Oct 13, 2023

Former Alameda Research CEO Caroline Ellison faced a cross-examination from Sam Bankman-Fried's lawyer Thursday.

Video transcript

All right. Former Alameda Ceo Caroline Ellison faced a cross examination from Sam Bateman Fried's lawyer on Thursday. The defense counsel Mark Cohen asked Ellison if it was true that SBF was absent for quote long periods of time unquote while she was CEO at Alameda. She said that he was, he also asked if during those times, Alison and Sam Trabucco who was a CO CEO at Alameda at the time, made decisions without Beman Fried's input. She acknowledged that they did, the line of questioning could signal a defense strategy of pinning the collapse of FTX and Alameda on Ellison Emily, you were in court again yesterday? What stuck out to you? And was that the case? There's been a lot of conversation about the defense strategy. Yes. So I will say that those of us who were in the courtroom yesterday were extremely confused by the defense strategy. And I'm speaking, not only for myself, you can see a lot of media coverage. So look, think of it this way. We have this really exciting week in the court. A lot came out, a lot of really interesting revelations from Caroline Ellison who is widely seen as a star witness in this trial. And so I think people were really looking forward to the cross examination like this is going to get spicy. Are they going to try to pin this on her? Are they going to dig into her romance relationship with Sam? And none of that really happened? You know, the cross examination I would say was quite confusing. It was as coins reported rather meandering. It was quite repetitive. It was very unclear where they were going. So obviously, I'm not a lawyer, but I can say just from being in the courtroom, when the prosecution is asking questions, you generally know why they're asking the questions and where they're going. That's not necessarily true for the defense. The defense is just asking questions. They were really honing in on these very specific details, like specific dates and specific months. And, you know, Caroline was getting a little flustered because she couldn't remember the exact month and the judge was getting annoyed because there was a lot of repetition. So it was a very bewildering strategy. And I think a lot of us thought like, ok, you know, what are they up to? They're going to drop a bombshell later on in the day. But then they were just kind of like, ok, we're done with questioning. So I don't know, there's various theories floating around about why they might have done it this way. Was it strategic? Was it not? But yeah, I think people were very surprised by how the defense handled the cross examination. Did, did it feel like they were phoning it in? You know, that's a great question, Lawrence. You know, again, a lot of us, I mean, this is kind of the fun thing about being in the courtroom is that, you know, there's breaks that everyone is talking about. I mean, I will say that there was general unanimous bewilderment by the defense strategy and I heard a bunch of different strategies, a bunch of different theories for people who were in the courtroom. I definitely did hear that theory, you know, that like the defense sort of knows that it's all over and that they don't really have a chance and, you know, this is, this is just an impossible case to defend so that they were just, you know, trying to run down the clock. But yes, other people thought that it was strategic. There were some people who thought that, you know, they were doing a better job than maybe I'm portraying. But yeah, that theory is out there. It seems a little bit, I mean, again, not a lawyer, but that seems, that seems strange to me, these are pretty accomplished. I know, I know plenty of lawyers who phone it in all the time. Maybe. I mean, who knows, who knows? Right. But this is, again, this is a very, very high profile case and I will say that the judge has zero patience for that kind of thing. So, if they're, if that's what they're doing, this probably isn't the best forum for it. And Sam's watching, oh, yeah. Go on, go for it. Lawrence. I was just saying Sam's watching all this. What's he doing? Ok. So this is extremely funny. So, you know, Sam, Sam is basically kind of like he's in the courtroom. Um, you know, there, there was this very interesting thing that happened earlier this week in which basically, um the prosecution accused Sam of quote unquote, laughing, visibly shaking his head and scoffing, basically trying to intimidate Caroline during her testimony. Now, this is something that was not heard in the courtroom. This was in a sidebar, but you can read it in the transcripts and you know, a lawyer for Beg M Fried, you know, blew this off and said this was an absolutely ridiculous allegation and the judge was just kind of like, you know, have a word with Sam. So I don't know if that's really happening. But yeah, I think, you know, Sam is sitting there, I mean, what this raises the question I think of is Sam going to really remain silent for the rest of this case. You know, some people think that that's impossible because he's basically just sitting there listening to people kind of portray him as this terrible guy as we know he's extremely vocal. He loves talking to the media, he loves tweeting. It's hard to imagine. And he's just going to sit there and let other people have the last word. But who knows? All right, Emily, thank you for that. And are you going to be in court next week? For sure. All right. So we'll get more updates. I think we have the, was there, were there any graphics that we have of, of the, of, uh, you know, we have a court sketch. Oh, yeah, we, we do have it. Yeah. It's like being there, like being there. Very emotional. Yeah. Day is really perfect, affecting his artistic ability while sitting in that room. I look, I think we need to make a, uh, an online catalog of all this stuff or coffee table book, you know, stay tuned. Watch first mover. We'll let you know where you can get Nick Dace trying.

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