One of Trump’s co-defendants –the (very soon to be) ex-lawyer Mr Chesebro – just took a metaphorical swing at the Prosecutor, and hit Trump.
As you may be aware, Fulton County in Georgia is hosting a trial of 19 defendants on racketeering charges. Lawyers for the Boss of the crime syndicate, one Mr D. Trump, have indicated that they believe a trial date in early 2026 would likely be suitable. Pointing to a mountain of evidence that they say they need to sort through to be able to adequately defend the action.
This sort of delaying tactic is commonplace in racketeering cases. But in this instance it would likely be unpersuasive. This is because, the claim that there is a need to carefully read every document in evidence is a bit of a furphy. After all, the vast bulk of the evidence in question (for all of the defendant’s involved) is made up almost entirely of their own documents. But even as the lawyers were thus shaping up for a battle regarding the scheduling of the matter – it was all overtaken by other legal events.
After an especially long lunch (it must be supposed) a group of the Crime Boss’s lawyers got together and worked out a bold and cunning strategy to get all of the charges – against everyone – dropped. It was a new strategy that hinges on Georgia’s Speedy Trial Act.
In the right-wing press it has long been celebrated, as a fact, that Fani Willis (the Prosecutor) has rushed to lay these many charges for purely partisan political reasons. Therefore, the case is only half-prepared but she is nevertheless rushing to lay charges so that this can interfere with Trumps political campaigning. So, the lawyers for the crime syndicate decided to use this obscene haste and lack of preparedness against the prosecution. They would tell Fani Willis to ‘put up or shut up’. They would force the prosecutor’s hand.
The Speedy Trial Act of Georgia requires that, upon application, someone who is charged with a crime (that does not attract the death penalty) can demand a trial within ninety days of their charging date. Otherwise, the prosecution has to drop all the charges.
Thus, a group of lawyers acting for the Cheese Guy filed a motion demanding a severance of his case from that of the other defendant’s, and a speedy trial. Fani Willis was going to be exposed for a fraud and would have to either go to trial utterly unprepared or drop the charges.
Unfortunately for both the Crime Boss and the Cheese Guy, this strategy was flawed. While the commonsense and everyday knowledge of the right-wing media has been endlessly proposing that the Prosecutor has hastily cobbled a case together, in just the last five or so minutes, from fond aspirations and bluetack, this is incorrect. Who could have guessed?
Instead of being ambushed, in response to the application by the Cheese Guy, Fani Willis just said ‘Yes’. But not just for the Cheese Guy. She is ready to go on all counts as soon as the court might please. Apparently, it seems that her whole office has been carefully and methodically compiling a detailed case against all of the defendants for at least the last two years. The prosecutor therefore informed the court that she agreed that a speedy trial, for everyone, would be an absolutely fab idea.
So, a couple of days ago the judge ruled on the application and issued a case specific scheduling order. In the order he declares that:
‘due to the Defendant’s timely Demand for Speedy Trial filed August 23, 2023 (Doc. 5), scheduling [for all the cases] will occur on an expedited timeline.’
The judge set Chesebro’s trial for Oct 23. He also indicated that because all the other defendants have a similar right to a speedy trial, firm trial dates for all the accused will also be set on this date. Yes, the Cheese Guy is right; it is essential to guard against impinging on the civil rights of the defendants.
So, due to this great moment in modern jurisprudence, Trump and Co will all go to trial very soon after October the 23rd. Moreover, this is an outcome that is actually far worse than it might appear at first glance.
The Cheese Guy will now likely get a separate trial, prior to the rest of the cases being heard. The first trial will therefore be one lonely lawyer, all by himself, facing charges of conspiracy to commit impersonation of a public official, conspiracy to commit forgery, and conspiracy to commit filing false documents. Which is a case featuring a mountain of evidence that is fairly easy to lay out. The Cheese Guy was the person who came up with the phony electors scheme in the first place. He was the one who then sold it to the rest of the conspirators. As a consequence, the whole of the case against the Cheese Guy is spelled out in his own memos and power-point slides.
As one commentator at the Washington Post observed:
Chesebro authored a Nov. 18, 2020, memo recommending an alternative slate of electors in states where litigation was still pending. In a Dec. 6, 2020, memo, Chesebro advised that they could drum up phony electors in six states to give Vice President Mike Pence the opportunity to throw the election to Trump.
The outcome of this attempted ambush is, therefore, that now the judge is obliged to try Trump and co promptly, and that this series of trials will likely commence with an action against one unlikeable lawyer, with unconventional ideas, that features lots and lots of simply damning evidence, instead of a trial featuring Trump. Instead of a popular politician, the accused will be a lawyer. Plus, the defence now has very little time to prepare as the Speedy Trial clock is now ticking.
Trump usually shoots himself in the foot but it seems that he is now also outsourcing the task to his lawyers. It is almost enough to raise the proposition of an appeal on the basis of inadequate counsel (which is a bit of a damning commentary on the nature of the advice that Trump and Co seem to be receiving).
Stay tuned for updates…
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