A Skeptic's Guide to the Trump Show Trial

Introduction: .Trump's former fixer, Michael Cohen, took the stand this week, and all eyes were on the former president's legal woes. But don't expect conviction, here's why...

Trump (R) (Bragg/Merchan): “Cross-examination throws Michael Cohen off balance, but belabors point that he hates Trump” [FOX]. Final paragraph: “How much of this is swaying the public? In the latest New York Times poll, just 29% of those in six battleground states say they are paying ‘a lot’ of attention to Trump’s legal woes.”

Trump (R) (Bragg/Merchan): “Trump New York hush-money trial is far from a slam dunk” [BBC]. From back in April: “[Bragg] says Trump Organization records were falsified to conceal or aid criminal activity. But even though the trial begins on Monday, he has not specified the exact crime allegedly hidden. He has however given clues. In court filings and interviews, Mr Bragg has said Mr Trump violated both state and federal election laws, and state tax laws. “The District Attorney’s office is not precluded from presenting to the jury a variety of alternative theories on sort of why the records were falsified,” says Shane T. Stansbury, a former assistant United States Attorney in New York’s southern district. But he adds that it is unclear if a state prosecutor can invoke a federal election crime, as it appears Mr Bragg intends to do. ‘We could have appellate courts and even the US Supreme Court weighing in on some of the federal questions that are part of this theory, so I think we’re a long way from having resolution on this case,’ he says.”

Trump (R) (Bragg Merchan): “Trump Should Be Acquitted in Manhattan” [Andrew McCarthy, National Review]. This is well worth a complete and careful read. “Trump ought to be acquitted for the simplest of reasons: Prosecutors can’t prove their case — neither the case the grand jury actually charged, 34 counts of felony business-records falsification, nor the case that elected progressive Democratic district attorney Alvin Bragg has imagined into existence, an uncharged conspiracy to steal the 2016 election by suppressing politically damaging information in violation of federal campaign-finance law.”

Trump (R) (Bragg Merchan): “The Appearance of Michael Cohen: A Wreck in Search of a Race” [Jonathan Turley]. “The calculus of Alvin Bragg is now obvious. He is counting on the jury convicting Trump regardless of the evidence. He believes that all he needs is to check the boxes on the elements of the crime, no matter how unbelievable the vehicle. The reason is that Bragg likely fears a directed verdict more than a jury verdict. After the government closes its evidence, the defense will move for a directed verdict on the basis that the evidence is insufficient to sustain a conviction. In other words, when the prosecution rests this week, Trump’s counsel will stand and ask Merchan to end the case before it is even given to the jury. Many of us agree with that assessment. After three weeks of testimony, there is still confusion on what crime Trump was allegedly seeking to cover up. Bragg has vaguely referred to using the denotation of payments to Daniels as ‘legal expenses’ as a fraud committed to steal the election. However, the election was over when those denotations were made. Moreover, many believe that such

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Prospective observational study of peripheral intravenous cannula utilisation and frequency of intravenous fluid delivery in the emergency department: convenience or necessity?

Introduction Over one billion peripheral intravenous cannulas (PIVCs) are inserted worldwide each year. Insertion of PIVCs is associated with pain, phlebitis, occlusion, and medication extravasation as well as the risk of catheter-associated infection, with an associated cost to departmental resources. Previous studies have not assessed if intravenous (IV) fluid delivery