Election 2020 Trump’s Federal judge DC postpones trial March
In Washington, a federal judge has officially delayed the trial scheduled for March involving Donald Trump and allegations of conspiring to overturn the 2020 election.
This postponement comes as a crucial legal appeal by the former president is still pending resolution in the court system.
On Friday, U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan nullified the trial date set for March 4 in the case led by Justice Department special counsel Jack Smith. However, a new date has not been promptly established.
This decision creates an opportunity for a distinct legal proceeding in New York, focusing on charges against Trump related to hush money payments to a porn actor, to advance of the Washington trial.
Among the four indictments faced by Trump, this case has been widely regarded as potentially posing fewer legal risks, given that the alleged misconduct is considered less severe than accusations involving mishandling classified documents or attempting to undermine a presidential election.
The delay in Washington coincides with an ongoing situation at the federal appeals court, where a pending appeal from Trump, asserting immunity from prosecution for actions during his White House tenure, awaits resolution. The timing of the three-judge panel’s decision remains uncertain. Still, if the ruling favors prosecutors and allows the case to proceed, it is anticipated that the Trump team will appeal, leading to potential further delays.
Timing holds critical importance for both parties involved. With four indictments and 91 felony counts, Trump seeks to postpone his criminal cases while maintaining his frontrunner position in the 2024 Republican presidential nomination race.
On the other hand, Smith’s team aims to prosecute Trump in the current year, anticipating a resolution before the November election. The concern is that if Trump were to be elected while the case is ongoing, he might have the authority to instruct the Justice Department to dismiss it and potentially pursue a pardon for himself.
New York Case
Initially slated as the first, the Washington case faced significant postponement due to Trump’s appeal, asserting immunity from prosecution. Smith’s team has vehemently contested this claim.
Arguments were presented before the appeals court on January 9, where the Trump lawyer’s stance seemed to face skepticism. Despite the court’s intention to expedite the process, a ruling is still pending.
The judge overseeing the New York case, the initial among the four indictments brought against last year, has consistently rejected defense requests to defer the March 25 commencement date. This decision was based on the anticipation – proven correct – that the former president’s legal schedule might undergo adjustments as the Washington trial date approached.
Scheduled for a pretrial hearing in Manhattan on Feb. 15, Trump anticipates finalizing details for his court appearance. Indications suggest that the New York case will commence as scheduled.
Discussions between legal team and prosecutors with the judge have focused on jury selection procedures, and witnesses have reported being instructed to prepare for potential testimony.
The New York case revolves around actions purportedly took to conceal payments made on behalf of the Republican Party to suppress detrimental stories before his 2016 victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton, notably by categorizing them as legal expenses.
A verdict of guilt would bestow upon the historic distinction of being the first former president convicted of a crime, potentially adding complexity to his aspirations of returning to the White House. However, it’s important to note that there is no assurance of imprisonment in this scenario.
District Attorney Alvin Bragg
Detractors of Trump and opposing campaign staff have consistently lamented that the initial indictment by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has had a dampening effect on the political significance of subsequent, more severe charges. They argue that this sequence led to voter disengagement or confusion due to the many cases involved.
Bragg has chosen to move away from labeling his case as “hush money” in recent weeks, instead characterizing it as another instance of Trump being involved in “election interference.” Specifically, this case pertains to covert actions during initial 2016 campaign for the White House.
Meanwhile, Trump is confronted with numerous felony charges in Florida, alleging the improper retention of classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago estate. The trial for this case is scheduled for May 20, but there remains the possibility of a postponement.
In Georgia, another case initiated by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis accuses him of conspiring to overturn the state’s 2020 election, although no trial date has been established yet.