Ex-DOJ Official Stunned By Trump Hand Gesture In Court: ‘Can’t Begin To Fathom’

Former acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal on Monday expressed his surprise at Donald Trump’s apparent air fist pump toward a witness who’d testified what Katyal described as “incriminating” things about the former president during his hush money trial.

Trump was depicted making the hand gesture toward the Trump Organization’s former longtime corporate controller Jeffrey McConney in a sketch by courtroom artist Elizabeth Williams that Ari Melber aired on his MSNBC show “The Beat.”

“According to people in the room, Trump seemed to want a level of solidarity or whatever a fist pump means to him,” said Melber. “Again, I’m trying to be fair in my reporting. Even as McConney said things that were incriminating.”

“Yeah, I can’t begin to fathom what that fist pump is doing,” said Katyal. “I mean, McConney was very bad for Trump.”

McConney testified about his role in processing invoices from former Trump attorney and fixer Michael Cohen for Cohen’s hush money payment to porn actor Stormy Daniels before the 2016 election to keep her quiet about an alleged earlier affair with Trump.

Trump’s lawyer’s defense “was atrocious,” said Katyal. “He basically said, ‘Look, payments to lawyers by the Trump Organization are legal expenses, right?’ And then he answered, ‘Of course, they are.’”

“That’s not the issue,” Katyal added. “Of course if you pay a lawyer generally, that’s a legal expense, but not if you’re doing it for other things that aren’t legal expenses. If I pay a lawyer to give me some cocaine, I can’t say, ‘Oh, it’s a legal payment and therefore it’s all hunky-dory.’ Of course not.”


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