Trump’s election subversion case heads back to Judge Chutkan. But it may never reach a jury

Trump’s election subversion case heads back to Judge Chutkan. But it may never reach a jury

Politico reports:

Donald Trump may never see the inside of a criminal courtroom again.

The Supreme Court’s sweeping ruling that Trump — and all presidents — are immune from prosecution for their “official” actions immediately gutted some of the central allegations that special counsel Jack Smith leveled against Trump a year ago, when he charged the former president with conspiring to subvert the 2020 election. And it may eventually sink the rest of them, too.

Constitutional experts digesting the breathtaking scope of the opinion, authored by Chief Justice John Roberts over a vociferous dissent by the court’s liberal justices, said there’s still a narrow window for Trump to face trial, but it almost certainly can’t happen before the 2024 election. And if Trump wins that election, he’s expected to immediately unravel the case by ordering the Justice Department to drop the charges — or perhaps even by attempting to pardon himself.

The partial win for Trump comes as his separate federal prosecution in Florida — for hoarding classified documents after leaving office — appears to be languishing under the slow pace of U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon. Cannon, a Trump appointee, appears poised to push the trial well past the 2024 election.

And Trump’s criminal case in Georgia for allegedly seeking to corrupt that state’s election results in 2020, brought by local prosecutors, has been paused by a state appeals court amid a bid to disqualify District Attorney Fani Willis from the case.

In Manhattan, Trump was convicted in May of 34 felonies stemming from a scheme to conceal hush money payments to porn star Stormy Daniels. He will be sentenced on July 11, though he’s unlikely to receive jail time for those charges because they are low-level felonies. In contrast, the grave felony charges in all three of Trump’s other cases would likely carry substantial prison time if Trump were ever brought to trial and convicted.

For now, the federal election case in Washington D.C. returns to U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan, who has waited seven months while the appellate courts resolved questions about presidential immunity. Chutkan originally had scheduled the case to go to trial in March of this year, but she was forced to postpone it during Trump’s immunity appeals.

She will have to apply the Supreme Court’s new ruling to determine whether any of the allegations against Trump can survive. [Continue reading…]

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