My appearance on NTD TV: “I don’t know how [the Judge] justifies the day before Super Tuesday. Clearly that puts the defense under enormous burden to prepare their defense…. I think this really does deprive Trump of his right to a fair trial.”
Trump’s lawyer has said the date deprives Trump of effective assistant of counsel:
Lauro: “We will certainly abide by your honor’s ruling, as we must. We will not be able to provide adequate representation.” Warned that the “trial date will deny President Trump the opportunity to have effective assistance of counsel.”
Retired criminal defense lawyer Leslie McAdoo Gordon, who has extensive experience in DC federal court, made a similar point:
Here is the briefing schedule that Judge Chutkan issued in DJT’s DC case today. These dates are patently ridiculous & constitute a violation of his 6th Amendment right to the effective assistance of counsel. Disgraceful.
I agree with them, and made that point during the interview.
The first half of which related to the DC case, the second half to the Georgia case:
Partial Transcript (Auto-generated, may contain transcription errors)
And we’re going to look at Trump’s cases from a legal standpoint. Let’s get some analysis on his trial date for his election case and his September 6th arraignment in Georgia. Bill Jacobson, professor at Cornell Law School joins us live. Bill, it’s great to have you with us this morning. March 4th, 2024, that’s about six months away. So does that give the defense enough time to go through all the defense material in the election case?
No, it really doesn’t. It’s a pretty shocking date. Of course, we are up against a political calendar, but that’s supposedly not going to influence the judge. That is a very quick date if you look at the amount of material they have to get through. If you look at her schedule that she ordered, there’s motions taking place practically every other week. Designations of experts. I mean, this is a significant sized case. This is not a simple case. There’s going to be lots of witnesses, a lot to get ready for trial. I think she set a date, which really does prejudice Donald Trump in his ability to mount a vigorous and, you know, constitutionally, required defense here. So I, I think that’s a pretty shocking date.
You mentioned that Judge Tanya Chutkin does not consider the political calendar. So what factors go into considering a trial date?
Well, she says she doesn’t consider the political calendar, but it’s kind of hard to imagine that, when she picks a date right before Super Tuesday. The prosecution wanted it early January, and the defense, I think, made a mistake by asking for April of 2026. They clearly don’t need that much time. I think if they had maybe asked for a more reasonable date, but the defense does have to consider the political calendar. So it’s hard. The problem here is the prosecution brought this case in an election cycle. They could have brought it a year ago, and we wouldn’t be worried about times and rushing things. I think that the judge considers the right of the defendant to a speedy trial and the right of the people to a speedy trial or to a reasonable trial date. I don’t know how she justifies the day before Super Tuesday. Clearly that puts the defense under enormous burden to prepare their defense
And we’ll see how that impacts voters. And Trump does plan to appeal this. So what factors are to be considered there?
I don’t know how he’s gonna appeal a trial date. Maybe his lawyers know more than I do, and they very well might. But normally an appeals court is not going to get involved in micromanaging a trial calendar. After the result is in, if he’s found guilty, that might be an issue for appeal, that he was deprived of the effective assistance of counsel. In fact, his lawyer said in court, at least as it was reported, that this will deprive the defendant of his right to counsel. That there’s no way they can do a proper job going through all the documents within this timeframe. And again, according to reports, the judge’s response was, well, you don’t have to review everything. You just have to review things that relate to what Trump said.
And I think that’s a completely ridiculous statement. Of course, they have to go through everything because it’s the defense lawyer’s position to decide what’s important and relevant and not important. It’s not the prosecution’s decision, and it’s not the judge’s decision, at least not in terms of discovery as opposed to what gets admitted at trial.
So, I think this really does deprive Trump of his right to a fair trial. Look, I’ve always said, I think I’ve said it on your show before, that this should have been brought a year ago. I wish if they’re going to bring these charges, that they would’ve done it in a more timely fashion. But the prosecution didn’t. The prosecution created this problem, and I don’t think that you should damage a defendant’s right to self-defense, and a right to defend himself, I should say, in court properly, just because the judge thinks it’s better to do it. I think this is really a bad decision by the judge, but I don’t know that it’s appealable right away.
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