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Trump trial could go well into the 2024 election – or possibly even past it: former prosecutor
Donald Trump, and all of America, could spend the next 18 months – or longer – engrossed in Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg's trial of the ex-president, and that could bring the trial close to Election Day.
That's according to a former prosecutor in the Brooklyn District Attorney's office, Charles Coleman, who is now a civil rights attorney and MSNBC legal analyst.
Asked by MSNBC's Chris Jansing, "How long typically might a case like this take?" Coleman offered a two-tiered answer.
"A case like this is usually going to take a year or a year and a half," Coleman said.
That could be through September of 2024.
"Wow," a surprised Jansing replied. "So it's going right up into the campaign."
"Absolutely," agreed Coleman. "But it's important to understand I said a case 'like this.' This particular case, I expect may take longer because I am anticipating a number of different legal maneuvers by Donald Trump's defense team."
That theoretically means into October of 2024, or longer.
"I do see motions to dismiss at a number of different terms, more likely than not to the point that the judge probably will ultimately end up admonishing them and telling them stop filing motions to dismiss. I think that that's going to happen," Coleman explained.
"I've said before, and I'll say again, I do believe that we are going to see an attempt to try to change the venue, in this case outside of somewhere in the five boroughs. All of that is going to extend the time deeper and deeper into election season."
Reuters agrees, reporting Friday morning, "any potential trial is still at minimum more than a year away, legal experts said, raising the possibility that the former U.S. president could face a jury in a Manhattan courtroom during or even after the 2024 presidential campaign, as he seeks a return to the White House."
And because "Trump's case is far from typical," Reuters notes, his trial could extend "past Election Day in November 2024."
Trump's refusal to dial back 'online vitriol' after indictment could open up new legal difficulties
In the wake of his indictment by Manhattan D.A. Alvin Bragg over his alleged hush money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels, Donald Trump has taken to social media to warn of “death & destruction” and has called on his supporters to protest in the streets.
According to Bloomberg's Zoe Tillman, the former president's choice of words are "the type of inflammatory rhetoric and case-specific commentary that has landed defendants and their lawyers — including some of Trump’s associates — in trouble with judges."
It remains possible that Trump could be issued a gag order ordering him to tone down his rhetoric about the case, but experts tell Bloomberg that such an order could have First Amendment complications.
“If Trump basically is trying to foment a riot, then I could see the court putting some limitations on him,” said Bruce Rogow, who was a former defense attorney for longtime Trump adviser Roger Stone. “If there’s a threat to the administration of justice, a threat to safety, then I think the court could impose gag orders.”
On Friday, Trump took to Truth Social and called Bragg's probe a "Witch Hunt Case." He previously posted, then deleted, an image depicting himself standing behind Bragg while hoisting a baseball bat -- a post that his attorney Joe Tacopina called “ill-advised” and blamed on one of Trump’s “social media people.” As a result of his rants, a federal judge in New York ruled that a civil trial involving Trump set for next month would involve an anonymous jury since Trump’s comments had been “perceived by some as incitement to violence.”
Speaking to Bloomberg, deputy executive director and legal director of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, Katie Townsend, said that if a judge decides to limit what Trump and his team can publicly say about a case, the order would have to be very specific.
“It can’t be more broad than necessary,” she said. “You’re just restricting lots and lots of speech about a matter of public concern.”
Still, if Trump doesn't dial back his rhetoric, Rogow says it could have consequences.
If Trump “said something that was viewed as encouraging some either violent action or removal from office or some harm to the prosecution, I could see a court taking steps,” he said.
Read the full article over at Bloomberg.
Biden's tactic on Trump's indictment is silence: 'I’m not going to talk'
President Joe Biden declined to comment on Donald Trump's indictment on criminal charges in New York.
The president firmly stated that he had no public reaction to his 2020 election opponent's prosecution by Manhattan district attorney Alvin Bragg, who has been investigating Trump's hush money payment to Stormy Daniels and assorted fraud allegations, reported the Associated Press.
“I’m not going to talk about Trump’s indictment,” Biden told reporters as he left the White House to tour storm damage in Mississippi.
Vice president Kamala Harris also declined to comment on Trump's indictment during a news conference in Zambia, part of a weeklong trip across Africa.
“I am not going to comment on an ongoing criminal case as it relates to the former president,” Harris said.
Zambian president Hakainde Hichilema, who appeared alongside Harris at the news conference, expressed support for equal application of the law but insisted he was not referring directly to Trump.
“When there’s transgression against the law, it does not matter who is involved,” Hichilema said. “I think that is what the rule of law means."
“I take out the name,” Hichilema added. “I put in place of the name what we citizens of our countries — citizens of the global community — must do to ... exercise our rights and freedoms.”