Donald Trump’s Plan to Get Reelected and Pardon Himself Was Just Dealt a Serious Setback

His federal trial on charges of trying to overturn the election will take place next March. 
Donald Trump
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Long before he was indicted an astonishing four times over less than five months, Donald Trump spent decades in and out of civil court as a plaintiff and defendant in literally thousands of lawsuits. Because of this, he developed a go-to legal strategy, the basis of which was: stall, stall, and stall some more. Since this tactic worked out for him on at least a few occasions, the ex-president has unsurprisingly attempted to use it for his criminal cases. For instance, when it comes to the federal government’s case against him for allegedly trying to overturn the election, Trump’s lawyers asked a judge to put the trial off until April 2026, which would greatly benefit the former guy in that (1) it’s more than two freaking years from now, and (2) should he win the 2024 election, he’d be well into a second term and could attempt to just pardon himself. Unfortunately, said judge thought about the proposal, decided it was absurd, and told Trump as much today.

On Monday, Judge Tanya Chutkan announced a March 4, 2024, start date for Trump’s trial versus the DOJ on charges of trying to overturn the 2020 election. That date is sure to rankle the ex-president, as it is well before the one his legal team asked for—and means he’ll potentially have to juggle multiple criminal trials at once. Per The New York Times:

The district attorney in Fulton County, Ga., has proposed taking Mr. Trump to trial on charges of tampering with the election in that state on March 4 as well. Another case, in Manhattan, in which Mr. Trump has been accused of more than 30 felonies connected to hush money payments to a porn actress in the run-up to the 2016 election, has been scheduled to go to trial on March 25.

And if the trial in Washington lasts more than 11 weeks, it could bump up against Mr. Trump’s other federal trial, on charges of illegally retaining classified documents after he left office and obstructing the government’s efforts to retrieve them. That trial is scheduled to begin in Florida in late May…. While Judge Chutkan noted that she had spoken to the judge in the Manhattan case, it remained unclear how the judges, prosecutors, and defense teams would address the problem of scheduling four criminal trials next year as Mr. Trump is campaigning.

Of course, if Trump didn’t want to deal with the logistical headache of simultaneous trials, he probably should have thought of that before holding on to classified documents and allegedly attempting to overturn the results of a free and fair election, among other things. (Trump has repeatedly claimed he did nothing wrong.) While announcing the March 2024 date, Judge Chutkan said, “Mr. Trump, like any defendant, will have to make the trial date work regardless of his schedule,” adding that “there is a societal interest to a speedy trial.” In arguing for the trial to start in 2026, attorneys for Trump said they needed that much time to go through discovery; on Monday, Chutkan countered that such an amount of time was “far beyond what is necessary.”

As the Times notes, Trump “has made no secret in conversations with his aides that he would like to solve his uniquely complicated legal woes by winning the election”; “if either of his two federal trials is delayed until after the race and Mr. Trump prevails, he could seek to pardon himself after taking office or have his attorney general dismiss the matters altogether.” And while, wildly, Trump could theoretically stay in the presidential race from prison, and then attempt to pardon himself from behind bars should he be elected, that would obviously be…significantly more complicated!

Surprise: Trump is not, in fact, taking his trial date well

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