Trump acts out in first week of trial. Expect more in week two

Trump acts out in first week of trial. Expect more in week two
Trump acts out in first week of trial. Expect more in week two

Trump was clearly shocked to learn standing trial on criminal charges comes with certain inconveniences.

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Courtroom sketch artists give look into Donald Trump’s New York trial

With cameras banned in New York courtrooms, sketch artists are providing America with a glimpse into the first ever criminal trial of a former US president.

For perhaps the first time in his life, Donald Trump had to spend a week shutting up.

There was one place he had to be – a Manhattan criminal courtroom – and he couldn’t come and go as he was pleased. He couldn’t talk. He couldn’t send inflammatory social media posts from his phone.

He just had to sit there and listen as “the people of the state of New York vs. Donald J. Trump” began and jurors were selected to decide whether the former president falsified business records as part of a scheme to silence a former adult-film star and influence the 2016 presidential election.

Tough-guy Trump sure did a lot of bellyaching his first week on trial

Trump was clearly shocked to learn standing trial on criminal charges comes with certain inconveniences.

I have gripped outside the courtroom. I have whined on social media in the evenings. He reportedly dozed off several times during the proceedings, a sign the stress of the trial might be keeping him up at night.

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As the avatar of a purportedly tough political party that labels liberals “snowflakes,” Trump seemed less John Wayne and more “Ross from ‘Friends.’ ”

If Trump seemed bananas during jury selection, wait until opening arguments

By the end of the week, a full jury along with alternates had been seated, so opening arguments are expected to begin Monday.

And Trump will again have to be there. He’ll have to be in that courtroom every day of the trial because that’s how it works when you’re the defendant in a criminal case in Manhattan.

If Trump didn’t want to be there, he should’ve thought twice about paying $130,000 to Stormy Daniels, according to his former attorney Michael Cohen, along with several other alleged actions that led to his 34-count indictment. An excellent way to stay out of a courtroom is to not engage in dodgy behavior.

But what’s done is done.

Trump lied about not being able to attend his son’s graduation

Trump got the ball rolling by lying to his followers and saying Judge Juan Merchan was forbidding him from attending his son Barron’s high school graduation next month. That is false. The judge said he would have to see how the trial is going at that point and will rule on it closer to the date.

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But Trump moaned on social media: “Who will explain for me, to my wonderful son, Barron, who is a GREAT Student at a fantastic School, that his Dad will probably not be allowed to attend his Graduation Ceremony, something that we have been talking about for years, because a seriously Conflicted and Corrupt New York State Judge wants me in Criminal Court on a bogus ‘Biden Case’ which, according to virtually all Legal Scholars and Pundits, has no merit, and should NEVER have been brought.”

I’d be happy to explain it: “Barron, your father is on trial and accused of attempting to silence an adult-film star he allegedly had an affair with shortly after you were born and hid potentially scandalous information from voters before the 2016 election . The judge will decide closer to your graduation date if your father can attend.”

Easy peasy!

He made up images of himself bursting out of the courtroom in a rage

Beyond that, Trump hurled inflammatory Truth Social posts calling the whole trial “a SCAM brought about by a Corrupt District Attorney” and the judge and prosecutors “Nasty, Crooked People.”

He sent fundraising emails claiming “I JUST STORMED OUT OF COURT!” (he hadn’t) and made up nonsense about the jury selection process to make himself seem like a victim, posting: “I thought STRIKES were supposed to be ‘unlimited’ when we were picking our jury? “I was then told we only had 10.”

Each side is allowed to strike 10 jurors without providing a reason. That’s standard and has never changed.

Trump also potentially violated his gag order by sharing the following quote from Fox News host Jesse Watters on his Truth Social page: “’They are catching undercover Liberal Activists lying to the Judge in order to get on the Trump Jury,’ Jesse Watters.”

That is, of course, nonsense.

And then there was that weird bit about Jimmy Kimmel…

And while all of the above is amply nutso, at no point last week did the cheese seem to slip off Trump’s cracker more than in this bizarre-world Wednesday night post about late-night host Jimmy Kimmel:

“Stupid Jimmy Kimmel, who still hasn’t recovered from his horrendous performance and big ratings drop as Host of The Academy Awards, especially when he showed he suffered from TDS, commonly known as TRUMP DERANGEMENT SYNDROME, to the entire World by reading on air my TRUTH about how bad a job he was doing that night, right before he stumbled through announcing the biggest award of all, ‘Picture of the Year.’ It was a CLASSIC CHOKE, one of the biggest ever in show business, and to top it off, he forgot to say the famous and mandatory line, ‘AND THE WINNER IS.’ Instead he stammered around as he opened the envelope. Supposedly his wife, and even management, begged him not to do it, ‘DO N’T READ HIS TRUTH, JIMMY, PLEASE DO N’T DO THIS,’ they said. “He was made to look like a FOOL, which he is, and at the same time go down in Television History as the WORST HOST EVER OF THE ONCE VAUNTED ACADEMY AWARDS!”

First off, Trump was confusing Kimmel with Al Pacino, the actor who handed out the best picture award. But more importantly: WOW! That’s your presidential nominee, Republicans. He’s on trial, he’s unhinged and he’s coming unglued.

If last week was any indication, America is going to swiftly run out of synonyms for “bonkers.”

Follow USA TODAY columnist Rex Huppke on X, formerly Twitter, @RexHuppke and Facebook facebook.com/RexIsAJerk

 
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