While the rest of us live in reality, it seems former President Donald Trump is still off in an alternative universe. After being slapped with a trial date set for March 4, 2024, Trump jumped onto his Truth Social soapbox, pledging to appeal the decision. There’s just one teensy weensy problem with his proclamation: he can’t actually appeal the date. Oh, Trump, always giving us those facepalm moments!
So, what went down? Earlier, following the grand jury’s green light, DOJ special counsel Jack Smith dropped a four-count indictment on Trump. The charges? None other than the former president’s alleged bid to railroad American democracy by overturning the 2020 election results.
The wrangling on the trial’s kickoff was a spectacle. Smith and his crew aimed for January 2, 2024. On the other end, Trump’s attorneys aimed for, get this, April 2026! If you’re scratching your head wondering why, it’s quite the strategic ploy. If Trump somehow clinches the 2024 presidential race, this would conveniently give him a chance to place a friendly attorney general who might just make those pesky charges vanish.
District Judge Tanya Chutkan, unamused by these games, opted for a spring 2024 trial, timed just a day ahead of the Super Tuesday showdown in the GOP primaries. She asserted that this window offered “adequate time” for Trump’s defenders to get their act together and stressed the necessity for the public to see this saga unfold promptly. To top it off, Chutkan wasn’t here for any drama, cautioning Trump’s attorney John Lauro to simmer down.
Her wisdom didn’t just end there. Chutkan was quick to shut down murmurs that scheduling during the GOP primaries was problematic. “Mr. Trump, like any defendant, will have to make the trial date work regardless of his schedule,” she pointed out. Looks like celebrity status, whether you’re a professional athlete or a former president, won’t get you any calendar privileges in her courtroom!
As expected, Trump took to his Truth Social platform to spout off, labeling this as “election interference” and taking potshots at Chutkan as a “Trump Hating Judge.”
To Trump’s boisterous “I will APPEAL!” declaration, the legal community was quick to set the record straight. Jennifer Rodgers, a CNN legal analyst, explained, “He cannot appeal the trial date.” She hinted that while Trump might pull some delay tactics, trying to argue that he couldn’t adequately prepare due to the date would be a tough sell. And as Robert Katzberg, a former prosecutor, highlighted, trial dates, especially in federal court, are almost sacred. Trump may need to learn this the hard way: you can’t always get what you want.
The drama never ends, folks. Let’s brace ourselves for the next chapter of this ongoing political telenovela.