Donald Trump’s civil trial began in New York. He’s already down two strikes as a judge found him guilty on the most serious fraud charges. The trial, expected to last up to three months, will determine how much Trump owes related to the fraud counts and whether he’s guilty on lesser counts. The same judge that declared him guilty of fraud is hearing the trial without a jury, so there’s no chance a MAGA holdout will refuse to find Trump liable on the other charges. The New York Attorney General Letitia James is seeking a $250 million fine and to revoke the business licenses of several Trump business entities. She would keep Donald Trump, Donald Trump, Jr., and Eric Trump from serving as officers in a New York corporation for several years.
During the trial, one of Trump’s lawyers, Alina Habba, made note of the fact there was no jury; it was only the judge she felt was biased toward her client and that they had little chance of a positive outcome. The judge seemingly surprised her and possibly her client with his response.
Not only did Trump’s lawyers not request a jury trial as was their right. They affirmatively checked a box indicating they did not want a jury trial.
You’d think a man who has spent so much time in court defending himself against civil complaints would understand his rights and have better lawyers. It may be hard to retain the best counsel when you don’t pay them. Trump’s reputation for unpaid legal fees is well-known in the profession.
I’m not saying Donald Trump is an idiot, but it’s one of those self-evident truths in the Declaration of Independence that Trump probably hasn’t read. Donald doesn’t get to change his mind and ask for a jury under the legal theory of “no-backsies.”