Geschrieben am 1. Juni 2024 von für Crimemag, CrimeMag Juni 2024

Fresh from the NYC courtroom – Thomas Adcock: Guilty Loser


The victory of May 30 was sweet, and we deserve to savor it.

With the whole world watching, a jury of twelve everyday New Yorkers delivered a unanimous verdict in the criminal trial of a former president—a trial of historic measure that awakens my country from eight years of despairing fear; a trial that sets us free from cynicism, for however brief a time; a trial whose outcome allows us, once again, to know pride in being American.

Late in the afternoon of May 30, Donald John Trump was found guilty of thirty-four felony violations of election law. His trial ran for seven weeks, each day of which had him issuing manic insults to all he perceived as conspiring against him; each day of which saw anonymous death threats against the judge and his family.

This is not the first time Mr. Trump has been soundly defeated by the judicial system of the United States, not the first time he’s been found to be a loser. He is a twice adjudicated fraudster, with his so-called charity and his phony university shut down by New York State. One year ago in federal court, he was judged a sexual assailant. Each of those cases ended in multi-million-dollar settlements, yet to be paid in full by the notorious deadbeat Trump.

This time around, the now multi-convicted Trump will be sentenced on July 11, when New York State Supreme Court Judge Juan Merchan may well impose prison time. Four days later, the Republican Party will open its national convention, and the felon Trump, whose vigilante cult remains strong, may well become the party’s official nominee for president in the November election.

—As I write, a handful of Republican grandees suggests the honorable thing: Pick someone else as standard bearer. We await any sign of residual integrity in a once respectable party.

Fifty-six years ago, as my country was in a stranglehold of violent racism, the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. gave us these encouraging words on March 31, 1968: “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” Less than a week later, on April 4, the 39-year-old civil rights icon was assassinated.

It remains to be seen if the fascist impulse that powers Trumpism will be incited by its leader, as it so often has.


Earlier this month, in the days before Mr. Trump’s latest conviction, I began this essay as follows:

Making its merry rounds these days is a snarky joke about the many legal travails of a Mar-a-Lago mobster—criminal defendant on trial for falsifying business records to camouflage his fling with a leading lady of smut films, in aid of his regrettably successful 2016 campaign for the presidency; a deadbeat tycoon who shed billions in debt through multiple bankruptcy filings; a paunchy, profane moral miscreant lately in the lucrative business of peddling the Heavenly Lord’s consecrated word.       

The snark goes like this:

A porn star and a bible salesman walk into a courtroom.

…No, really.

Here in Manhattan, Mr. Trump’s so-called hush money trial is the first in a series that will test Lady Justice well into next year—if, that is, the nation does not lose its mind in November and elect the Republican Party’s shambling shame to a second term in the White House, thereby allowing a weirdly coiffed soufflé of yolk-yellow hair to quash all proceedings against him by presidential fiat.

…Alas, I understate my contempt.    

In all, Donald Trump’s four state and federal criminal indictments incorporate eighty-eight felony charges, including—

• The theft of eleven thousand top-secret documents, in violation of the U.S. Espionage Act.

• The amuse-bouche of veteran porn star Stormy Daniels’ damning testimony against her bible vending paramour.

• Involvement in and causation of election interference, concluding with a deadly insurrection against the federal government on the sixth of January 2021.

No matter the outcome of the Manhattan trial—guilty as charged, not guilty, or mistrial due to a deadlocked jury—sentient Americans already know this: Donald Trump is as guilty as sin. We know this by the company he keeps, by the vulgar lies he speaks, by the violence he inspires as evidenced by our own eyes.   

As chronicled live on television, the violence of January 6 was executed by Mr. Trump’s most ardent admirers—his murder-minded Sturmtruppen who rampaged through the Capitol building, urinating and defecating in the marbled corridors and congressional offices, and assaulting police officers to the point of permanent emotional damage and post-assault death. Along the way, the Trump-loving barbarians erected a functioning gallows meant to hang then-Vice President Mike Pence, who managed to escape the premises.

If elected president six months from now, the Mar-a-Lago mobster suggests he would issue pardons to more than a thousand violent Trumpisti facing criminal trials of their own, some four hundred sixty of whom are already serving lengthy prison terms. Mr. Trump calls them “hostages.” Rational citizens call them what they are: domestic terrorists.


Until now, most politically astute Americans considered the late Ronald Reagan (1911-2004) our most preposterous president, being that he was a Hollywood B-list actor known for Boraxo soap TV commercials and for playing second banana to a chimpanzee in the 1951 movie “Bedtime for Bonzo.”

But now come the historic Trump trials and we are bathed anew in political surrealism, which America is beginning to recognize as a redundant phrase.

Absurdum ad infinitum?

In early 1992 when he was found guilty of murdering and mutilating fifteen Wisconsin men he had raped and cannibalized, 32-year-old Jeffrey “the Milwaukee Monster” Dahmer knew the comforting presence of family: His loving father Lionel and step-mother Shari showed up together every day for weeks of testimony and documentary evidence that shook them to the core.

The post-trial impact statements from families of the fifteen deceased, along with their son’s expression of remorse, broke the Dahmers’ hearts.

Sentenced to life imprisonment on all fifteen counts of murder, Jeffrey Dahmer was fatally stabbed by a fellow inmate in 1994. To the man with the knife, Mr. Dahmer said, “I don’t care if I live or die. Go ahead and kill me.” 

On the other hand:

In the May 2024 matter of The People of New York v. Donald J. Trump, the ever arrogant defendant sat alone in a dingy Manhattan judicial chamber, save for expensive lawyers flanking him, a few appearances by his goofy son Eric, and a single showing by the hyperkinetic Donald Junior. Absent at trial were the rest of the ex-president’s immediate family: wife Melania, son Barron, daughters Tiffany and Ivanka.

