Donald Trump’s Legal Team Stumbles

Former President Trump faces critical moments in court

by Zain ul Abedin
Donald Trump’s Legal Team Stumbles
© Pool/Getty Images

As Donald Trump’s criminal trial in Manhattan reaches a critical juncture, a surprising development has emerged: Trump, historically known for his turbulent relationships with lawyers, is currently satisfied with his legal team's performance.

Ironically, this newfound contentment comes despite his lawyers making significant and perplexing errors, increasing the likelihood of a conviction. Trump's defense team, arguably the strongest he has assembled for any of his numerous legal battles, comprises experienced and moderately well-regarded criminal litigators from New York City's white-collar bar.

However, they have made several notable missteps throughout the trial. The trial's outcome largely hinges on the jury's assessment of Michael Cohen's credibility, a central risk for the prosecution. Despite this, Trump's lawyers are pursuing a flawed and risky strategy, likely influenced by Trump himself.

As the client, Trump makes the final decisions on major strategies, and his legal team seems to have maintained his favor by indulging his worst traits. A glaring mistake occurred when lead attorney Todd Blanche, in his opening statement, echoed Trump’s denial of a s-xual encounter with Stormy Daniels.

Testimony from Daniels effectively demonstrated that a central aspect of Trump’s defense is a lie, damaging the credibility of Trump’s legal team.

Cross-Examination Missteps

Defense lawyer Susan Necheles’ cross-examination of Daniels also backfired.

Necheles attempted to undermine Daniels' credibility by suggesting she was motivated by money, but Daniels' sharp and quick-witted responses likely made her more sympathetic to the jury. Trump’s pretrial court filings, filled with accusations of political persecution, may have boosted his campaign but made it easier for the judge to rule against him.

Additionally, defense attorney Emil Bove's ineffective cross-examinations of witnesses further weakened Trump’s case. Reporting on Trump's legal team reveals that Trump is largely unmanageable and makes key strategic decisions, often to his detriment.

He employs the same strategies in court as in politics: deny and attack. These tactics were evident in his lawyers' flawed defense approaches. As the government's case nears its end, Trump faces a crucial decision: whether to testify in his defense.

Given his history of disastrous testimonies, his legal team would likely advise against it. However, Trump’s decision to take the stand could severely impact his case, regardless of his awareness of the potential consequences.