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May 31, 2024 12 mins

Retired CA Superior Court Judge, Larry Goodman, joins Jack & Joe to discuss the outcome of the Trump Hush Money trial. 

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Episode Transcript

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Speaker 1 (00:00):
But the rule of law exists in this country. It
came to this verdict, and you know at this point,
thank you to the jurors, thank you to this judge.
Thank you to all the court security officers and the
witnesses and everybody who's they and their family members had
to walk into the belly of the beast to do this.
But this is the system working in a fair way.

Speaker 2 (00:21):
The system working in a fair way. They were giddy
all afternoon and evening on MSNBC yesterday and just the
rule of law has been restored. No one is above
the law. Blah blah blah.

Speaker 3 (00:32):
To discuss the proceedings and reaction to them, please welcome
back to the Armstrong and Getty Show. Retired Superior Court
judge Larry Goodman, who retired a few years back after
thirty one years in the Superior Court handling mostly murder
trials in Alameda County in the Bay Area of California.

Speaker 4 (00:49):
Mister judge, sir Larry, how are you.

Speaker 5 (00:51):
I'm doing good? How are you guys this morning?

Speaker 4 (00:53):

Speaker 3 (00:54):
Initial question, you're a superior court judge. Now do you
start in the inferior court? Get promoted to the mediocre
court and end up in the superior court.

Speaker 4 (01:01):
How does that work?

Speaker 5 (01:02):
Well, actually, I got appointed initially to the municipal court
and I was there for two and a half years
and then elevated the Superior Court.

Speaker 2 (01:08):
I have a superior tone.

Speaker 4 (01:10):
Does that help?

Speaker 2 (01:12):

Speaker 5 (01:12):
That's why you can't fall back on yeah.

Speaker 4 (01:15):
You know what?

Speaker 3 (01:15):
Yeah, exactly, baffle them with bullets, as they say. All right,
More seriously, Larry, what was your initial reaction to the
news of the verdict yesterday?

Speaker 5 (01:25):
It was like a gut punch. I mean, it's it
was hard to take because I know what went on,
and I know how most of the people that I
worked with took their oath of office as a judge
to do the right thing, regardless of how you felt.
And this judge, obviously that oath didn't mean anything to him.
His rulings, his mannerisms, his uh, the instructions, the whole

thing was just such a farce that it actually made
me sad and made me angry.

Speaker 3 (01:54):
So, without getting into the real legal weeds, what was
it about the instructions that bothered you?

Speaker 5 (02:00):
Well, first of all, I don't know why you don't
give the instructions to the jurors so they can go
in and read them when you've got fifty five pages.
But also the idea that they didn't have to have
unanimous as to what the underlying one of the three
crimes were that was supposed to make this a felony,
the fact that they referred to Cone as an accomplice,
which implies that there must be a crime, All those

different kind of things that I guess he took the
standard instructions and did some creative writing to kind of
dri direct it towards the guilty verdict.

Speaker 3 (02:31):
Yeah, I've been a little cautious because I'm not an
attorney nor judge. But the idea that our system has
this sacred principle that you've got to be convicted by
jury or your peers beyond a reasonable doubt of a
specific offense that is laid out quite specifically by the government.
But you can take a felon I'm a misdemeanor and

mutate it into a felony based on I don't know
a crime, some crime, whatever crime doesn't matter, So you
can supercharge a specific charge with a vague reference to
some crime that may or may not exist.

Speaker 4 (03:06):
That bothers me a lot.

Speaker 5 (03:07):
Well, it should, particularly if you're the defendant. I mean,
we talked about this last week or the week before that.
A real judge would have made the prosecution state, specifically
before the trial ever started, what are the underlying crimes
that you're going to prove to make this become a felony.

Speaker 2 (03:22):
Well, he stated the opposite in the closing argument or
in his dury instructions. Right, you can have different three
of you could think this is the crime, three of
you could think this is the crime whatever.

Speaker 5 (03:32):
It was a smortus board of possible crimes to get
to a felony. And then the idea that the defense
has to go first in closing arguments. They have no
chance to rebut what the prosecution says when they finally
did start laying out with the potential underlying crimes might which.

