Trump’s legal strategy is making a lot of noise, but it hasn’t solved his problems in court

(Jabin Botsford/Associated Press)

Trump’s legal strategy is making a lot of noise, but it hasn’t solved his problems in court

Doyle McManus

November 12, 2023

As he battles criminal prosecutors and civil lawsuits in four jurisdictions, former President Trump is relying on three tactics: denounce, disrupt and delay.

In the short term that may be good politics; Trump’s self-portrait as a martyr appears to have strengthened his hold on the Republican presidential candidate.

But as a legal strategy it has been a failure.

Trump has labeled prosecutors as criminals, judges as dishonest and his charges as illegal, which has not solved any of his problems in court.

Last week in New York, the former president planned to disrupt the civil case against him

on allegations of alleged

financial fraud.

This is a very unfair process, isn’t it?

Judge Arthur lectured


Engoron. We have a very hostile judge.

Engoron largely ignored the jabs.

You can attack me in any way you want, but please answer the questions, he said.

The judges are doing everything they can to avoid lawsuits over whether Trump’s rights are being violated, Donald B. Ayer said:

who was



top Justice Department official in the George HW Bush administration. They are smart. …and the process continues.

In two federal criminal cases, the former president’s primary goal was to delay.

Polls show that Trump’s chances of winning next year’s presidential election could depend on whether or not he is convicted of a crime before Election Day. A survey by the New York Times and Siena College finds that a conviction could prompt 6% of voters to switch sides


a shift big enough to reverse the outcome.

If Trump regains the presidency, he could escape responsibility by ordering the Justice Department to drop his prosecutions. Timing is therefore of great importance.

But his lawyers have been unable to delay either federal case.

In Washington DC, Judge Tanya S. Chutkan has scheduled Trump’s trial at the federal level for March 4

burdens of

election interference



In that case, Trump’s best chance for a reprieve lies with the Supreme Court, which could put the trial on hold while it considers whether a former president can be prosecuted for decisions he made in the White House.

Trump’s lawyers have filed a motion arguing that his efforts give rise to this

knock over block Joe

Biden’s election was a legitimate exercise of his authority as president and he should be absolutely immune from prosecution.

Unsurprisingly, prosecutors disagree, arguing that Trump’s efforts to convince states to change their election results were actions he took as a political candidate, not as CEO of the federal government.

No court has decided whether former presidents are immune from prosecution, because no


former president has been indicted.

If the issue reaches the Supreme Court, it would almost certainly delay a trial by months.

I think they could make a decision on that before July 1, says Paul Rosenzweig, a former federal prosecutor. But even if they speed up, the Supreme Court is not moving forward.

That timeline would still give Chutkan time to hold a trial before Election Day, assuming the Supreme Court acts

rules ruled

against Trump.

In a second case, the indictment against Trump

on accusations that lie ahead

improperly keeping secret documents at his Mar


Lago Estate, Judge Aileen


Cannon was more sympathetic to his lawyers’ pleas for additional time to prepare.

Last week she refused her request to delay the trial from the target date of May 20, but vowed to revisit the issue in March. The burden of processing thousands of highly classified documents has already slowed pretrial proceedings, and lawyers say the court date will almost certainly be pushed back.

A third criminal case, the prosecution in Georgia on charges that Trump and others conspired to fix the election outcome there, has no start date



In a setback for Trump, four defendants

have negotiated plea deals and agreed to testify for the prosecution, including



former lawyers for his 2020 campaign

have negotiated plea deals and agreed to testify for the prosecution


The previous structure could be read as meaning that the three lawyers are now prosecutors/sw

Since that’s not a federal matter, Trump wouldn’t be able to stop the prosecution if he regains the White House, but he could try to convince the Republican-led Georgia state


authority to intervene.

But even if he loses every legal battle, Trump’s scorched earth tactics could still have a corrosive effect.

He is slowly eroding confidence in the rule of law, at a terrible price that the whirlwind will reap, Rosenzweig said.


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