Trump’s lawyers have until August to file challenges to the prosecution’s case he withheld payment to an adult film actress before the 2016 presidential election to keep her quiet about a sexual relationship she says she had trumpet years before Those filings may coincide with the first Republican primary debate of the season, which is also scheduled for August.
One of Trump’s lawyers, Joe Tacopina, said on Wednesday that he did not expect significant progress before July.
“It’s going to be a long time before anything happens,” Tacopina said in an interview. “We’re going to be methodical.”
Trump, who has pleaded not guilty to the charges, is likely to be summoned to headquarters meeting on Thursday to rally supporters and travel next week to speak to top GOP donors in Nashville and then to the National Rifle Association’s anniversary convention in Indianapolis, according to Trump advisers.
Trump was watching Art District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s after the accusation ride a news conference on a plane he returned to his house in Florida and the prosecutor on appeal. He is likely to attack Bragg and New York Supreme Court Justice Iuan Merchan, although some in his orbit will resist the attacks — especially judges — according to advisers, who spoke on condition of anonymity to share private discussions.
On Tuesday, prosecutors floated a trial date for January, ahead of Iowa’s first national caucuses on Dec. 5. But Trump’s legal team suggested the spring 2024 would be a better “realistic” day than the open judge sounded.
Prosecutor Christopher Conroy provided a schedule for the delivery of discovery documents for the defense as he noted the grand jury testimony and the urgency of the matter.
“We understand that the state is desperate to move this case as quickly as possible,” Conroy said.
By Next spring, the Trump campaign could dig into a long battle of delegates or, if the early states go away, the nomination is already sewn up. Or the mission could provide grounds for Trump’s legal team to seek a further delay.
Trump’s lawyers can be expected to “defer any military judgment. Trump’s course of action is legal in almost every case,” Neal Katyal, a former acting attorney general who prosecuted the former president’s controversy, said in an email. “Here, the delay, allows him to accuse the day of the reason of the object of juridical compliance.”
Trump sent a message on Wednesday to Social Truth, in which he said his campaign has spent $10 million since the announcement was made last week.
Katyal said that Trump’s usual military tactics may not succeed in this case and that he must face other legal troubles at the same time as the ongoing investigations in Washington and Georgia into the handling of classified materials at his residence and club, Mar-a-Lago, and his business. to overthrow Joe Biden in the 2020 election.
Also on Wednesday, former president Mike Pence decided not to appeal the ruling judge who would have asked him to testify before a grand jury as part of a special investigation into the January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol.
The team is waiting for the movement in other summer research-research more than the New York one. Trump was angry and upset, according to advisers, about the rumors he had received about his lawyers and close aides. testifying due to court orders as part of special counsel Jack Smith’s investigation into the potentially compelling nature of hundreds of national security records.
In New York, Bragg ordered Trump’s transportation business records to cover the former president’s payments in 2017 to Michael Cohen, his former lawyer. Cohen paid $130,000 to keep actress Hurricane Daniels from going public about her allegations that she had an affair with Trump, which she denies.
Prosecutors say the checks, vouchers and merchandise related to Trump’s compensation of Cohen – were kept by the Trump Organization, intentionally mischaracterized as payments for legal services.
Legal experts said the way Bragg decided the case could be delayed much longer. Some criticized Bragg for clearly articulating the specific underlying charges in the indictment and statement of facts, which he believes Trump wanted to commit by elevating the crime of comment falsification, a common misdemeanor, to a felony.
Bragg told a news conference Tuesday afternoon that the charges are subject to violations of state and federal election laws, in addition to false tax returns. Bragg said Cohen’s payments were marked as income, for reimbursement, to public authorities.
“What the DA is doing so far is slim,” said Richard Hasen, a UCLA law professor and election law expert, who was surprised the prosecution didn’t include a legal memo showing the underlying details. statute even if that step is not required under New York rules.
“Everyone knew he was going to win this case, I was surprised,” he said. “This is quite obscure. I take it as a sign of weakness, not of strength.”
Analysts said Bragg’s approach could be problematic because state courts are preempted by federal statutes. For that reason, state prosecutors can be prevented from prosecuting federal candidates with federal charges. At the same time, it is unclear whether Trump, as a federal candidate, could be held liable for campaign finance charges.
Other legal experts said Bragg’s arguments will convince the judge that Trump is hiding falsified business records in an attempt to violate state and federal financial laws.
Karen Friedman Agnifilo, a former Manhattan chief assistant district attorney, and Norman Eisen, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution who served as counsel to House Democrats. by the Trumpet, the first attack was discussed in the New York Times op ed there is nothing new or weak about the case. They noted that other officials have been accused of falsifying business records to hide campaign violations, although each case involved state and not federal officials.
They also cited cases in which some state election laws have been applied to federal cases. “What is being discussed is that another New Yorker is going to be against him on an equal basis,” they argued.
Jerry H. Goldfeder, director of the Fordham University School of Voting Rights and Democracy Law, said that as a presidential candidate Trump still needs to follow New York’s election laws. Bragg said he would not indict Trump separately on election-related charges, which would make his case that Trump intends to circumvent election laws by falsifying business records.
“It’s a strong case. It’s unusual, but it’s very appropriate to allege such violations,” Goldfeder said. The district attorney has to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt, and it will be up to 12 New York if he does.
It is possible that Bragg’s team will have to disclose more detailed information in advance of the trial or before Trump’s group files their motions. The former president’s lawyer is likely to challenge the sufficiency of the alleged cause to dismiss the case. These issues could get full airing in the court before the judgment was made.
If Trump’s case goes to trial a year from now, as the president’s former attorneys have suggested, it will still be considered fast compared to other cases in Manhattan state court. Felony cases often drag on for years, with delays over competing motions or disputes over discovery and other issues. Trial dates usually change due to witness availability, holidays and other constraints.
Trump has a long history of delaying decisions through the court system. He labored to exhaust his adversaries in court, and in public hope to weaken the case against him with time.
The president has fought to prevent lawyers from accessing his tax returns and their efforts to block an interview with former White House counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s efforts to investigate Russia’s election interference. In both cases, the clock effectively ran out, even though Congress ultimately got something of what it wanted.
In this case, Jed Shugerman, a professor at Fordham Law School, said Bragg had personally invited Trump’s lawyers to try to get a federal judge to intervene and rule on questions related to alleged election law violations that could go all the way to trial. The US Supreme Court delayed the case for a year or more. He said it’s “difficult to imagine a scenario” where the case would be proven before the 2024 election, requiring Trump to ask a federal court to intervene.
Shugerman said that normally Trump’s delays work to “game the system”, in this case, Trump has reasonable reasons to move slowly, while Bragg waits for the office to find and a fuller explanation of the reason.
“This can be used,” Shugerman said.
Perry Stein, Shayna Jacobs, Isaac Arnsdorf and Timothy Bell contributed to this report.