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Paralegal Georgia Longstreets Steely and Star Turn at Donald Trump Trial

Paralegal Georgia Longstreets Steely and Star Turn at Donald Trump Trial

 


She had a simple job during a complex trial: read a man's damning words.

Not just any man, of course. Twitter messages on the bright screens in the courtroom of Donald Trump's trial in New York last Friday were thoughtless intimidation tactics by the first US president to face criminal charges, in a fight that could change the course of world history.

The task was given to Georgia Longstreet, a tall, unassuming 24-year-old who shows up to court every morning, impeccably dressed. She and her two paralegal colleagues show up a half hour before the prosecutor's team, carrying binders of evidence and preparing for the seven-hour battle that awaits them.

Longstreet had been monitoring Trump's social media for a year and a half, and now prosecutors wanted jurors to hear those rants and the way he used his wildly popular accounts to deny having affairs, to insult the woman whose silence and to intimidate a lawyer who turned against him.

On a Friday morning in May, Longstreet took the witness stand to be questioned by Assistant Manhattan District Attorney Rebecca Mangold about the messages.

Which handle is used? » asked Mangold.

@RealDonaldTrump, Longstreet said, referring to his Truth Social account.

And what is the date and time on this?

On August 4, 2023 at 4:16 p.m., Longstreet responded.

Can you please read the contents of the message to the jury?

If you sue me, I sue you.

The brief courtroom silence that followed only underscored the menacing tone of a former commander in chief's message.

The inevitable televised version of this trial will give all the best lines to prosecutors like Investigations Division Chief Susan Hoffinger, whose booming voice fills the room, or bespectacled Assistant District Attorney Joshua Steinglass, whose nasal tone gives every speech an air of indignation.

Trump's own online tantrums will stand as testimony to his true feelings, particularly if he decides not to testify next week. And Longstreet's deadpan recitation of his posts on Twitter and Truth Social will be a key, if small, part of the effort to convict him.

The reading was only part of Longstreet's performance. She also stood up to Trump's lead defense attorney, using subtle body language and a hint of defiance to convey to jurors that each counterargument was nothing more than a sideshow.

Hello again, Ms. Longstreet, Todd Blanche, a former federal prosecutor who defends Trump in cases across the country, said May 10 after Mangold's second questioning. How are you doing?

GOOD. How are you doing? she responded dismissively.

We spoke last Friday, didn't we?

We were doing.

Donald Trump with his lawyer Todd Blanche

Mike Fresh/Getty

At that point, the jury had already learned how the National Enquirer conspired in 2016 to pay ex-Playboy Playmate Karen McDougal and porn star Stormy Daniels to prevent them from talking about their sexual encounters with Trump before the election.

Jurors had viewed the text messages and emails establishing the hush money deals, heard about how former Trump confidant Michael Cohen advanced $130,000 for the second woman, and they would soon see fake invoices for non-existent legal work that resulted in Trump's signature. reimbursement checks in 2017 from the White House no less.

But the panel could use crucial context to explain why a steamy sex scandal would be a death blow for the Trump campaign, and what would make him so desperate to save face with American women.

The answer was obvious to any American who remembered how Trump publicly denied sexually harassing women and made up excuses after the leaked Access Hollywood tape showed him gloating about how he had them grabbed by the pussy.

But in a trial, all evidence that connects the dots must be formally entered into the record, which meant someone had to read Trump's social posts under oath. And Longstreet was the perfect choice.

I believe you testified last week, but correct me if I'm wrong, that you reviewed thousands of tweets and Truths in the course of your work on this case? Blanche asked him.

I did it, she said, responding like someone who has already completed a boring chore.

Paralegals always remain in the shadows. Lawyers get the glory while doing the heavy lifting. They are rarely brought to the witness stand. But now all eyes were on Longstreet as Blanche tried to suggest some sort of equivalence between the ex-president's threatening comments and Cohen and Daniels' trolling on social media.

Longstreet wasn't going to take the bait.

So you still don't rate Mr. Cohens TikTok? » asked Blanche.

Not at the moment, no, she replied, completely indifferent.

After some more back and forth, Blanche asked: Now, to briefly return to the social media you reviewed, have you also been tasked with reviewing Ms. Daniels' social media over the past two years?

Yes, she said in a tone that conveyed: Yeah, so?

And are you continuing to review it during this trial?

Yes, she reiterated.

For a little over 10 minutes, she answered all of Blanche's questions with a hint of haughty language and a raised eyebrow. His vocal fry only emphasized what sounded like disdain.

This was not his first confrontation with Blanche. The week before, he had also questioned her. The simple answers contained in the court transcripts hide his sardonic tone.

During that go-around, Longstreet actually made the courtroom laugh when his voice seemed to say what was on everyone's mind: Cohen may be the prosecutor's key witness, but the guy who managed to rename himself from Trump's loyal henchman to his mortal enemy isn't exactly a sympathetic one. person.

Have you reviewed Michael Cohens TikTok? » asked Blanche.

Not really.

Blanche then turned to Cohen's nascent anti-Trump media project: And have you listened to all the Mea Culpa podcasts?

Absolutely not, she retorted, to a burst of laughter in the courtroom.

Each time she finished her testimony, Longstreet made her way to the crowded desk on the far right of the courtroom. A small, dark tattoo on her wrist showed behind the sleeve of a formal suit jacket as she nervously bit her fingers and took occasional sips from her pink water bottle.

Among all the people who sat in the witness seat at this trial: disgraced media executive David Pecker, notorious sleazy lawyer Keith Davidson, Trump White House alumni Hope Hicks and Madeleine Westerhout, Longstreet were the only ones whose petulant attitude treated this trial for what it is: a long-overdue process that the nation must follow to determine what happens next.

Longstreet, who grew up in New Jersey, also works there, according to a person who knows her. The recent Rutgers University graduate, majoring in criminal justice with a double minor in political science and sociology, is preparing to spend two years in the district attorney's office. A source says a future in prosecutions is certainly not out of the question.

Sources

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2/ https://www.thedailybeast.com/paralegal-georgia-longstreets-steely-star-turn-at-donald-trumps-trial

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