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May 9, 2024 12 mins

The hush money trial has been quite entertaining. The judge seemed to have lost control of his courtroom while Stormy Daniels was giving a very detailed account of her sexual encounter with Donald Trump.

Retired Superior Court Judge Larry Goodman, who served on the bench for 31 years in the San Francisco Bay Area, joins Armstrong & Getty to discuss. 

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Episode Transcript

Available transcripts are automatically generated. Complete accuracy is not guaranteed.
Speaker 1 (00:00):
She told me that Donald was chasing her around his
hotel room.

Speaker 2 (00:05):
And at that time what she told me was tidy whities.

Speaker 3 (00:08):
That was some woman I saw her on whatever show
I was watching yesterday. So she's another aging hot blonde
who was there at the golf tournament at Lake Tahoe
back in the day.

Speaker 1 (00:19):
Because that's where a whole.

Speaker 3 (00:20):
Bunch of rich guys are, is the only reason I
can figure out they're there. And Stormy actually invited her,
said you ought to come up to Trump's room too,
and she said, nah, I gotta I'm doing something else.

Speaker 1 (00:31):
Maybe she found some other rich guy to hang out with.
I don't know.

Speaker 3 (00:33):
But Stormy Daniels is back on the stand today. The
cross examination has continued. Specifically, they started by asking her
how in twenty eleven, five years before she signed a
non disclosure agreement. They suggested that she had been denying
the encounter all up until a certain point, and so

(00:53):
they're trying to make the argument that it's clearly was
extortion when the election happened. The Wall Journal lead opinion
today is the Stormy Daniels sex Trial. The salacious details
of her testimony were irrelevant to the charges against Trump.
As you may recall, the details got rather detailed, to
the disgust of everyone present, including apparently the judge. The

(01:17):
defense asked for a mistrial. The judge said, were not
at that point yet, but certainly there were some things
said that shouldn't be said.

Speaker 4 (01:24):
Not impressed by the judge. Seems to me to just
be riddled with holes that can be appealed. But what
the hell do I know? Compared to retired Superior Court
judge Larry Goodman, who served on the bench for thirty
one years in the Superior Court, handled many many trials,
including many murder trials in Alameda County in the San
Francisco Bay area in the courthouse in Oakland, he is also,

(01:47):
rumor has it, according to the Internet, the father of
one Katie Green, Your honor, how are.

Speaker 1 (01:53):
You, sir?

Speaker 2 (01:54):
I'm doing great? Thanks? How are you guys?

Speaker 4 (01:55):
Good?

Speaker 1 (01:56):
Can we call you Larry Larry?

Speaker 2 (01:57):
Yeh absolutely?

Speaker 3 (01:58):
How does one become a judge? What's the career path
through coming a judge?

Speaker 4 (02:02):
Uh?

Speaker 5 (02:03):
It depends on if you know the governor or not.
I was appointed by George Duke Masian, So so.

Speaker 3 (02:09):
You're appointed by a governor? Like were you? What were
you before you were a judge.

Speaker 2 (02:13):
I was a civil attorney. That, okay, you're a lawyer
criminal cases.

Speaker 5 (02:17):
And then I met then Attorney General George Duke Mason,
and then when he became governor he appointed me to
the bench.

Speaker 1 (02:22):
There you go.

Speaker 2 (02:23):
Excellent.

Speaker 4 (02:24):
I've long said I'd be a good judge because I'm
so judgmental. Is there more too than that? I can't really,
you know, kind of go.

Speaker 2 (02:30):
With the flow.

Speaker 4 (02:32):
So Larry, why don't we just start where we introduced
the segment Stormy Daniel's testimony, the slacious sexual details and
the relationship to the actual charges.

Speaker 1 (02:45):
What's your opinion on all that?

Speaker 2 (02:47):
It's totally irrelevant.

Speaker 5 (02:48):
I mean, it's it's a shock to anybody that's a
decent judge that this was ever let in. It has
nothing to do with the charges. The test you normally
use is the probat to value outweigh the prejudicial effect.
And I don't know how anybody with any sense could
say that the probative value.

Speaker 3 (03:04):
Most of these words you can't use if you're talking
about Stormy Daniels. We can't use the word probative.

Speaker 2 (03:08):
Nope.

Speaker 1 (03:09):
There's just so many it makes it so difficult to
talk about.

Speaker 3 (03:12):
Well, was it the judge's job to jump up and
say this is irrelevant or was it Trump's lawyer's job
to jump up.

Speaker 5 (03:18):
Well, I think they did jump up and say it's
irrelevant multiple times, and he overruled them, and then when
they objected, he overruled them, and then he accused them
of not objecting enough, where he has the power to
object himself. As a matter of fact, he actually did
impose one objection on his own to her testimony, so
we knew he had the ability to control it.

Speaker 2 (03:35):
He just didn't.

Speaker 4 (03:37):
We both have pretty strong opinions, but I really try
to avoid being the knee jerk, obvious conservative bomb chucker.
I try to only say things that I mean, and
then I'm fairly confident about it. Seems to me this
judge is weak and prejudiced. Is that too strong?

Speaker 2 (03:56):
Probably not.

