Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Juan Merchan fails to jail Trump after warning him once about the fallout of disruptive behavior, likely telling Trump that he is dealing with a weak judge

Judge Juan Merchan

The judge in  Donald Trump's hush-money trial issued a "stern warning" to the former president yesterday -- on Day 2 of the proceedings -- for, in the judge's mind, attempting to intimidate a prospective juror. The incident raises a number of disturbing questions about the judge's actions, and the most important one is this: Why did the judge issue a "stern warning," given that he already had warned Trump on Day 1 about possible arrest for disruptive behavior.

If Judge Juan Merchan takes these matters seriously, why didn't he throw Trump's fat, doughy, disruptive ass in jail for violating the first warning? Is Trump going to be given, say, 37 chances to disrupt the court  before actually facing the punishment Merchan warned him about. Oh, let me guess, Merchan is going to fine Trump. That is sure to have the self-described billionaire cowering in a corner, especially since fines have proven to have zero deterrence on his behavior. 

Better yet, Merchnn might put Trump on '"Double Secret Probation." That surely will have the kind of effect on Trump that it had on members of the Delta fraternity in Animal House.

With just a handful of words, Merchan personified two unsettling traits of the U.S. "justice system::

(1) We have a two-tiered system of justice in America. A White, wealthy, famous defendant, such as Trump, will receive way more deference than a defendant who has brown skin and only a few dollar bills in his pocket.

(2) Too many judges, both state and federal, are wusses or crooked or both. In the 17 years I've been writing Legal Schnauzer -- and by the way, we have been ranked among the top 50 independent law blogs in North America so our journalism on legal matters has received international recognition --  Mrs. Schnauzer (my wife, Carol) and I have seen dozens of examples of this. Too many judges treat the rule of law like a plaything, and they have zero respect for central provisions of the Bill of Rights -- with a special enmity, it seems, reserved for the Civil War Amendments -- Nos. 13, 14, and 15 -- which guarantee fairly important rights, such as the right to vote, the right to an objective judge, the right to equal protection under the law. and the right not to be enslaved. You might think judges would take such matters seriously, but we know from up-close experience that often does not happen. In a series of upcoming posts, we will expose, with specifics, corrupt and cowardly judges we have encountered from front-row seats. We will show you, in detail, how judges make a mockery of our constitutional and statutory rights.

So what is up with Merchan? Why doesn't he enforce his own warnings? My guess is that he is scared, both of Trump and his MAGA cultists. Given that some MAGAs could actually prove to be dangerous, I would say any concerns Merchan might have are valid. His main concern perhaps is that unhinged MAGAs might roll the trees in his front yard with toilet paper. But I have little doubt some MAGAs could pose a real threat and cause serious harm. In that case, I'd say it's time for Merchan to buckle up and grow a pair. In fact, he might want to contact Dr. Perry Cox, from the TV classic Scrubs, and have him write a prescription for two testicles. They might come in handy during the hush-money trial.

That brings me to another trait I've seen in multiple judges. Many of them seem to enjoy the pomp and perks that come with their positions. But when real courage is called for, they are likely to be found hiding under their desks.  

What happened between Mercan and Trump in a Manhattan courtroom yesterday? The Guardian provides an excellent overview under the headline "Trump rebuked as hush-money trial judge warns against juror intimidation; Juan Merchan admonishes ex-president for ‘gesturing and speaking in the direction of the juror’ as jury selection continues" writes:

Donald Trump met a stern rebuke on Tuesday from the jurist presiding over his criminal hush-money trial, with the judge warning: “I won’t have any jurors intimidated in this courtroom.”

Trump’s apparent misbehavior did not derail the trial’s progress; seven jurors were picked by day’s end.

Judge Juan Merchan’s comment came shortly after jury selection resumed following lunch. Trump’s team had found video on one possible juror’s social media that appeared to show a street celebration over Trump's loss in the 2020 election.

The prospective juror was called in to answer questions about it, and when she left, Merchan directly addressed Trump’s lawyers. “Your client was audible,” Merchan said, noting that the woman was just 12 ft from Trump.

“It was audible. He was gesturing and he was speaking in the direction of the juror,” Merchan said, insisting he would not accept such behavior.

“I will not have any jurors intimidated in this courtroom,” Merchan admonished. “Take a minute to speak to your client.”

Merchan's line that "he would not accept such behavior" is laughable. Heck, he already has accepted it. by failing to jail Trump for violating his first warning. Yes, Donald Trump should be behind bars right now, and, in my view, he should spend at least a week or more in the clink. My theory is that the longer he spends behind bars the more likely he will be chastened into following the judge's orders. Merchan might not realize it, but Trump is an overgrown toddler, and he never will fall in line if he perceives the judge is limp-wristed about doling out punishment. Here is more from The Guardian.

Merchan’s warning to Trump marked a sharp diversion from what was otherwise a relatively routine jury-selection process.

Trump had arrived at the Manhattan courtroom on Tuesday morning for the second day of jury selection in his historical criminal trial involving hush-money payments to a porn star.

When Trump walked into court around 9.30 a.m, the ex-president winked at a court security officer and took his seat at the defense table, his longtime aide Jason Miller seated at the back of the courtroom, according to a pool report.

On Monday afternoon, of the 96 potential jurors who were asked if they would have trouble being impartial, 50 raised their hands and were excused – further evidence of the challenge facing the judge of finding 12 jurors and six alternates who do not have strong biases either for or against Trump.

The Manhattan district attorney, Alvin Bragg, brought the case against the former president over payments purportedly aimed at keeping secret his alleged affairs with the adult film star Stormy Daniels and the Playboy model Karen McDougall. Prosecutors said Trump schemed to keep these alleged liaisons hidden from American voters so he would not suffer in the 2016 presidential election.

I don't know where Juan Merchan keeps his testicles, but he needs to find them and put them to good use before someone really does get hurt as fallout from this trial. Keeping Donald Trump in line might be an unpleasant task, but it's part of Merchan's job, and so far, he is failing.

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