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200 words: Flipper, flipper, flipper

Donald Trump apparently is an expert on “flippers” now.  Not dolphins named Flipper, or appendages of seals and other aquatic mammals or those devices scuba divers and snorkelers wear.  No, these flippers are called “cooperating witnesses” by everyone but mobsters and the prosecutors who lock mobsters up.

Trump was quoted in an interview on Wednesday, Aug. 22nd on Fox and Friends: “I know all about flipping, 30, 40 years I have been watching flippers. Everything is wonderful and then they get 10 years in jail and they flip on whoever the next highest one is or as high as you can go.”

I don’t doubt Trump knows all about flipping given his legal history.  But I would make one correction to his definition of flipping, to wit, “…..and they flip on whoever the next highest criminal is or as high as you can go.”

Flipping is legal slang for persuading a suspect in a conspiracy to turn state’s witness on his/her co-conspirator.  It is a term only used in the context of criminal investigations.  It’s applied to the pursuit of criminal co-conspirators to get them to tell the truth about their partners in crime. Criminals not “ones,” Mr. Trump, criminals.

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