Donald Trump faces a setback in his bid to postpone the trial for alleged election interference in Washington, D.C., as a significant footnote in the gag order ruling emerges, potentially playing a crucial role in the legal saga.
The revelation was brought to attention by former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance, shedding light on a sentence buried within the ruling, as reported by Newsweek on Saturday, December 9.
Currently entangled in four criminal cases, Trump’s most prominent legal battle involves accusations by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and special counsel Jack Smith.
The charges assert Trump’s involvement in a scheme to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election, ultimately leading to the infamous Capitol riot on January 6, 2021. Despite being the GOP frontrunner for the 2024 presidential nomination, Trump has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Judge Tanya Chutkan, presiding over the case, had previously issued a partial gag order in October, restricting Trump’s public commentary specifically targeting Smith and his team, as well as court personnel and potential witnesses.
Trump appealed this order, resulting in a recent federal appeals court ruling allowing him to make public statements about Smith. However, the former president is prohibited from discussing other prosecutors, court staff, or their families if such comments are designed to interfere with the legal proceedings.
A critical aspect of the recent development revolves around Trump’s attempt to delay the trial until after the 2024 election. In an interview with MSNBC, Joyce Vance highlighted a significant footnote in the 68-page ruling.
Despite numerous appeals and efforts to postpone proceedings, this footnote implies that Judge Chutkan remains committed to the original trial start date in March 2024.
Vance noted the court’s confidence in the trial timeline, despite ongoing appeals. “There’s still a number of appeals that need to be concluded before this case can go to trial. But at least in the mind of these three judges, that trial is on pace for the March date that Judge Chutkan has set,” she explained.
Adding to the legal complexities, Trump and his legal team recently filed a motion seeking to have the case dismissed entirely, arguing for complete immunity based on his status as president at the time of the alleged offenses.
However, Judge Chutkan rejected this motion, emphasizing that Trump does not possess a “divine right of kings” to evade criminal accountability.
Undeterred, Trump’s legal team filed an appeal to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, claiming that the appeal request automatically pauses all other matters involved in the case. This assertion, stating Trump will act as if the pause has been granted, has drawn criticism within the legal community.
Former federal prosecutor Glenn Kirschner, a vocal Trump critic, expressed concern over the unprecedented nature of Trump’s legal maneuvers in a video posted on his YouTube page, warning of “danger dead ahead.”
The ongoing legal battles surrounding Trump’s trials continue to attract widespread attention and scrutiny as the March 2024 trial date approaches, raising questions about the former president’s legal strategy and its potential implications.