Time for another episode of Things Judges Never Dreamed They Would Get Write When They Were in Law School.
A federal judge on Wednesday rejected Donald Trump’s bid to move his hush-money criminal case from New York state court to federal court, ruling that the former president had failed to meet a high legal bar for changing jurisdiction.
U.S. District Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein found that the allegations in the Manhattan case pertained to Trump’s personal life, not presidential duties that would have merited a move to federal court.
“The evidence overwhelmingly suggests that the matter was a purely a personal item of the President — a cover-up of an embarrassing event,” Hellerstein wrote in a 25-page ruling. “Hush money paid to an adult film star is not related to a President’s official acts. It does not reflect in any way the color of the President’s official duties.”
Hellerstein got to write the sentence because a Republican’s attorneys insist that anything a Republican president does is protected beneath an impenetrable layer of presidentness.
Trump’s lawyers asked in May for the federal court to take control of the hush-money case, contending he couldn’t be tried in state court because some of the alleged conduct occurred in 2017 while he was president, including checks he purportedly wrote while sitting in the Oval Office.
Federal officers including former presidents have the right to be tried in federal court for charges arising from “conduct performed while in office,” Trump’s lawyers argued.
Earlier that day, he received a hint that returning to New York’s federal courts might not be the best strategy.
A federal judge on Wednesday upheld a $5 million jury verdict against Donald Trump, rejecting the former president’s claims that the award was excessive and that the jury vindicated him by failing to conclude he raped a columnist in a luxury department store dressing room in the 1990s.
Judge Lewis A. Kaplan said the jury’s May award of compensatory and punitive damages to writer E. Jean Carroll for sexual abuse and defamation in the civil case was reasonable.
But that’s assuming there is a strategy beyond:
- Stall while spraying fear sweat.
- Get re-elected while oozing fear pheromones.
- Scamper into the White House and shout Base!
I’ve been reminded to post an off-topic warning. People who post off-topic comments smell like Trump’s molars.