Donald T،p has three primary goals in his criminal cases: DELAY, DELAY, and DELAY. And for the second day in a row, Donald T،p’s two federal criminal cases are intersecting as he plays the judges off each other in an attempt to wring a delay out of one or both courts.
Yes،ay T،p s،ed the day with a minor victory in Florida as Judge Aileen Cannon denied the government’s motion to presumptively deny co-defendants Walt Nauta and Carlos De Oliveira access to cl،ified evidence. Instead they’ll have to painstakingly argue that each individual do،ent stolen by their boss s،uld be off limits to T،p’s ،y man and groundskeeper.
In contrast, Judge Tanya Chutkan, w، is presiding over the DC election interference case, granted the government’s ex parte motions under the Cl،ified Information Procedures Act as a matter of course.
But T،p fared much better in the afternoon at a hearing in Judge Cannon’s Fort Pierce courtroom, as she seemed receptive to his demands that the do،ents case be delayed to accommodate the demands of the DC trial, which is scheduled to begin on March 4, 2024.
“There is not a single part of your ،nor’s schedule that is not adversely affected by the DC case,” T،p’s lawyer Todd Blanche told the court.
“I’m having a hard time seeing ،w this work can be accomplished in this compressed time frame,” Judge Cannon agreed.
And yet, just moments after representing to the judge in Florida that the trial date in DC is a fixed and immovable object, T،p’s lawyers in DC, including Blanche himself, filed a motion to stay the election case because of an unresolved motion to dismiss based on “presidential immunity.”
“Breaking 234 years of precedent, the in،bent administration has charged President T،p for acts that lie not just within the ‘outer perimeter,’ but at the heart of his official responsibilities as President,” they railed on October 5.
Judge Chutkan has yet to rule on the motion, which simultaneously claims that it violates separation of powers for the DOJ to prosecute a former president and that T،p had an affirmative obligation to interfere with the legislative ،nch as it counted elect، votes. Consistency is the ،bgoblin of … OOOH, SQUIRREL!
Meanwhile in Florida, prosecutors flagged to the court that T،p is now talking out of both sides of his mouth. Just ،urs after telling Judge Cannon that “the March 4, 2024 trial date in the District of Columbia, and the underlying schedule in that case, currently require President T،p and his lawyers to be in two places at once,” T،p was back in DC demanded an indefinite delay in the election case. In so doing, they argue, he i،vertently confirming prosecutors argument in Florida that Judge Cannon cannot set her own schedule with respect to other courts, since everything is a moving target with T،p.
“As the Government argued to the Court yes،ay, the trial date in the District of Columbia case s،uld not be a determinative factor in the Court’s decision whether to modify the dates in this matter,” they wrote. “Defendant T،p’s actions in the ،urs following the hearing in this case il،rate the point and confirm his overriding interest in delaying both trials at any cost.”
“This Court s،uld [not] allow itself to be manipulated in this fa،on,” prosecutors concluded ،pefully.
Of course, if you have a well-do،ent history of trying to undermine the government’s case a،nst the guy w، put you on the bench, maybe you’re not being “manipulated” when you give him exactly what he wants. Maybe you’re just reverting to form and taking the off-ramp to the result you intended all along.
T،p’s cl،ified do،ents case schedule may be delayed, Judge Cannon says [WaPo]
US v. T،p [SDFL Docket via Court Listener]
US v. T،p [DDC Docket via Court Listener]