What To Expect When So-Called Ex-President Is Arraigned Again

Donald Trump will be arraigned Thursday afternoon, and who ever thought that statement would come to feel like “been there, done that”? Trump is scheduled to appear at the Elijah Barrett Prettyman Federal Courthouse in Washington, D.C., at 4 PM ET, to be arraigned on four federal criminal charges relating to his efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election, which he lost.

Trump is charged with conspiracy to defraud the U.S. government, conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, obstruction of an official proceeding, and conspiracy against rights. He’s expected to plead not guilty to all four, with one of Trump’s lawyers, John Lauro, telling CBS News that Trump has a “smoking gun of innocence.” (Nothing says innocence like a smoking gun.)

Previously, Trump was arraigned on 34 New York state felony falsification of business records charges in April and, in June, on 37 federal felony charges involving classified documents he hid at Mar-a-Lago and refused to return to the government. Three more charges were subsequently added to the latter indictment.

Special counsel Jack Smith said on Tuesday that he wants a “speedy trial,” and legal observers have noted that these charges are designed for exactly that. But Trump’s lawyers are signaling that they are planning on his favorite tactic: delay. Lauro said that it would be fair for Trump’s team to get “years” to prepare for trial.

“Why don’t we make it equal?” he told NBC’s Savannah Guthrie. “The bottom line is that they have 60 federal agents working on this, 60 lawyers, all kinds of government personnel. And we get this indictment, and they want to go to trial in 90 days? Does that sound like justice to you?”

Sheesh, dude, if you have that smoking gun of innocence, why do you need all that time?

Trump and his lawyers are also arguing, with other Republicans, that it would be unfair for Trump to be tried in Washington, D.C., because a lot of Democrats live there. They’d rather have the trial moved to heavily Republican West Virginia, supposedly in the name of fairness. On Truth Social, Trump hilariously called for a move “to an impartial Venue, such as the politically unbiased nearby State of West Virginia.” Subtle and serious these guys are not.

On Thursday, Trump will be in court at the same time as some of the people he incited to attack the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. Scott MacFarlane notes:

A recent report from the Seton Hall University School of Law Center for Policy and Research on who exactly the Jan. 6 defendants are adds further context. Like a majority of the 716 who were charged in the first year after the attack, Trump has been charged with felonies. Like a plurality of those charged, he’s a business owner. And like the vast majority, he is white and male. There are, of course, a few differences.

One of those differences is the deference with which Trump has been treated by the legal system: Unlike other defendants, he hasn’t had a mugshot taken, and he hasn’t had to surrender his passport or faced restrictions on his travel. That special treatment might end soon in one jurisdiction, though: If Trump ends up facing charges in Georgia over his efforts to overturn the election there, Fulton County Sheriff Pat Labat says Trump will have a mugshot taken there.

But one other point in the Seton Hall report should make Trump and his lawyers nervous: “As of June 12, 2023, of the 716 defendants profiled by the Center for Policy and Research, only one has been fully acquitted with two cases dismissed voluntarily by the prosecution. In fact, more defendants have died (5) or fled (4) since January 6 than have prevailed in court (3).”

Republished with permission from Daily Kos.


What To Expect When So-Called Ex-President Is Arraigned Again

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