Donald V. Watkins
The Only Way Donald Trump Can Win His New York Criminal Case
By: Donald V. Watkins
Copyrighted and Published on April 6, 2023
An Editorial Opinion
After I published my article on April 5, 2023, titled, “Can Donald Trump’s Case Be Salvaged? Yes!,” I received a private phone call from a close friend who is aligned with Donald Trump and who asked what “rescue” strategies and playbook would save Trump in his New York criminal case.
Because I do not think Trump has the legal talent needed to execute the plays in this playbook, and because I retired from the practice of law in 2019, I am comfortable in publicly sharing my thoughts on what Trump needs to do to free himself.
After I publish this Trump article, I will resume my articles on the racketeering enterprise and massive $27 billion accounting fraud at the Southern Company in Atlanta. I believe Joe Biden's Department of Justice is working to “fix” the criminal case for the Southern Company, and I intend to stop or expose this “fix.”
Let me be clear on one thing: State and federal criminal justice systems in America are "rigged," and they have been for a very long time. This is NOT a theory, or an intellectual hypothesis, or cognitive hunch. This is a known fact. The "privileged" few have always gotten showered with judicial blessings in these two criminal justice systems, while society's "undesirables" have always gotten screwed.
Donald Trump has tumbled from the White House in January of 2021 into the class of "undesirables" in April of 2023. He is now in a fight for his life. Whether Trump is rescued from the dangers inherent in his New York criminal case depends upon his legal team's ability to execute the strategies and plays outlined in this article.
Trump Must Assemble the Right Legal Teams
Trump’s “rescue” team(s) need to be led by one seasoned central commander, with a proven track record of winning at least 100 or more jury trials in complex criminal cases. This commander must handpick teams of lawyers who must work 24 hours per day and 365 days per week until Trump is rescued and freed.
The ultimate goal of Trump's rescue team(s) is to overwhelm and overpower the New York prosecution team with a Navy Seals-type of trial preparation and execution. After all, losing this case is NOT an acceptable option.
At a minimum, the legal team(s) should be comprised of the following:
1. Four trial attorneys, two of whom are assigned to handle government witnesses and two of whom are assigned to handle defense witnesses. The two attorneys with the most proven cross-examination skills must handle government witnesses.
2. Three attorneys who must prepare pretrial and in-trial motions and three attorneys who are highly skilled at writing legal briefs. These six attorneys must work in three 8-hour shifts with a team of assigned paralegals. They are responsible for filing substantive motions and legal briefs every day, as well as responding to incoming government motions and briefs. Well-crafted defense motions and legal briefs should rain down on the prosecution team like laser-guided missiles and drones.
3. Three lawyers who focus solely on examining the discovery documents provided by the prosecution team. Every discovery document must be read at least five times by the initial reviewers and three times by the four trial lawyers. The initial reviewers must also find all related documents that place the government’s cherry-picked documents in their proper context.
4. The trial team must include one designated “objector” who is a master of New York Rules of Procedure and one who is a master of New York Rules of Evidence.
5. The defense team must establish a Facebook page that (a) posts the names and photos of all known government witnesses and (b) requests any information about them that tends to undermine their credibility. A team of three private investigators must work in three 8-hour shifts to vet the information provided by the public on each witness.
6. Three different private investigators whose sole focus is to gather profile information on everybody in the courthouse who may have contact with prospective jurors. The prosecution always has friendly sources placed in courthouse jobs that interact with jurors. Included in this category are courthouse security personnel, courtroom bailiffs, vending machine vendors who provide snacks to jurors during long trials, law clerks, court reporters, etc. The defense must formally challenge any potential juror contact by such a person who is known to hold anti-Trump views.
7. The defense must cultivate a network of spies within the D.A.’s office and courthouse. Disgruntled employees are a wonderful source of spies. They are always available, and their information, once properly vetted, is often helpful.
8. The defense must engage one professional media spin doctor, who should NOT be a lawyer on the defense team. I used Charlie Russell from Denver, Colorado during the high-profile, six-month trial of former HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy in 2005. Charlie was excellent in this role.
The legal team in New York must spend 14 days of trial preparation for every one day of trial proceedings.
The two lawyers who cross-examine witnesses called by the prosecution must develop three separate scenarios for zeroing them out on the witness stand. The scenario that works the best and fastest is the one that must be deployed during the trial. Speed is always the defense attorney's ally. Jurors enjoy seeing government witnesses eviscerated in record time.
The legal team must study jury selection procedures and techniques for minimizing the presence of anti-Trump potential jurors in the subpoenaed jury pool. This is important because the jury wheel can be discretely manipulated by court personnel in the Clerk of the Court's office.
The legal team must profile each member of the prosecution team and study their past trials to learn their weaknesses, strengths, and trial tendencies. Then, a strategy must be devised to exploit their weaknesses and suppress their strengths.
Donald Trump is facing 34 felony counts of FALSIFYING BUSINESS RECORDS IN THE FIRST DEGREE, in violation of Penal Law §175.10. He has entered a plea of NOT GUILTY.
The prosecution team only needs to win ONE criminal count, while Trump must win all THIRTY-FOUR counts. It is critically important that each member of the legal team knows, understands, and perfectly executes the rescue mission. The team must move with a measure of speed and degree of precision that mesmerizes the prosecution team.
Trump’s existing New York legal team has already blown legal strategies, techniques, and logistical maneuvers that have reduced his chances of winning by 50%. These blunders have the operative effect of increasing the workload of the rescue team and leaving them NO margin for error.
Trump’s rescue team members must also have incredible focus, exceptional trial skills in complex legal cases, a very concise and readily understandable theme of the defense, and perfect execution of about 3,000 discrete legal moves in sequential order.
The same central commander must devise and flawlessly execute a game plan for preventing Trump’s state court indictment in Georgia and federal court indictment in Washington. In military jargon, it does no good to rescue Trump in New York ONLY to have him ambushed in Atlanta and Washington.
We must assume that the prosecution teams in New York, Atlanta, and Washington are collaborating with each other. This would be a form of prosecutorial triangulation.
Trump's central commander must engage the prosecutors in Georgia and Washington with fierce pre-indictment fighting, all under his/her direction and supervision. In each venue, the defense should demand an opportunity to present a pre-Indictment memo to prosecutors like the one in U.S. v. Richard Scrushy (2003-2005).
The prosecution teams in Atlanta and Washington need to see the legal cards Trump is holding in his hand. This move is intimidating to prosecutors and serves as a deterrent to an Indictment, more often than not.
The legal team in Georgia must skillfully neutralize Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, while the team in Washington must crush Special Counsel Jack Smith.
Personally, I would work on securing a pardon for Trump from second-term Georgia governor Brian Kemp to pre-empt the criminal case in that state. This is very doable.
The ability to issue a knockout blow to Jack Smith and his federal grand jury probe in Washington has been available to Trump’s lawyers since November 25, 2022, but his current legal team has NOT used it.
In closing, let me say this: Alabama Head Football Coach Nick Saban could give me his playbook on the Monday before the scheduled football game on Saturday. If I do not have the talent on the field to run the plays in Saban's playbook, it will not matter. It's NOT about the X's and O's in the playbook; it's the "Willies" and "Joes" that make the difference between winning and losing the game.
With his current lineup, Trump does not have the talent on the field that is needed to run the plays in my playbook.
Meanwhile, I am turning my attention back to dismantling the obvious Joe Biden/Merrick Garland-sanctioned corporate corruption at the Southern Company, commencing this weekend.