We’ve already seen MSNBC legal blogger Jordan Rubin going full angst over the immunity appeal delay that threatens to push back the start date of the J6 trial which was originally scheduled to commence on March 4.
On Wednesday, Politico reporters Kyle Cheney and Josh Gerstein joined Rubin in the Worry Room as they expressed their frustration over the slow pace of the appeal delay which threatens to push that critical trial past election day. Their utter frustration was on full display on Wednesday in “As judges mull presidential immunity, Trump reaps the benefits of delay.”
Whether Donald Trump faces a potential prison sentence in 2024 is at the mercy of a federal appeals court that’s operating on its own schedule — at a time when every day matters.
More than 50 days have elapsed since Trump’s criminal proceedings in a Washington, D.C., trial court — on charges for attempting to subvert the 2020 election — were paused indefinitely. They won’t resume until the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals and, most likely, the Supreme Court resolve the question hanging over the entire case: whether Trump, as a former president, is immune from criminal prosecution.
HURRY! HURRY! We must have a Trump conviction before November in order to “fortify” the election!
Even if those courts ultimately reject Trump’s immunity arguments — an outcome that most legal experts expect — the protracted delays help the former president, whose strategy across his various trials has been to drag them out for as long as possible. Lengthy delays in his federal criminal cases create the possibility that, if he wins the presidency this November, Trump could avoid the charges altogether by having the Justice Department end the prosecutions or perhaps even by pardoning himself.
U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan, who is overseeing Trump’s federal election case, has tried to keep it on an expeditious track, and the trial is officially slated to begin on March 4. Chutkan, though, has strongly suggested she’ll push back that start date to account for each day of delay caused by Trump’s immunity appeal.
Who wants to be the one to plunge Cheney and Gerstein into an even deeper depression by telling them that, according to CBS News Congressional correspondent Scott MacFarlane, it now appears that the March 4 trial date is no more?
Amid the wait for an appeals court ruling on Trump’s claim of “Presidential immunity” and other potential delays…. the Washington D.C. federal court no longer lists USA v. Donald Trump criminal trial on its calendar for March 4, 2024 pic.twitter.com/u9VTotS2f1
— Scott MacFarlane (@MacFarlaneNews) January 31, 2024
More sad sads from the depressed duo:
Even if the appeal were resolved this week against Trump, that calculation would put his earliest trial date in late April. But if the D.C. Circuit and the Supreme Court take additional weeks or months to deliver a final ruling, the opening days of Trump’s trial could be pushed to the summer or fall.
The sheer desperation to conclude the trial before the election is so strong that astrology is even invoked:
Many legal experts had expected the D.C. Circuit panel to rule quickly after the arguments, perhaps within a few days. But for more than three weeks, the court has been silent. There’s no required deadline for a ruling.
“The timing of a decision by the panel will indeed be a critical determinant of whether the case can go forward expeditiously,” said Daniel Richman, a Columbia University law professor.
Richman said Trump’s arguments for immunity were so “outlandish” that the appeals court should have little trouble rejecting them. But he said the court must take its time to issue a careful ruling because of the certainty Trump will keep pressing his immunity claim.
“Quite a few stars would have to align before the trial can proceed,” Richman said.
The future is uncertain but what seems most likely is Cheney and Gerstein swallowing many antacid pills in the months ahead to deal with those infuriating appeal delays that are already eating away at them.