In his sea of courtroom troubles, Trump doing better than just treading water

In his sea of courtroom troubles, Trump doing better than just treading water

In his sea of courtroom troubles, Trump doing better than just treading water

From postponed trial dates to lawyers in a jury seat, an attorney says Donald Trump is not in a no-win situation despite numerous courtroom fights.

Special Prosecutor Jack Smith’s classified documents case against former president Donald Trump is up in the air after District Court Judge Aileen Cannon postponed the May 20 start date in her Tuesday ruling. That was good news for Trump, who could very well win the only case that will possibly get to trial before Election Day on November 5.

Adams praises 'wise decision' in Trump's documents case

Chad Groening, AFN.net

A legal analyst and former U.S. Justice Department attorney says a Florida federal judge made a wise decision when she postponed Donald Trump’s documents case.

While the former president continues to be involved in the hush-money case in New York City, he won't have to deal with the Department of Justice documents case for a while.

That trial was set to begin May 20 but Judge Aileen Cannon postponed that date indefinitely citing "myriad and interconnected pre-trial" issues that are "remaining and forthcoming.”

Adams, J. Christian (PILF) Adams

J. Christian Adams, an attorney who leads the Public Interest Legal Foundation, says there should never be a prosecution case that interferes with an election.

“One of the principles of the Justice Department is you don't time cases to interfere with the election – to influence an election – and this case is going to tie up the litigants and the parties. I think it's a sound decision,” he tells AFN.

Trump is now four weeks into the New York trial for charges of falsifying business records brought by Alvin Bragg, the George Soros-funded Manhattan district attorney. 

Josh Hammer, senior editor-at-large for Newsweek, predicts Trump could pull an upset win in New York.

“I think what's really going on here is that you have someone like Alvin Bragg, who is a cynical career-driven prosecutor who is trying to advance his career in a liberal state, which is New York state, and he sees the clearest path forward to doing that is to drag the former president of the United States, the nefarious orange man, Donald Trump himself, into court,” Hammer said on American Family Radio Wednesday.

“I think it's basically somewhat of a coin flip. I mean, all you need is one. All you need is one juror, and right now the case in New York is such a stretch, legally speaking. I take some solace in the fact that there are actually multiple lawyers in the jury pool. There are two lawyers. Two of the 12 jurors are lawyers,” Hammer told show host Jenna Ellis.

Will lawyers ask tough questions?

Hammer, himself an attorney, notes the two attorneys are “probably” not friends of Trump given the location of the trial, but because the evidence is thin, the trail such a “stretch” that it’s possible one or two lawyers “might started asking some very difficult questions and might reach an acquittal as a result.”

“I think the odds of (Trump) getting acquitted in the New York case, I wouldn’t say they’re high, but they’re not low,” Hammer said.

If Trump’s odds of a New York acquittal are good, the odds that the documents case is heard before Election Day are now very poor, and that’s good news for Trump, Hammer says.

Judge Cannon cited multiple “pre-trial” issues in reaching her decision. No new start date has been set for the trial at this time and won’t be set before these matters are resolved.

“The Court therefore vacates the current May 20, 2024 trial date (and associated calendar call), to be reset by separate order following resolution of the matters before the Court, consistent with the Defendant’s right to due process and the public’s interest in the fair and efficient administration of justice,” Cannon wrote.

Hammer, Josh (Newsweek journalist) Hammer

The move was not a surprise. Smith himself in an earlier court filing sought a start date of shortly after the July 4 recess. Trump’s team responded saying the trial really shouldn’t take place until after the election but by late August or September at a bare minimum, Hammer said.

The later the start date for a trial, the greater argument for a Trump appeal should the case not turn his way in Florida’s Southern District.

“It is clear and unambiguous Department of Justice policy that prosecutions shall not be tinged with politics. It’s right there publicly available for all to read. Nonetheless, when the calendar starts to turn to August and September it becomes fairly unavailable that the DOJ is doing just that … they’re meddling in the politics when they start prosecuting a current Presidential candidate,” Hammer said.

Among the issues is Trump’s defense team, Hammer said. The former president is using some of the same attorneys for trials in New York and Florida.

“There’s a simple reality that human beings are incapable of being in two places at once,” Hammer said. “I think it’s extremely unlikely that the Florida case commences really in earnest, let alone gets to a jury, prior to the November election.”

D.C. case a long time from resolution

The same applies to Smith’s Washington, D.C., appeals case against Trump where the case is likely to get kicked back down to district court because of the immunity question.

The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to rule on immunity by the end of June.

Arguments last month suggest the high court could rule that U.S. presidents should have immunity from prosecution for official acts related to the office – but perhaps not blanket immunity from all prosecution.

“It’ll go up and down the federal courts again. So, I think Trump overall is looking like a very lucky man when it comes to all these prosecutions. It really is only this New York case right now that is more likely than not to result in a verdict,” Hammer said.