congress — because he came to Congress corrupted.

While most members wait to take office to commit felonies, Rep. Cohen would show up with a self-affirming criminal record.

He could then take one of the few oaths that he has not previously violated as the Honorable Rep. Michael Cohen.

At the end of the day, Cohen is the ultimate shining object for prosecutors to use as a distraction from the glaring omissions in their case.

Prior witnesses testified that Trump’s payments to Cohen were  designated as “legal expenses” not by Trump but by his accounting staff.

Moreover, Cohen admitted that he worked for Trump for years in his murky capacity as a fixer. References to payments as a retainer were approved by Allen Weisselberg, a retired executive with the Trump Organization.

The “legal expense” label was a natural characterization for a lawyer who was paid monthly and was on-call as Trump’s personal counsel.

In any other district, this case would never have been allowed in trial. It certainly now should be facing a directed verdict by the court.

Indeed, with any other defendant, a New York jury would be giving a Bronx cheer in derision.

Even CNN hosts and experts have admitted that this case would never have been brought against another defendant or in another district.

That is what Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg is counting on.

The biggest problem facing the defense is not the evidence, but the judge: Judge Juan Merchan seems to be channeling George Patton’s warning, “May God have mercy upon my enemies, because I won’t.”

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Juan Merchan will go down in history as one of the most appallingly dishonest and disgraceful judges ever. It is now clear why he was assigned the Bragg case. The fix was in long before the trial began. And he’s not done. The jury instructions will be horrendously poisonous. His contempt for the justice system is without parallel. To this day, I don’t believe we know the full extent of this man’s conflicts and corruption, including the outside influences and communications. What we do know is bad enough. The question now is whether there will be at least one honorable, courageous, and patriotic juror who will refuse to participate in this Stalinist-Biden sham of all shams, and say no, I cannot and will not go along with this; my country is too important to me to join in killing it. Let’s pray so.


How republicans are protecting a traitor from justice:

You downvote what you can’t deny.

Fuck off moron.

Your problem is that everything she says is TRUE. You can’t cite a single point that isn’t.

Again, Fuck off moron.

Why don’t you just Flap your arms and fly to the Moon, Dip-Wad

Nothing she says is true.

Dog and pony clown show, every case against Trump a distraction from , We the People have zero representation in DC.
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Last edited 30 days ago by kitt

Time to have the whole DNC indited for Crimes Against America and Americans

I wonder if Cohen has considered the possibility that, if Trump manages to overcome the DNC’s election fraud in 2024 and wins, he might become the target of the kind of scrutiny Trump has been subjected to since 2015? What are the chances that, if examined, Cohen will emerge crime-free as Trump has? Then, without being able to hide behind an expired statute of limitation, he could be prosecuted and punished harshly.

Other banana republics are probably watching in fascinated awe at how the left has conducted these three trials of Trump’s cases. The US is now a member of the banana republic club. As disgraceful as that is, some actually applaud it.