Donald Trump’s Court Appearances Raise Concerns About His Cognitive Health

 Donald Trump’s Court Appearances Raise Concerns About His Cognitive Health

(Sue Ogrocki/The Associated Press)

Donald Trump has increasingly found himself in courtrooms as his legal team tackles accusations of business fraud related to payments to adult film star Stormy Daniels. This legal engagement has reduced his public appearances at rallies, which were previously notable for verbal missteps that fueled ongoing discussions about his cognitive health.

Amid these legal battles, observations about Trump’s behavior have surfaced, suggesting more profound concerns regarding his mental state. Notably, his occasional nodding off during court sessions, where he faces 34 felony counts, has caught the attention of observers and professionals alike.

This behavior, while not entirely uncommon for someone of Trump’s age, is particularly striking given the high-stakes environment of a criminal trial. Dr. John Gartner, a psychologist and former assistant professor at Johns Hopkins University Medical School, has voiced concerns about what he perceives as signs of cognitive decline in the former president.

During an interview with Salon’s Chauncey DeVega, Dr. Gartner pointed out that Trump’s appearances in the Manhattan trial might be revealing more about his cognitive health than previously understood. The psychologist explained that it is not unusual for older adults to experience sporadic naps; however, the nature and timing of these episodes during legal proceedings are noteworthy.

Elaborating, he claimed, “Trump fell asleep 4 out of 6 days of his own trial. Falling asleep is not in and of itself particularly specific to dementia. I fall asleep at dinner parties because I’m old and work too hard. Bill Clinton was famous for it. But can you remember a criminal defendant repeatedly unable to stay awake at his own trial? I can’t. It’s obviously very rare. Most people are pumped full of adrenaline when they’re in the dock.”

Dr. Gartner suggested that such instances of dozing off could be indicative of a broader issue, possibly dementia, which he believes might be evident in Trump’s case. Dr. Gartner elaborated on the connection between Trump’s behavior and cognitive disorders, stating that patients with dementia might exhibit an inability to control their sleep-wake cycles actively.

The unique aspect of Trump’s situation is that it might be the first instance, to Dr. Gartner’s knowledge, where a defendant in a criminal trial shows signs of dementia so overtly that they cannot stay awake consistently during the proceedings. Furthermore, Dr. Gartner raised concerns about the additional stress from the criminal trial, which involves serious charges that could result in imprisonment.

He speculated that the pressures of these proceedings could be accelerating Trump’s cognitive decline. The psychologist’s observations suggest a troubling scenario where the demands of legal defense and the inherent stress of facing potential jail time might be exacerbating any existing cognitive issues.

“The trial is really a form of psychological torture for a malignant narcissist who needs to appear powerful. Instead, he appears small, confused, and helpless,” he observed.

This situation places Trump in a challenging position, as he must navigate the complexities of his legal battles while also dealing with public and professional scrutiny regarding his mental fitness. The ongoing court cases serve not only as a forum for addressing the legal allegations but also as an unintentional spotlight on his health, inviting public and expert analysis of his ability to handle personal and professional pressures at this stage of his life.

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