Trump Organization Stumbles in Criminal Trial with Nightmare Start

Judges are human, they don’t know every rule off the top of their heads, but they all know one. In an opening statement to a jury trial, the attorneys get one punch in the first sentence of an opening statement that has nothing to do with facts but accuses the other side of blatantly violating the law, and thus that side will win. After the one-sentence punch, the attorneys’ opening statements are confined to a recitation of facts that the jury is about to hear, slanted in a way that will help their case.

In the criminal trial against the Trump Organization (Not to be confused with the civil trial against Trump himself that opened today in the Bronx)), Trump’s attorneys made an “argument” in response to the prosecutor, an argument that was so egregious, the judge interrupted and sent the jury out for a 15-minute break.

According to Vice’s Greg Walters, who is live-tweeting the trial, the prosecutor made a statement in his opening, one which I find borderline improper unless it was the opening punch. The prosecutor told the 12-person jury that “benefits that covered their personal expenses ‘was a clever scheme; it just wasn’t legal,’ Fine as an opening punch, borderline improper afterward.

Trump Organization Stumbles in Criminal Trial with Nightmare Start (

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