Speaker 2 (03:48):
Is which is why some of my favorite legal pundits
say it's obviously a due process problem because you can't
you can't rebut what you're being charged with because you
don't even.

Speaker 5 (03:58):
Know exactly exactly. I mean, that's the key to the
Bill of Rights and the right to do processes. You
have to be able to know what you're charged with
so you can mount a defense.

Speaker 3 (04:08):
All right, So just let's bottom line this. So I
were to say to you, hey, Larry, I think this
is a fine judge, and this verdict it will stand
up on appeal. I'll bet you a fifty thousand bucks.
I'm right, What do you say?

Speaker 5 (04:20):
I'll take the bet. Really, No, it's going to get
reversed unless unless this corruption goes all the way through
the appellate level of the New York courts, which I
don't think it does. There's just so many things he
did wrong. From the question should have been a change
of venue. He definitely should have recused himself, the instructions

the way they were given, the rulings that he made,
not letting the guy testify that was the FEC expert.
And even though he couldn't testify, one of the underlying
crimes was a violation of the federal election laws, and
they I bet the jury didn't know what the federal
election law was that he supposedly violated. So, I mean,
there's just tons of things that are going to be
to be reversed.

Speaker 2 (05:01):
Okay, then you've made a perfect argument to set this up.
And this is where I've been confused since yesterday afternoon,
when I would hear legal experts say, very unlikely Donald
Trump will do any jail time, Very unlikely. Blah blah blah.
Guy with this guy with that. Okay, this is the
same judge you just described that's gonna make the decision.
Doesn't that mean there's a chance that he's going to

decide that this guy that has bad mouthed me and
my family and I've had to hit him with a
whole bunch of warnings and fines and has shown no
contrition whatsoever. Screw this rich guy who thinks he can
do whatever. I'm gonna throw him in jail.

Speaker 5 (05:37):
Well, you know, I never underestimate what this judge will do.
I mean, I don't think he will do that. I
think there would be such a total outcry. I think
there would in the public. I think there would be
avenues where they could the defense could probably stop him
from the actually putting him in jail. But this is
the same judge that presided over the Trump Organization case.
He presided over Trump's financial guy for one of his corporations.

He's got the Steve Banyer case. He's making a career
out of Donald Trump.

Speaker 3 (06:05):
So so we're talking to Larry Goodman, retired Superior Court
judge about the Trump trial and verdict. Obviously, so, Larry,
I'm sure you've seen as a judge for several decades
bad attorneys, good attorneys, great attorneys. Our theory around here
was that the Trump defense was more a political defense
than a we're going to win this trial no matter

what it takes defense. What did you take away from
the Trump defense team's performance.

Speaker 5 (06:32):
I've never been real impressed with the defense lawyers that
he's had, and I'm not sure why. It's just they
seem to kind of plod through things. They don't come
up with any like really creative defenses or any cohesive defenses.
They kind of respond rather than attack, and so I
think it was political. I think they set it up.
I think they kind of saw the writing on the

wall and they kind of mounted the defense so he
could end up being the martyr before Berdy came back.

Speaker 2 (06:57):
Which might be smart. I mean, based on a lot
of the reaction we've seen today, it might have been
the smartest move. I heard somebody point out what they
would have liked best was an acquittal, but they decided
that was very, very unlikely. So what they would like
second best is a guilty verdict. Yeah, for the martyr
reasons you just said, Well.

Speaker 5 (07:14):
He makes the martyr won't be reversed on appeal before
the election. So you got to get what you can
get and build use it to your advantage, which is
look what they did to me. I'm a political like
you said yesterday, I'm a political prisoner.

Speaker 4 (07:26):

Speaker 2 (07:27):
That's a little strong.

Speaker 3 (07:29):
Yeah, mine, Well he raised about the GDP of France
in three hours. Larry, I'm gonna put you on the spot.
Creativity wise, I think anybody with a conscience and reasonable
intelligence understands why this sort of law fair where you
have a local prosecutor attempting to bring down a national candidate,
is so dangerous. How easy would it be if the Republicans,

for instance, said, Okay, this is the way you want
to fight, We're gonna we're gonna get to work on
cooking up some more of this sort of thing.

Speaker 4 (08:00):
How easy would it be for, say, I don't know.