Speaker 5 (03:57):
I mean, there's it's almost like he got his judicial
training from watching Law and Order, you know, where they
call everybody up to the bench and not allowing that
in or into chambers motion denied, instead of actually having
hearings and listening to witnesses and reviewing papers and making rulings.
It's it's unfathomable the way he's running his courtroom.

Speaker 4 (04:17):
And if you were an attorney thinking we might lose
this one and will file an appeal, would you be
pretty optimistic about the appeals process.

Speaker 5 (04:25):
I'd be very optimistic about the appeals process. Although it's
probably that closing the gate after the horse gets out
of the barn, because the damage will have been done
to the.

Speaker 3 (04:35):
Candidate politically, and that's always we got to separate, you know,
what this does to him politically versus the legal situation.
I got to ask this, even though it's a bit
of a tangent. So you talking about the judge watching
too much Law and Order. Whenever we've had cop panels,
it's been pretty universal over the years that the good

(04:57):
cops say about a quarter of the cop I've worked
with shouldn't be cops. What percentage of judges do you
think shouldn't be judges?

Speaker 5 (05:06):
Wow, that's I don't know if I'd go twenty five percent,
but there are people that I served with that every
now and then you'd want to go back and check
they make sure they had a bar card.

Speaker 1 (05:16):
I think maybe ten percent of judges shouldn't be judges,
or would you.

Speaker 2 (05:19):
Put I'd say ten to fifteen percent.

Speaker 1 (05:21):
Yeah, that's enough.

Speaker 2 (05:22):
Interesting. Probably some of them would say that about me too.

Speaker 3 (05:25):
But yeah, maybe, yeah, fairship, maybe that's it. It's just
a disagreement of philosophy.

Speaker 2 (05:30):
Yeah, there are.

Speaker 5 (05:31):
Judge certain judges that don't just don't prepare. I had
one judge was amazed that I actually read cases. He said, Wow,
I quit doing that years ago. Wo.

Speaker 2 (05:39):
Yeah, there are judges who just don't care. Wow.

Speaker 4 (05:43):
We're talking to retired Superior Court judge Larry Goodman, who
tried many, many, many many cases in the Bay Area.
Do you have a rough number how many cases you tried?

Speaker 2 (05:52):
Over one hundred homicide cases? Good lord?

Speaker 5 (05:54):
Wow, twelve death penalty cases and beyond that.

Speaker 3 (05:59):
Those of my clerk's numbers. I keep getting tangent questions.
How often do cases turn out and you think, wow,
that is not the right decision verdict to me?

Speaker 2 (06:10):
Yeah, yeah, not very often.

Speaker 1 (06:13):
Not very often. Usually you think it should Yeah.

Speaker 2 (06:15):
Most of the time.

Speaker 5 (06:16):
I had a couple of cases that came out totally
different than I thought they would come out.

Speaker 2 (06:22):
Most of the time, it's pretty close.

Speaker 4 (06:24):
Yeah. So I actually have a jury related question. I've
been on a handful of juries. It's a fascinating experience.
I'm enthusiastic about serving on juries as opposed to a
lot of people, and I would suggest folks take a
minute to think about the sacred duty we have to
each other to render just verdicts before you try to
weasel out just because you don't want to do it. Anyway,

(06:45):
it was also a terrifying experience trying to reason with
some people who are not capable of reason. But this,
getting back to the stormy Daniel's testimony, how it was irrelevant, prejudicial,
half gross and have sexy. How do you think jurors

(07:06):
might react to that?

Speaker 5 (07:08):
Boy, that's hard to tell, you know, jurors are an
unknown quantity. A lot of the times. A lot of
you think, well, they'll be shocked and they'll think to
Trump's the worst person in the world.

Speaker 2 (07:18):
Other jurors might.

Speaker 5 (07:19):
Go, Wow, this lady's really messed up, and whatever she
has to say, I'm not going to listen to it.

Speaker 2 (07:24):
Yeah, it's really hard to tell.

Speaker 1 (07:26):
Sorry, just as a former juror.

Speaker 4 (07:28):
If all of the testimony unwound the way it did,
and then she said, but I didn't do any of
this for the money. I'm sorry you're on I'm sorry,
I'd go faud.

Speaker 2 (07:40):
Well, I understand.

Speaker 5 (07:40):
A couple of jurors were seen shaking their head or
trying to cover their mouth because they were starting to
giggle when she was testifying about some of the things
she testified to. It's just hard to tell, you know.
You watch a jury and you set up there. That's
one of the things you do as a judges. You
watch their reactions and sometimes you think, boy, I understand
these people completely.

Speaker 2 (08:00):
And they go and do something you had no idea
what they're going to do.

Speaker 3 (08:03):
But so later in the day the judge did say,
we heard a bunch of stuff that you know wasn't necessary,
we didn't need to hear. But you feel like he
should have jumped in earlier, you know, when they got
into sexual positions and stuff like that, and said no, no, no,
come on now.

Speaker 5 (08:16):
Absolutely, at that point, he you know, calls him to
the bench and says knock it off, or he starts
interposing an objection of his own, and he keeps doing
it with more and more force. So he looks at
the jury and he starts shaking his head, going I
told you not to go there, and eventually the jury
starts going, wow, these people are disregarding what the judge
has to say, and then it starts working against them.

