Donald Trump’s Team Tries the ‘Regina George’ Defense

The Donald Trump defense amounts to the “Regina George” defense, as New York Magazine reporter Olivia Nuzzi called it, claiming that Michael Cohen was “obsessed with President Trump.”

Ex-president Donald Trump’s lawyer Todd Blanche began his defense by telling the jury, “President Trump did not commit any crimes.”

Yes, Blanche is calling Mr. Trump “President Trump,” in what is not only an ego massage and audition for the former president, but also an attempt to instill reverence and respect in a man whom many in Manhattan have disliked long before he ran for president in 2016. In fact, Blanche said he would call Trump “President Trump” because “he has earned” the title.

Blanche also falsely equated the accusations of election interference with being in a democracy, saying as reported by MSNBC’s Adam Klasfeld, “I have a spoiler alert. There’s nothing wrong with trying to influence an election. It’s called democracy.”

To get more stories like this, subscribe to our newsletter The Daily.

Blanche told the jury that Michael Cohen wanted a job in the administration after the 2016 election. Klasfeld continued:

“He didn’t get one,” he says.

Blanche calls Cohen a criminal, emphasizing the guilty pleas unrelated to Trump, like bank to a bank and tax fraud

This is where Nuzzi suggests the Trump team is introducing the Regina George defense, that Cohen is obsessed with Trump.


Trump’s legal team introduces the Regina George defense. Blanche tells the jury: “You will learn that Michael Cohen was obsessed with President Trump. He’s obsessed with President Trump to this day.”

Blanche encourages the jury to be skeptical of words like “scheme” and “conspiracy.” He rolls his eyes as he refers to the “‘Catch and Kill scheme.’” Blanche says that Trump’s behavior, described by prosecutors, is “not a scheme” and “not against the law.

So basically, this is Trump’s defense, along with ‘Trump is a man who cares about his family’ (no word on why a man who cares about his family has had two alleged affairs around his wife’s pregnancy and delivery):

The dialogue for anyone who doesn’t remember it:

Regina: Let me tell you something about Janis Ian. We were best friends in middle school. I know right, it’s soooo embarrassing. I don’t even…whatever. So then in eighth grade I started going out with my first boyfriend Kyle, who was totally gorgeous but then he moved to Indiana–and Janis was like, weirdly jealous of him. Like if I would blow her off to hang out with Kyle, she’d be like “Why didn’t you call me back?!” and I’d be like, “Uh, why are you so obsessed with me?”

… and then she dropped out of school ’cause no one would talk to her and she came back in the fall for high school and her hair was all cut off and she was totally weird and now I guess she’s on crack. (gasps and turns) Oh my God! I love your skirt, where did you get it?

Lea: It was my mom’s in the ’80s.

Regina: Vintage, so adorable.

Lea: Thanks. (Lea walks away.)

Regina: That is the ugliest effing skirt I’ve ever seen.

Blanche tried to suggest that Cohen perjured himself in the civil fraud case, but, “That sparks to objections from the prosecution, both sustained,” Klasfeld reported. He then did a fact check, noting, “From the civil fraud ruling against Trump: ‘Michael Cohen told the truth.’”

Earlier, prosecutors told the jury that the Trump campaign was in a tailspin after the Access Hollywood tape, in which Trump bragged about sexually assaulting women and how they let him do it because he was a “star.”

Prosecutors laid out that the tape was damaging to Trump with women voters, and they were trying to avoid further disclosures “that would hurt the candidate even more with women voters,” as Nuzzi put it. “They argue that the hush money payment was not about communications or ‘spin’ (spin being PR-speak for lying) but about ‘election fraud.’”

The Trump defense is about smearing the motivations of the witnesses, which is a classic way of fighting facts with a fallacy. It appears right now as if Trump’s entire defense is a smorgasbord of fallacies, from is the Straw Man to the ad hominem to the fallacy of relevance.

In the case of Michael Cohen’s testimony, the jury is being told to consider the motive, instead of the claim, which is a lot like calling bragging about sexual assault “locker room talk.”

Distracting people with fallacies has been Trump’s go-to his entire political life. But he’s in a courtroom now, and facts are supposed to matter. If the prosecution can prove their case, Trump spin won’t buy the same loyalty as it did as PR spin.

Source link

About The Author

Scroll to Top