On March 4, 2024, a DC federal judge will preside over the trial of former President Donald Trump’s case concerning alleged actions taken after the 2020 election.
This significant date is one day before Super Tuesday, when voters in 14 states, including Texas and California, will cast their ballots in the Republican presidential primary.
Special counsel Jack Smith has accused Trump of conspiring to defraud the United States, obstructing an official proceeding and attempting to impede an official investigation.
Trump has pleaded not guilty to all charges brought against him in the case initiated by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg. The trial, slated to start on March 25, 2024, was discussed with the New York judge overseeing the allegations of “falsified business documents.”
“Setting a trial date does not depend and should not depend on a defendant’s personal obligations,” Chutkan said, comparing Trump’s campaign obligations to those of a professional athlete, whose schedule would also not be considered when setting trial dates in a criminal case.
Joe Biden’s Justice Department has reportedly delivered more than 12.8 million pages of evidence to Donald Trump’s legal team. Special Counsel Molly Gaston said that “the discovery process is now substantially complete.”
In the coming weeks, Trump’s attorneys are expected to file several motions, with lawyer John Lauro claiming that his client is being charged for “simply being President Trump.”
Lauro is preparing a motion to have the entire case dismissed on the grounds of selective prosecution and alleged favoritism toward Biden in his presidential campaign against Trump.
Trump has repeatedly declared that the four legal proceedings against him — two initiated by Biden’s Department of Justice, and one each from Georgia and New York — represent “election interference”.
This could lead to Bragg’s trial being postponed or hindered, as reported by the New York Daily News. Bragg is currently facing two lawsuits related to his filing of charges against Trump for allegedly illegal activities concerning a hush money payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels prior to the 2016 election, which was facilitated by Michael Cohen who used to be Trump’s personal lawyer.
Trump has been accused of 34 counts, including allegations that he falsified business records in order to conceal payments.
The Heritage Foundation, a conservative Washington D.C.-based think tank, filed a lawsuit against Bragg due to suspicions that his office had coordinated with the Justice Department, White House and Representative Daniel Goldman about the prosecution which resulted in several U.S. House Committees launching investigations into Bragg’s conduct.
“Regrettably, these questions have not been met with answers. These reports have raised concerns in many circles based in large part upon the longstanding history of President Trump’s political opponents coordinating their activities to systematically weaponize the criminal justice system against him and thereby pervert the course of Justice,” says a filing for the first lawsuit.
Heritage has filed a separate lawsuit claiming that Bragg and his team engaged the services of prominent law firms specializing in white-collar litigation, pro bono.
The organization is seeking a court declaration that documents requested under the New York Freedom of Information Law should be released and that Bragg and his team should provide these documents without attempting to seek any costs or fees related to the specific request.
Mike Howell, director of Heritage’s Oversight Project, stated that there may be evidence indicating Bragg was communicating with Trump’s political opponents via cellphone. Harvard Law School professor Alan Dershowitz commended Trump for employing a legal maneuver against Bragg.
Dershowitz argued that Team Trump filing a $500 million lawsuit against Cohen was an ideal strategy, as he thought it would bolster his case while hurting Bragg. Additionally, Cohen had already testified before the Manhattan grand jury which had indicted Trump.
“Good move. Good move. First of all, lawyers should not be violating lawyer-client privilege, number one. Number two, he gets a discovery if he survives a motion to dismiss, and he is going to be able to find out things the government wouldn’t turn over to him in a criminal trial,” Dershowitz said.
“It’s very hard these days to hide things forever. With the internet, with social media, if you get the right people, you can get things that people think they have hidden. So, I’m glad we are going to get to the bottom of this. Look transparency is essential. If people have nothing to hide, they shouldn’t be worried,” he added.