Rachel Maddow Unimpressed by Trump ‘Nothing’ Legal Strategy: ‘Like They’re Just Not Mapping a Defense at All’ | Video

“Is this all there is?” Maddow asked during MSNBC’s panel discussion of the hush money trial

During MSNBC’s panel discussion of the Trump hush money trial on Tuesday, Rachel Maddow had a blunt assessment of the ex-president’s apparent legal strategy: “Is this all there is?”

Maddow asked this because, from how Trump’s legal team approached cross examination of his former fixer Michael Cohen, it seemed to her they weren’t even trying. “it looks like they’re just not mapping a defense at all,” she said.

“My big takeaway was, Is this all there is?,” Maddow told fellow panelists Chris Hayes, Lawrence O’Donnell and Alex Wagner. “The defense is under no obligation to put any witnesses forward at all. Lawrence [O’Donnell] has been very articulate and persuasive in saying that there’s 0% chance that they will put the defendant, that they will put their own client Donald Trump on the stand in his own defense.”

“But we don’t know if they’ll put anybody, and so if they don’t, this is their defense. The cross examination of Michael Cohen is the defense’s case. And to get what what [Trump’s lead attorney Todd] Blanche was able to get out of him today, there was nothing,” Maddow argued. “Which either makes me feel like they must be incredibly confident in their ability to try to get a mistrial rolling here, or something surprising is going to happen on Thursday, or they just didn’t bring it, because there really was nothing.”

Maddow said this is “especially” the case when one takes into account how the prosecution explained its case when the trial began. “They basically said, this is a documents case, we are going to put Michael Cohen on the stand. He’s a very controversial guy and for good reason and you’re gonna hear about why. But everything that we’re going to need to prove to you in order for you to come back with a guilty verdict will be bolstered by corroborating evidence by multiple witnesses and by documents.”

“And thus far they spent the last couple of weeks doing that, giving all the documents, authenticating all the documents, giving all the corroborating witness testimony, they get to their culminating witness Michael Cohen, and he performs perfectly as a witness for them,” Maddow explained. “He doesn’t lose his cool as you guys were saying, he answers all the right questions. He doesn’t seem to… go into weird soliloquy or sidebars that might be picked apart on cross examination.”

Despite this, when Cohen sat for cross examination by Trump’s defense on Tuesday afternoon, Maddow said she “was on tenterhooks. I thought this was it. This is how we’re going to see how they’re gonna keep Donald Trump out of prison. And it was just nothing. So maybe Thursday is going to be something but otherwise, it looks like they’re just not mapping a defense at all.”

You can watch the complete panel discussion at the top of the page.


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