Absent, too, was Mr. Trump’s contrition. Hip to television optics, and with a face painted in the color of cheddar cheese, he did not wish to be seen as the Mother Goose nursery rhyme loser, as per—

…The mouse takes the cheese, 
the mouse takes the cheese, 
Hi-ho, the derry-o!
The mouse takes the cheese.

…The cheese stands alone, 
the cheese stands alone, 
Hi-ho, the derry-o…

And lo, the criminal suspect and presumptive Republican Party nominee in November’s presidential election avoided the embarrassment of a discouraging television image by summoning available Republican toadies to line up for the news cameras, like so many obeisant parish choir boys. Each was duly clad in the sartorial style of His Worship: lumpy blue business suit, starched white shirt, scarlet necktie.   

Four Trumpist lickspittles, each man yearning to be named his master’s choice as vice presidential running mate, made haste to Manhattan in the final week of direct and cross examination: Congressmen Cory Mills and Byron Donalds, each of Florida, Governor Doug Bergum of North Dakota, and entrepreneurial curiosity Vivek Ramaswammy of Ohio.

The lickspittles loitered outside the courtroom, buttonholing journalists with insistent diatribes about a demonic plot by the opposition Democratic Party to persecute a God-fearing patriotic bible guy risen from political crucifixion in 2020 to once more reign over the temporal affairs of Earth.         

Inside the courtroom, meanwhile, the 78-year-old defendant was often sound asleep. He claimed to have been praying. Perhaps in prayerful slumber he dreamt his projection dreams: Recently, he’d taken to self-comparisons with the late Chicago-based gangster Alphonse Gabriel “Al” Capone (1899-1947).

“Holy shit…Me, I got indicted!” said Mr. Trump in a Fox Television News interview earlier this year. “I got indicted like Alphonse…’Scarface,’ they call him. He was a mob boss. He was seriously tough, right?”

Mr. Trump could not resist adding a competitive note: “Scarface got indicted once. I got indicted four times.”

Nor does Orange Face concede to Scarface anything less than the fierce loyalties of an ever-present posse. Those of dubious repute to have been part of Donald Trump’s entourage through the month of May—

• The rap music “artists” Sheff G and Sleepy Hallow, each charged by Brooklyn authorities with attempted murder, were featured at Mr. Trump’s recent presidential campaign rally in the Bronx.

• At a separate political event in Manhattan, the candidate was accompanied by the rapper Afroman, who in 2015 pleaded guilty to punching a woman in the face during one of his concerts.

• In the courtroom to support the defendant at trial were ex-New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerick, imprisoned on fraud charges but ultimately pardoned by Mr. Trump during his 2017-21 presidency; and Chuck Zito, former Hollywood actor and Hell’s Angels motorcycle club leader who served six years in prison on a felony drug conviction and now casts himself as general tough-guy-around town.

As for Scarface: In 1932, he was remanded to the U.S. penitentiary at Alcatraz, the island lockup off the California coast. Alcatraz was shuttered forever in 1963. Otherwise, and upon conviction and sentencing in one of his upcoming federal trials, Mr. Capone’s old cozy quarters could have been inherited by the indictee known by Manhattan court personnel affected by his near constant courtroom gastro-intestinal eruptions as “The Orange Turd.”

Certainly the greatest aspect of surrealism in this possibly dwindling Age of Trump is the blind appeal for an unholy number of Americans to cheaply crafted merchandise offerings from a congenital huckster…

…Trump steaks, Trump suits, Trump vodka, Trump cologne, Trump hats, Trump umbrellas, Trump earrings, Trump hoodies, Trump thermoses, Trump playing cards, Trump footballs, even copies of the police mugshot taken at the Fulton County Jail in Atlanta, Georgia where Donald Trump was formally arrested last August upon indictment for criminal racketeering.

And not to forget the scarlet neckties.

No matter the future for Mr. Trump, the tchotchkes will keep on coming. He and his family business are masters of manipulating the material desires of a layer of society the late essayist H.L. Mencken (1880-1956) identified as boobus americanus. A layer of society most of us know as Trump’s chumps, willing to buy into anything that might provide them a taste of manna from Mar-a-Lago. Mr. Mencken’s descendant in such mordant sentiment is the singer/songwriter Tom Waits, whose fast-talking satirical composition “Step Right Up” speaks to the essence of Trumpian marketing genius—especially as applied to sorry souls who may feel a bit flaccid:

Step right up.

Everyone’s a winner.

…Don’t hesitate,

Don’t be caught with your drawers down,

Don’t be caught with your drawers down.

You just step right up,

Step right up.

That’s right, it fillets…

It chops, it dices, it slices,

It never stops.

Lasts a lifetime, it mows your lawn!

…Don’t be fooled by cheap imitations.

You can live in it,

Laugh in it,

Love in it,

Swim in it,

Sleep in it.

…It removes embarrassing

stains from contour sheets.

That’s right

‘Cause it’s effective.

It’s defective,

It creates household odors,

It disinfects,

It’s sanitized for your protection.

It gives you an erection,

It wins the election!

THOMAS ADCOCK’s journalism has been published in  American, Canadian, Mexican and European newspapers and magazines—as well as university publications in the United States. His magazine and newspaper career began at the Detroit Free Press. He has written for the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Chicago Today, the Toronto Telegram, the New York Times, and the New York Law Journal. As U.S. correspondent for CulturMag, the international journal of art & commentary, he contributes essays on American politics and sociology. He is an editorial consultant to major New York corporations, and nonprofits engaged in social justice. As recipient of the Edgar Allan Poe Award, given by Mystery Writers of America, his novels have been published worldwide. – We are proud to have him as our US-correspondent.

His website here.


All his posts with CulturMag here. His books:

Tags : ,