Following SCOTUS delay of Smith's Trump prosecution, Manhattan DA Bragg's weak partisan case will likely be first trial for Trump

 December 26, 2023

Special Counsel Jack Smith's federal 2020 election-related case against former President Donald Trump was slated to begin trial on March 4, 2024, but with multiple aspects of that case now tied up in the U.S. Supreme Court, that proposed trial start date seems increasingly unlikely to be met.

That means that progressive Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg's business fraud criminal case against Trump will likely be the first to go to trial, according to Raw Story.

Yet, while some anti-Trump legal analysts have heralded Bragg as being fully prepared to take down Trump over alleged hush money payments during the 2016 election, the reality is that this development is somewhat of a miracle for the former president in that the Manhattan case is widely regarded as the weakest and most irrelevant of the four criminal indictments Trump faces.

Special Counsel Smith's case delayed, likely no longer the first to go to trial

SCOTUSblog reported last week that presiding D.C. District Judge Tanya Chutkan ruled earlier in December to reject former President Trump's arguments that the federal election-related charges against him should be dismissed due to his continued protection from prosecution by presidential immunity and because he had been acquitted of similar charges in his second impeachment trial in 2021.

Trump followed the normal routine and appealed the matter to the D.C. Circuit Court but Special Counsel Smith leapfrogged that typical next step and instead directly petitioned the Supreme Court to swiftly settle the question about Trump's claimed immunity -- a request that was subsequently denied by the justices, leaving the matter -- at least for now -- in the realm of the appeals court, which did agree to expedite its review.

The Supreme Court will likely eventually be compelled to address the case, albeit after the circuit court renders its decision, but in the meantime, all pre-trial activity in the federal election-related case has been placed on hold and the tentative trial start date of March 4 seems highly unlikely to be met.

Wishful thinking for the anti-Trump crowd

Norm Eisen, a former White House ethics attorney turned CNN legal analyst, first spoke optimistically during a Friday panel discussion about how certain "accelerating factors" at the circuit court and Supreme Court levels could still hasten things and potentially allow Special Counsel Smith to begin prosecuting the former president in early March.

In fact, he suggested that Smith should have and could still move forward with various pre-trial activities, despite everything being on hold, in preparation for the initially slated trial start date, but also seemed to acknowledge the unlikelihood of keeping to that schedule as he cast his gaze toward the Manhattan district attorney as some sort of anti-Trump savior.

"We're in unknown territory in terms of timing but we do know this -- I salute him! Alvin Bragg never took his foot off the brakes," Eisen said. "He didn't count on all these projections and schedules and orders. He said, 'I'm a prosecutor, I've got a trial date, March 25th, 2024,' and he's reaffirmed that he's ready to go."

"So we will see a case, and that brings in this polling where the American people, in that big New York Times/Siena poll, a 14-point swing in the six swing states if there's a conviction," the CNN analyst added. "So it is going to be a very unpredictable calendar politically and legally in the first six months of 2024."

Failure in Bragg's case would likely bolster Trump's voter support

The problem with Eisen's theory, according to analysis from The Hill in April, is that Manhattan DA Bragg's criminal indictment of former President Trump over alleged business fraud related to the payment of hush money to silence accusers during the 2016 election is widely viewed as weak and politically motivated.

If Bragg's prosecution of Trump is the first to go to trial there is a real risk, especially if Trump is acquitted, it will fuel Trump's narrative that all of the indictments against him are a form of partisan persecution regardless of the different facts and statutes at play in each of the four cases.

That, of course, would further bolster the former president's support among voters, potentially by enough to mitigate those who might abandon Trump if he were to be convicted in any of the other trials -- if any of those other trials are even conducted in 2024 and aren't delayed until after the election is over.

Latest News

© 2024 - Patriot News Alerts