Time, Trump’s fatal weapon in the face of justice

(Washington) The tactic is simple, even basic, but extremely effective: play for time. By dint of appeals, sometimes invoking improbable arguments, Donald Trump seems well on his way to escaping most of his criminal trials before the presidential election.

Targeted by four criminal proceedings, the now uncontested Republican candidate to face Joe Biden in November is pulling out all the stops to go to trial as late as possible.

Even when he does not win his case, the time spent debating each of his appeals brings him closer to the goal.

Thus, in New York, where he is being prosecuted for hidden payments to an adult film actress in 2016, Donald Trump will have won three weeks by arguing the recent filing of thousands of pages of documents, although without any real impact on the case.

The judge set Monday for April 15 the opening of this trial, the only one of the four for which a firm date is on the calendar.

In Georgia (southeast), Donald Trump and 14 other people prosecuted for illicit attempts to reverse the results of the 2020 election in this key state succeeded in forcing the court to devote long weeks to examining a possible conflict of interests of the prosecutor due to her intimate relationship with an investigator.

The judge finally ruled out the prosecutor’s withdrawal on March 15, but no date has yet been set for this trial, more than seven months after the publication of the indictment.

“Excessive delays”

And Donald Trump managed to postpone indefinitely his federal trial in Washington, also for electoral interference in 2020, which was to begin on March 4, by obtaining that the Supreme Court take up the criminal immunity he claims as ex-president.

The country’s highest court is not expected to rule before June, or even July.

“It’s part of the system that most defendants don’t want to go to trial and to delay it as long as possible,” said former federal prosecutor Andrew Weissmann, co-author of a book published in February on the indictments of Donald Trump.

He nevertheless deplores “excessive delays” on the part of certain jurisdictions. Andrew Weissmann considers it “inexcusable” that the Supreme Court did not set an accelerated timetable on the question of immunity, and denounces the errors of the judge in the federal trial in Florida (southeast), where the ex- president is implicated for his handling of classified documents after his departure from the White House.

“These are classic tactics for a defendant who does not want to go to trial,” also notes another former federal prosecutor, Daniel Richman, professor at Columbia University.

“But when it involves a former president, the issues to be resolved are necessarily unprecedented and require more participation from the courts, or even the Supreme Court,” he explains to AFP.

“So anyone who thinks that Trump’s lawyers are some sort of magicians or geniuses is wrong,” he adds.


In Florida, prosecutors asked the judge on March 11 to reject without the possibility of appeal the request to cancel the prosecution issued by Donald Trump by virtue of his so-called “immunity” in the classified documents affair, in order to avoid “not encourage such delaying tactics.”

In this case, the defense went so far as to invoke the Justice Department’s unwritten rule to refrain from any indictments with possible political repercussions in the 60 days preceding a major election.

Prosecutors immediately clarified that this rule applied to the initiation of prosecutions, but not to the holding of a trial.

“The courts should not lend themselves to these stratagems,” Democratic representative to the House of Representatives Adam Schiff, former member of the parliamentary commission of inquiry into the assault on the Capitol on January 6, 2021, recently declared on CNN.

Like the two former prosecutors, Adam Schiff believes that the Department of Justice would have had an interest in initiating federal proceedings against the ex-president earlier.

“This delay has contributed to the situation where none of these trials may take place, but I still believe and hope that at least one or two can begin before the election,” he said. -he indicates.

If he were elected again, Donald Trump could, once inaugurated in January 2025, order the abandonment of federal proceedings against him.

reference: www.lapresse.ca

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