Lawyers for Donald Trump are defending the former president against rape allegations in a civil case in a Manhattan federal courtroom. Simultaneously, in another courtroom in the same courthouse, singer Ed Sheeran is defending himself against allegations that he plagiarized a classic Marvin Gaye song. Law and Crime Network anchor Jesse Weber did double-duty on 710 WOR’s Len Berman and Michael Riedel in the Morning program to explain their respective cases.
“It all comes down to one word: credibility,” Weber declared to Berman and Riedel about the Trump case. “No matter how old this [charge] is, it all comes down to whether the jury believes E. Jean Carroll, Trump’s accuser.” Carroll contends that Trump raped her in a changing room at Bergdorf Goodman sometime in the 1990s. Weber theorized that “how old the case is, and why she didn’t bring these allegations forward sooner, is going to be a problem for her, but as we’ve all seen, just because something is old, just because they’re old allegations, doesn’t necessarily mean that a jury wouldn’t come back and find Trump liable.”
Weber also expressed how Trump may view the case. “This is so minor, compared to everything else he’s facing… could that hurt Trump politically? Maybe, maybe not. I think people believe what they want to believe about Trump.”
As for Sheeran, the case hinges specifically on four chords in his 2014 hit, “Thinking of You”, as compared to Gaye’s 1973 Motown classic, “Let’s Get It On”. Here, Weber feels Sheeran may have a sound argument. “The judge felt it was enough to go to a jury trial. I think Ed Sheeran’s got a great argument, that there are so many limited progressions, so many limited chords that musicians have to work with, that this is not necessarily copyright infringement.”
However, Weber added that, during Tuesday’s opening argument, “They basically played a video of Ed Sheeran playing both songs together at a concert. That signifies to me that he had a knowledge that there’s a similarity between them.”
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