DONALD TRUMP SEARCHES FOR PERRY MASON
Next Tuesday, February 9, former President Donald Trump is scheduled to go on trial for impeachment in the United States Senate. His prospects for an acquittal look excellent. Last week 45 of the jurors (all Republican Senators) set to hear the case, voted for a motion declaring that the trial was unconstitutional and should not go forward. While their vote was not a final jury verdict, it was a pretty clear indication of the verdict they intend to render at the completion of the upcoming trial.
But despite the fact that it looks like the former President will be acquitted, he apparently does have a problem. He is having a hard time finding a lawyer to defend him at the trial, and when he finds one, he is having a hard time keeping that lawyer.
Last weekend his entire legal team, consisting of five lawyers, withdrew from his defense after a reported dispute over the defenses that will be raised at the trial. Trump then hired two new lawyers who did file a brief on his behalf on Tuesday. However, it is not clear at this point whether the new lawyers can avoid the same conflicts the former President’s previous lawyers had with their client.
The problem is that the lawyer Trump is looking for is Perry Mason, the famous TV attorney.
From 1957 to 1966, Perry won one nationally-televised jury trial a week, constantly defeating the hapless prosecutor Hamilton Burger. And Perry didn’t just win. He won big with a unique trial strategy.
Most criminal defense lawyers use what is called the “reasonable doubt” defense. They tell the jurors that the prosecutor is required to prove the guilt of the defendant beyond a reasonable doubt. If they fail to do so, the jury must return a verdict for the defendant even if he might be guilty.
It is the defense the late Johnnie Cochran famously made for his client O.J. Simpson, telling the jury, “If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit!”
But Perry Mason never used the reasonable doubt defense. If his client was charged with murder, Perry would establish the innocence of his client by exposing who the real killer was. Incredibly, the real killer was often in the courtroom watching the trial. As Perry launched his defense, the real killer would jump up and scream, “Stop the trial! Mr. Mason’s client did not commit the murder! I did!”
It was an awesome performance by Perry Mason, and justice always prevailed.
Former President Trump reportedly wants a similar defense in his upcoming impeachment trial. He doesn’t want his lawyers to simply argue that the trial is unconstitutional, or that prosecutors from the House of Representatives have failed to prove a case for impeachment. He wants his defense to be election fraud. He wants his lawyers to go full Perry Mason and argue that he actually won the election last November, and consequently, rather than being impeached, he should now be in the White House starting his second term as President.
Maybe he is hoping that President Biden will attend the trial in the Senate, and interrupt it screaming, “Stop the trial! I’m not the President! He is!”
Well unfortunately for Donald Trump, Perry Mason has gone to that ultimate Supreme Court from where there is no appeal and will not be able to defend him.
Besides, if this is what Trump actually wants his lawyers to argue, it is proof beyond a reasonable doubt that the former President watches too much TV.