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Jurors See Trevor Milton Tweet At Elon Musk A Nikola Pickup Truck Sketch Hydrogen Ice Water

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon Maxwell book
BBC - CIA Trial book - NY Mag
Pearl St Video

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Sept 15 – In the US v. Trevor Milton of Nikola trial,  after "Nikola Insider" Paul Lackey quoted Milton that "I don't give a sh*t about the environment," ex Nikola designer Brendan Babiarz described Milton tweeting mere sketches of a pick-up truck at Elon Musk, implying it had been built. This came after still-Nikola witness Elizabeth Fretheim. Inner City Press was there. Thread:

Bradley Bondi: Ms. Fretheim, didn't you say "We are designing from a clean sheet allowing us to leap frog forward in technology"?

Fretheim: Yes. Bondi: You said that publicly, right? Fretheim: Maybe to a select group. Bondi: It was on the Internet, right?

 Bondi: We move into evidence the entire Tesla Charts podcast, and transcript. Judge Ramos: Any objection? AUSA: No.

 US says next witness (after 1st witness Fretheim) is the one cited last night (Babiarz wrote of the Badger that they can’t “film the building of the trucks” because “they are half Fords”) - legal fight about admissibility of emails coming

Now re-direct of Nikola's Fretheim. AUSA: Mr. Milton said Nikola's hydrogen was -- Milton's lawyer: Objection, your Honor! May we approach? Judge Ramos: OK. [Whispered sidebar. Then:]

AUSA: At that time, where was Nikola getting its hydrogen? Fretheim: From standard producers. AUSA: You reached out to Mark Russell on a Sunday about the Tesla Charts podcast? Fretheim: Yes.

 AUSA: Did you believe Mr. Milton had made mis-statements? Fretheim: Yes. AUSA: No further questions. Re-cross: Bondi: You trusted CEO Mark Russell to act if necessary, right? Fretheim: Yes.

Next witness: Brendan Babiarz. AUSA Roos: Did you work at Nikola? Babiarz: Yes, from 2017. As a designer.

AUSA Roos: Here's an email you sent to Mr. Milton. When did you hear next about the pick-up truck? Babiarz: Trevor tweeted out the sketches I'd sent him.

 Babiarz: Trevor tweeted it at Elon Musk . I was surprised. We had not done any real work on the pick-up truck. AUSA: It was just sketches? Babiarz: Yes.

AUSA Roos: Now in the press release about the pick-up truck, for those of us who ride the subway to work, where did these numbers come from?

Babiarz: I have no idea. AUSA: Read this tweet. Babiarz: He tweeted at #Tesla Charts that "the specs are dead on."

AUSA: Here Milton says he has been working on this pick-up for years. Was tech from the semi-truck put into the pick-up?

Milton's lawyer Torrey Young: Objection! Foundation!

Judge Ramos: Overruled.

AUSA: Had he been working on it?

Babiarz: Only through my sketches

AUSA: Please show the witness this exhibit. Do you recognize this email? Babiarz: Yes. It's an email to Trevor Milton, I'm copied. March 30, 2020. 

[Now break is called. Milton stands chatting with his lawyer Marc Mukasey.]

They're back. AUSA Roos: Did there come a time when Trevor Milton made an announcement about the unveiling of the Badger pick-up truck? Babiartz: Yes. He tweeted it, calling NikolaWorld now BadgerWorld.

AUSA: Here, you text that you hoped Nikola going public would make Trevor more methodical but I guess not, right?

Babiartz: Yes. And my colleague answered that Trevor "needs his next fix."

AUSA: Now the next text message -- Young: Objection! 401, 403, foundation.

Judge Ramos: Overruled. AUSA: So you said, Not sure how Trevor plans to get tens of thousands of reservations [for the Badger], it's not bursting and won't until there's a working prototype

AUSA: Is this the crying / laughing emoji? Babiarz: Yes. We did not have a working prototype. I wrote, We are building it over Fords, so they are going to shoot all this Discovery stuff over in Europe - that was through the Diesel Brothers

 AUSA: They are television personalities? Babiarz: In simple terms, yes. AUSA: Government offers exhibit 50. Young (sounding tired or bored) Objection. Judge Ramos: Overruled. Babiarz: I wrote, Trevor is taking Discovery to film Badgar building in Italy.

 AUSA: You wrote, "it will totally f*ck us." What did you mean? Babiarz: That the public would see what the Badger was built on. Ultimately, they did not do the Discovery Channel filming in Italy.

AUSA: What could tweeting out the raw frame show? Young: Objection. Judge Ramos: Overruled. Babiarz: That it was built on Ford. AUSA: Did you ever give Mr Milton talking points? Babiarz: No.

 Babiarz: Trevor Milton said our drivers would get cold, clean drinking water from the hydrogen. He then tweeted at SodaStream, offering to partner. AUSA: Before these tweets, had you ever heard of the Badger you were working on having a water fountain? Babiarz: No 

US plays an interview with Milton talking about ice cold drinking water from hydrogen, saying, It reminds me of Adam Sandler's The Water Boy, we have to get Adam Sandler on board. Then Maria Bartiroma: So do you welcome competition? Milton: You can have ice water

Inner City Press coverage will continue.

The case is US v. Milton, 21-cr-478 (Ramos)

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