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Trump’s lawyer may be losing his most valuable asset: Credibility in the courtroom

In World
April 23, 2024

A lawyer’s credibility is all they have with a judge. Donald Trump’s criminal defense lawyer in Manhattan may be losing that valuable currency in the early days of the hush money trial.

The judge himself said so.

At a hearing over whether Trump violated a gag order in his first criminal trial, Judge Juan Merchan voiced disbelief when attorney Todd Blanche said that Trump was attempting to comply with the judge’s order.

“Mr. Blanche, you’re losing all credibility” with the court, NBC News reported the judge told him.

Merchan was also reportedly frustrated that Blanche did not answer his questions during the hearing.

The judge didn’t immediately rule on whether Trump’s statements against witnesses and jurors violated his order. Even if Merchan finds that the former president did so, the result might be minimal fines. The hearing Tuesday morning was followed by the trial’s first witness, David Pecker, retaking the stand on direct examination by the prosecution.

Regardless of the precise outcome of the gag order hearing, Trump’s lawyer losing credibility with the judge at this early stage of the trial could be its most significant upshot. Trials are filled with daily decisions by judges on matters large and small related to witnesses, evidence, scheduling and more. Those decisions can add up to major impacts on a case, especially if the jury senses a judge’s displeasure with a lawyer.

Not being able to trust Trump’s lawyer is a loss for the former president that may be harder to quantify than losing a particular motion or ruling, but it’s no less important. Indeed, it may be even more critical.

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This article was originally published on MSNBC.com

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