Speaker 4 (08:38):
So the judge has already told us that he thinks
her testimony was irrelevant to the charges. So let's talk
just a little bit without fully explaining the charges because it.

Speaker 1 (08:47):
Would take too long.

Speaker 4 (08:48):
The idea that they misrepresented a filing which is a
misdemeanor to commit another crime, which is a misdemeanor that
the local DA doesn't act actually have jurisdiction over. But
that makes it a felony, and it all ends up
being election fraud because covering up an affair is fraud,
which is a ridiculous notion. I'm sorry, I'm leading.

Speaker 1 (09:11):
The witness.

Speaker 2 (09:14):
Would absolutely I agree with you.

Speaker 1 (09:15):
What do you think of the underlying charges?

Speaker 2 (09:17):
Well, I don't understand them?

Speaker 1 (09:19):
Wow, you don't. Who does? Well?

Speaker 5 (09:21):
I mean it's you're asking a state court to enforce
a federal election law and that they don't have the
jurisdiction to do it. One of the other problems I
have with his judge is he should have made the
prosecution lay out specifically before the trial starts. What is
your theory, what is the crime and how do you
think you're going to get there because we're now they're

(09:43):
playing hide the ball with the defense through most of this.

Speaker 3 (09:45):
Yeah, because we're now fifteen days in and they still
haven't explained how they're going to do the math on that.

Speaker 2 (09:50):
And make sure and made them do that the very
first day.

Speaker 3 (09:53):
Interesting, right, Yeah, speaking of the appeals process, we should
flip this around to the other side to be fair.
How about Trump and the gag order and the fact
that he's violated.

Speaker 1 (10:03):
How would you have handled that whole situation?

Speaker 5 (10:05):
Well, you know, the gag order is kind of interesting
because the jury knows all about all those gag orders
and all the contempts, because how could they avoid it?
So now in the jury, even though the jury's not
in the courtroom, when they're talking about the gag order
and forcing the gag order, imposing the gag order, the
jury goes home and turns on a TV.

Speaker 2 (10:24):
What do they see?

Speaker 1 (10:25):
Well, that's interesting right now?

Speaker 3 (10:26):
You assume as a judge that even though they're not
supposed to watch TV about the trial.

Speaker 1 (10:29):
I don't think you think they do. Just assume they do.

Speaker 5 (10:32):
Of course they do. In me, particularly on something this
high publicity. How are they going to avoid it? Unless
they don't turn on the television, don't turn on social media,
don't look at anything that's written down.

Speaker 2 (10:42):
They're going to see it.

Speaker 5 (10:44):
Okay, So the neighbor's going to say, hey, what do
you think about that before you can tell them to
be quiet.

Speaker 4 (10:48):
Wow.

Speaker 1 (10:48):
Interesting, But would you have.

Speaker 3 (10:51):
Punished Trump in the same way as often or more
or whatever.

Speaker 5 (10:54):
I would never have imposed the gag order in the
first place. Gag orders are to protect the defense, and
it's over broad, it's vague.

Speaker 2 (11:04):
You know. Trump's can be a pain in the you
know what.

Speaker 5 (11:07):
So I suppose he felt like he had to do something,
but I don't know that this was the way to do.

Speaker 2 (11:11):
It, you know.

Speaker 4 (11:12):
I'm I heard a commentator say the other day that
he pointed out that the judge's daughter who Trump had
said some critical things of and it was portrayed in
the media, of course, that she's a pigtailed twelve year
old just trying to get through middle school, when she's
a full grown woman who is a high ranking campaign

(11:34):
person in Kamala Harris's office, specifically for the Biden Harris campaign.
And this person said, can't they find a judge in
New York who doesn't have a close family member who's
on the Biden campaign. And I thought, you know, that's
a pretty good point. Does that strike you as at

(11:54):
least an uncomfortable conflict of interest?

Speaker 2 (11:58):
Yeah?

Speaker 5 (11:58):
I mean the canon of say that you're supposed to
avoid all appearances of impropriety. Oh yeah, and this is
a pretty good appearance of impropriety. And when they tried
to recuse this judge, what the judge should have done
was file an affidavit and it should have gone to
a third judge or another judge to actually hold a
hearing on whether it was improper or not and then

(12:19):
rule on recusal motion.

Speaker 3 (12:20):
So if I if I'd pulled off a jewel heist
and you're the judge or they are talking about you
for the judge, and that it turns out, you know,
your daughter does the news on our radio show, then
maybe you wouldn't be the right judge. Might not Yeah,
got it might not be Yeah, at least have to
hold a hearing. Wow, this case stinks as much as
I thought it did. Retired Supirity Court Judge Larry Goodman.

(12:41):
Larry really really enjoyed the conversation. I hope we can
do it again sometime.

Speaker 2 (12:44):
Yeah, I'm available. Okay, cool, excellent, thank you, thank you
so much.

Speaker 1 (12:48):
He's a retired judge, so he's available.

Speaker 3 (12:51):
Armstrong
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