Wait. Why are 3 of Trump’s 4 criminal trials delayed indefinitely?

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Former President Donald Trump’s public defense against his four, distinct prosecutions in four, separate jurisdictions is that they are a coordinated hit job and a political persecution – evidence, he says, of a double standard of justice.

Disproving Trump’s allegation is the likelihood, which seems to be growing this week, that three of the four criminal prosecutions might not reach the courtroom before Election Day.

The other prosecution – generally seen as the weakest case against Trump – has provided salacious and embarrassing moments for the former president. But the facts of that case in New York, focused on his effort to hide an alleged affair rather than his conduct as president or his effort to overturn the 2020 election, feel like something from a different time.

Trump has pleaded not guilty in all of the cases.

If Trump could manufacture a conspiracy theory out of the fact that separate grand juries in New York, Florida, Georgia and Washington, DC, all independently approved charges against him, what would he make of the following series of events?

Classified documents case postponed indefinitely

Indictment: June 8, 2023, with a superseding indictment filed July 27, 2023.

Trial date: Delayed indefinitely.

Trump appointed the judge in the Florida case, Aileen Cannon, which doesn’t necessarily mean anything. But Cannon has angered critics who see slow-walking in the length of time she takes to return decisions and pandering in her deference to Trump’s requests to delay the trial.

On Tuesday, Cannon scratched the planned May trial date and did not pencil in a new one. With multiple outstanding issues in the federal case, legal experts are now doubting the trial – in which special counsel Jack Smith alleges Trump mishandled classified data he refused to turn over to the National Archives – will occur before November.

Trump’s former White House counsel Ty Cobb, now a Trump critic, told CNN’s Erin Burnett Tuesday night that Cannon has so far failed in the trial.

“I think it was always her objective, frankly, to prevent this from going to trial,” Cobb told Burnett. In the judge’s slow work, Cobb sees “a combination of bias and incompetence.”

The Supreme Court’s slow schedule is helping Trump

Indictment: August 1, 2023.

Trial date: Delayed indefinitely.

The other federal case, in which Smith accuses Trump of conspiring to overturn the 2020 election results and rob Americans of their democratic rights, is also on hold in Washington, DC, thanks to the US Supreme Court.

First, justices refused to fast-track reviewing Trump’s dubious claim of “absolute immunity” from criminal prosecution, instead preferring to allow that claim to proceed through oral arguments before a panel of judges in a lower court.

When that lower court rejected Trump’s absolute immunity claim, however, the Supreme Court suddenly wanted to have its say. Conservative justices, three of whom were appointed by Trump, seemed to not necessarily buy into the more outlandish extremes of his argument during a hearing last month – such as the hypothetical scenario of Seal Team 6 being ordered to take out a political rival – but they were intrigued enough to suggest their decision will not simply allow the trial to go forward.

Whenever they get around to issuing it, that is. Could be June or July! Which would leave little time for a trial.

Trump’s effort to disqualify the prosecutor in Georgia continues

Indictment: August 14, 2023.

Trial date: Delayed indefinitely.

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’ relationship with a prosecutor shouldn’t necessarily have anything to do with the allegations against Trump, which are related to his effort to overturn election results in Georgia in 2020. But the fallout of her decision to employ her former boyfriend is helping Trump.

The Georgia Court of Appeals said Wednesday it would consider Trump’s appeal of Judge Scott McAfee’s decision to allow Willis to remain on the case.

The New York Case is salacious, but where does it lead?

Indictment: Unsealed April 4, 2023.

Trial: Ongoing.

The tawdry details of Trump’s alleged affair with adult-film star Stormy Daniels are nothing Trump wanted to see, as he stared Daniels down in court on Tuesday.

Trump’s lawyers may drag out the cross-examination of Daniels when the trial resumes on Thursday as they seek to impeach her credibility. That should be a preview of the trial’s coming showdown between Trump’s former fixer Michael Cohen, an admitted liar and convicted felon, and attorneys for the boss for whom Cohen says he broke campaign finance law.

There may have been a good reason federal prosecutors passed on this case and decided not to pursue it.

The point here is that for all of Trump’s controversial actions as president and his clear attempt to change election results, a conviction for falsifying business records, if it even comes, may not be what sways those few voters in swing states who will decide this election.

Trump’s prosecutions are no grand conspiracy of election interference. They’re part of a slow-working justice system in which it helps to have the resources, thanks to donors, to pay an army of lawyers who can gum up the works. Trump’s long-standing strategy is to delay his trials, get elected and then work to make them go away. From that perspective, this has been a good week for him.

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