Speaker 3 (08:03):
What's a good conservative city an Omaha prosecutor to cook
up something. If I don't know, maybe Joe Biden gave
speeches in Omaha through the years and got paid for
him or whatever. How hard would that be to get
this really cranking.

Speaker 5 (08:16):
Well, the genies out of the bottle, and you can't
put the genie back in the bottle, So it'd be
pretty easy. What about the Attorney General of Arizona suing
majorcas or charging him with a violation of the borders
of their state, or adding to crime or some conspiracy
to allow drug dealing to go on in Arizona. I mean,
you can come up with all kinds of things. And

the thing that's kind of interesting, Republicans don't seem to
play dirty like that a lot, and they play they
play hardball. Republicans play softball sometimes. But it's certainly easy
to do.

Speaker 3 (08:50):
Well, and especially if you remember, as I'm just remembering,
you don't need to get a conviction necessarily, right, You
just want to drag him through the mud, make them
spend money and time exactly.

Speaker 5 (09:01):
Yeah, I mean, it's that's all they did. I mean,
they got the conviction, but even if they'd been a
not guilty verdict, they succeeded in making him the story
and making him look bad for what six weeks was it?

Speaker 2 (09:11):
Yeah, that's the question really of this whole thing, is
is this an outlier blip or is the Genie out
of the bottle, and this is where we're going to
go from here on out. That's that's the question of
this whole thing to me.

Speaker 5 (09:23):
Well, I don't know how do you end go? No,
I'm just I don't know how you would undo. Once
it happens, it's the path has been started, So I
don't know how you bring it back.

Speaker 3 (09:32):
Well, only if there's a recognition among conservatives and moderates
that this is a terrible path. This is an incredibly
dangerous Pandora's box. We've opened here and we need to
shut it but fast. Although I don't know if you
heard the freedom loving quote of the day this morning
at the very beginning of the show. It was from
a Greek historian who's talking about precedence and how no

matter how narrow the path upon which they enter, they
create for themselves a highway where they wander with the
utmost latitude, and no one thinks the course is evil
for himself, which has proven profitable to others. Wow, okay, yeah,
how appropriate is that? Man?

Speaker 4 (10:10):
Human nature does not change.

Speaker 5 (10:13):
Nope, And like I said, once they do it, and
if they're successful, they'll do it again.

Speaker 3 (10:19):
Retired Superior Court judge Larry Goodman, Larry, we always appreciate
the time and the insights.

Speaker 4 (10:23):
Thanks a million.

Speaker 5 (10:24):
Hey, thank you guys. Take care we well.

Speaker 2 (10:26):
And since this was a you know, this was a
local New York guy in New York, it wouldn't have
to be for instance, if you just if Gavin Newsom
is the nominee, it doesn't have to be a red
state that goes after gavinet. It could be a red
county in calib blue blue California, because there are our
red counties and red towns. And you get that person

to sue Gavin Newsom because the homeless problem you've allowed
has cost us this much money, you know, that sort
of thing, and you tie them up in court.

Speaker 3 (10:55):
And yeah, there were some ren counties during the utterly
unconstantutional and I mean, by the specific wording of the
California Constitution, the unconstitutional shutting down of the economy during COVID.
They're closing the schools. But the red counties really just
kind of said, hey, we're coming at you unless you
you soften up and do the right thing, as opposed
to actually dragging them into court and making it happen.

But yeah, the Pandora's box is open now we.

Speaker 2 (11:23):
We and it's it's interesting to me that, at least
on the left leaning channels, I didn't see one person
bring up, you know, a possible downside to this, not one.

Speaker 3 (11:39):
That is striking and at the risk of sounding hyper partisan,
I am more than willing to take on their arguments
and beat them in this discussion one hundred percent. That's
our job. I mean, that's your job as a voter
and as an American. They don't even they pretend as

though the counter arguments don't even exist, as you've just indicated,
which is well, let's a measure of something.

Speaker 4 (12:05):
You can call it what you want.

Speaker 2 (12:08):
Joe Biden made a big decision on Ukraine yesterday that
may have happened the day of the verdict so that
it didn't make the news. Really I'm not sure. Seems
like a heck of a coincidence. Anyway. Other stuff to
talk about too, and more on the Trump trial, all
on the way Armstrong and Getty
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