Trump's run-out-the-clock legal strategy just took an L
But he still might be able to stall through the election.
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As the 2024 election draws nearer, it’s becoming increasingly worrisome that Donald Trump may not face a criminal conviction before November. And though the DC Circuit Court of Appeals finally addressed his presidential immunity claim in his election interference case yesterday, Trump’s classified documents case in Florida is functionally stalled out.
Make no mistake — it was a great pleasure to see the DC Circuit release a 57-page opinion disposing of Trump’s absurd absolute immunity claim in a variety of ways, but it took far too long and resulted in Judge Tanya Chutkan, who is overseeing the case in the District Court for DC, having to remove the March 4 trial date from the calendar. Chutkan’s decision wasn’t driven by favoritism to Trump; it was simply an acknowledgment that the DC Circuit’s delay rendered a March trial date impossible.
All that said, there’s no way Trump isn’t incredibly unhappy about the DC Circuit opinion. Before even beginning to address the legal issues in any depth, the DC Circuit reminded Trump that he is now just a man, not a president:
“For the purpose of this criminal case, former President Trump has become citizen Trump, with all of the defenses of any other criminal defendant. But any executive immunity that may have protected him while he served as President no longer protects him against this prosecution.”
After that, the court went on to carefully dismantle all the ways in which Trump argued that the law simply doesn’t apply to him.