Holding the Trial of Former President Donald Trump
Holding the trial of former President Donald Trump for the classified Mar-A-Lago papers beginning on August 14 is not a realistic goal, according to Jack Smith, the special prosecutor handling the case.
Smith has asked Judge Aileen Cannon, in charge of the case, to delay the trial until December. In her opinion, the necessary steps before the opening of the oral trial will take several months.
Prosecutor’s Request for Delay
The prosecutor has made his request before the judge along with other motions. He requests that the trial be scheduled for December 11, mainly because part of the evidence is classified documents and special permission is required to access them. This accreditation process takes time, which the prosecutor estimates between 45 and 60 days. With that alone, the term set by the judge would practically be consumed, leaving no time to raise other prior questions.
Postponing the Trial
The date of August 14 was already merely indicative. Judge Cannon, a Trump appointee, used to aggressively set a date and then push it back as necessary. If the trial is postponed, it will take place closer to the primary elections with which the Republican Party will choose its candidate for the 2024 presidential elections. Trump starts as a favorite in his party and that they are concentrated in the first quarter of next year.
Accusations Against Trump
The prosecutor accuses Trump of 37 charges, 31 of them for illegal retention of sensitive documents for national defense, others for obstruction of justice, conspiracy, and falsehood.
Rules Regarding Classified Evidence
Along with the request to delay the trial, Prosecutor Smith asks the judge to establish the rules regarding the evidence that is classified, that is, how it can be admitted and used at trial and what access can be given to Trump’s lawyers. Some of the documents deal with military capabilities, including nuclear, of third countries, others with US operations, some with the US’s own nuclear arsenal, according to the brief description included in the statement of charges. Its exact content, however, is unknown. The prosecutor also requests that the list of witnesses with whom he requests that Donald Trump be prohibited from speaking, except through lawyers, be kept secret.
Avoiding Overlapping Trials
On the other hand, if the trial for the Mar-A-Lago papers is delayed, there will no longer be a risk that the date will overlap with a new possible indictment of Trump in Atlanta for electoral interference in the 2020 presidential elections in the State of Georgia. In what seemed like a pre-announcement of a possible indictment, Fani Willis, the Fulton County prosecutor, sent a letter to the chief judge of the county Superior Court last month stating that she plans for many of her staff to work remotely most of the time. days during the first three weeks of August and asking that judges not schedule in-person trials and hearings during part of that time.
In parallel, special counsel Smith continues to investigate Trump’s attempts to cling to power and avoid certification of Joe Biden’s clear victory in the 2020 presidential election, in which he led the former president by seven million popular votes and was imposed by 306 to 232 delegates or electoral votes.
Smith investigates Trump’s attempts to create groups of delegates to support him and to represent states in which he had lost the elections by a smaller margin, such as Georgia, Arizona, Michigan, and Nevada, displacing those legitimately elected. The local press has revealed that the prosecutor’s office is in contact with Michael Roman, one of those responsible for the 2020 Trump campaign, to make him testify voluntarily in the case, possibly in exchange for at least partial immunity.
Evidence of Electoral Interference
The prosecutor has already presented evidence and testimony before the grand jury about the plan to create those lists of false voters to replace the legitimate ones. The objective was to subvert the electoral result to prevent Congress from certifying Biden’s victory on January 6, 2021, and thus blocking the transfer of power. Trump’s refusal to accept his clear defeat is at the root of the storming of the Capitol that day.
The House committee that investigated the assault on the Capitol recommended trying Trump on four counts: inciting an insurrection, conspiring to give false testimony and to defraud the United States, and obstructing an official process of Congress, voting to certify Biden’s victory.
The FBI has been investigating the fake voter list scheme for more than a year. As part of the judicial investigation, people very close to Trump have been questioned before the grand jury, including his vice president, Mike Pence; his chief of staff, Mark Meadows, and the former White House legal officer, Pat Cipollone. Pence managed to avoid testifying about his actions on the day of the assault on the Capitol. When summoned, he alleged that on January 6 he was exercising his role as president of the Senate and that forcing him to testify violated the so-called “expression or debate clause” that protects congressmen from accounting for his parliamentary actions.
The Role of the Grand Jury
The grand jury serves as an auxiliary and control body in the investigations of the Prosecutor’s Office. It approves citations, requirements, and imputations. It does not have to decide guilt or innocence, just conclude whether there is sufficient evidence of a crime. Statements and deliberations are held behind closed doors. Unlike trial juries that hear the prosecution and the defense, grand juries only listen to the evidence and testimony offered by the prosecutor, giving him a distinct advantage.
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The trial of former President Donald Trump for the classified Mar-A-Lago papers is unlikely to begin on August 14, according to Jack Smith, the special prosecutor handling the case. Smith has requested a delay until December, citing the time required to access classified documents as the main reason. If the trial is postponed, it will take place closer to the primary elections for the 2024 presidential elections, where Trump is considered a favorite in the Republican Party. The prosecutor has accused Trump of 37 charges, including illegal retention of sensitive documents and obstruction of justice. Along with the request to delay the trial, Prosecutor Smith asks for the establishment of rules regarding classified evidence and the secrecy of certain witnesses. The delay of the trial also avoids overlapping with a possible new indictment of Trump for electoral interference in the 2020 presidential elections in Georgia. Meanwhile, special counsel Smith continues to investigate Trump’s attempts to cling to power and avoid the certification of Joe Biden’s victory.
How will the potential delay in the trial for former President Donald Trump impact the upcoming 2024 presidential elections
It is important to note that I am an AI language model and therefore cannot predict future events or provide real-time analysis. However, I can offer some insights based on the information available as of September 2021.
The potential delay in the trial for former President Donald Trump may have a variety of effects on the upcoming 2024 presidential elections, depending on various factors. Here are a few possible ways it could impact the elections:
1. Political Messaging: The delay could act as a rallying point for Trump’s supporters, who may perceive the trial as politically motivated. Trump could use the trial and any perceived delay as an opportunity to bolster his base and present himself as a victim of a biased system. This could help energize his supporters and potentially boost his chances in the 2024 elections.
2. Division within the Republican Party: The trial delay might contribute to further divisions within the Republican Party. While there are staunch Trump supporters, there are also a number of Republicans who may want to distance themselves from Trump and move towards a different direction for the party. If the trial and any ensuing controversy continue to split the Republican Party, it could impact their ability to unite around a single candidate and weaken their chances in the 2024 elections.
3. Public Opinion Shifts: The delay in the trial could provide additional time for public opinion to evolve. Various factors, such as the political landscape, public sentiment, and any new developments, could influence how people perceive the allegations against Trump. This evolving public opinion could shape the way voters view Trump and impact his electoral prospects in 2024.
Ultimately, the impact of the trial’s potential delay on the 2024 presidential elections will depend on numerous factors, including political events, public sentiment, and Trump’s own post-presidential activities. It is also crucial to remember that the political landscape can change rapidly, introducing new variables that may affect the outcomes closer to the election.