Trump Lawyers Are Playing the Delay Game in Criminal Cases and Winning


Former President Donald Trump’s attorneys have made arguments that left other legal experts scratching their heads — but one thing they appear to do very well? The delay game.

Trump, who has been indicted in four criminal cases, has successfully delayed the cases from playing out in court. Last week, a Manhattan judge agreed to push back Trump’s hush-money trial, which was set for March 25, for three weeks. His classified documents case is moving at a slow enough pace to raise some eyebrows. And a trial date has still not been set in the Georgia election-interference case, in which Trump scored a rare legal victory last week.

The federal election interference case is also delayed until the Supreme Court rules on his absolute immunity claims. Trump’s lawyers have said presidents have absolute immunity for official acts committed while they are in office, an argument legal experts have criticized.

On Tuesday, Trump’s lawyers took it a step further in the latest brief to the Supreme Court, saying anything less than “absolute immunity” would open presidents up to blackmail and extortion.

But, in the case that the justices don’t buy the absolute immunity case, Trump’s lawyers also proposed a route that would delay the case even further.

If the justices decide Trump may have some immunity but not absolute and that more fact-finding is needed, Trump’s lawyers said they should kick the case back down to the lower courts to reevaluate.

“Again, they’re doing their thing with the delay, delay, delay,” Doron Kalir, a professor at Cleveland State University College of Law with expertise in statutory interpretation, told Business Insider of the latest filing.

The case is already unlikely to go to trial before the presidential election in November, and moving it back down to the lower courts for review would delay it even further.

Legal experts, including Kalir, previously told BI that Trump’s team could win figuratively, if not literally, if they succeed in putting off the trial as long as possible.

“If Trump is elected, I think it’s very unlikely that Jack Smith’s cases continue just because of the control Trump will have over the Justice Department,” Sarah Krissoff, a former federal prosecutor in New York, told BI last month, referring to the election-interference case and the classified-documents case.

Kalir has said it’s all but certain that this case will not go to trial before November.

“He did succeed in the most important task of all,” Kalir said of Trump, “and that is not to have a trial before the election.”



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