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Of the 91 criminal charges that Trump is currently facing, four refer to his January 6 case that is being overseen by special counsel Jack Smith.
These charges address Trump’s efforts to stay in power after the establishment of the 2020 election results, which concluded that Joe Biden won.
|Robert Kennedy Jr.
Relatedly, these charges also address Trump’s role on January 6, the day on which these election results were to be certified and the day in which Trump supporters allegedly launched violent protests in an attempt to prevent that certification from taking place.
So when you think of Trump’s actions on January 6, then you are thinking of what is under scrutiny in this federal trial.
Original Trial Date
Originally, the federal trial date was set for March 4.
It is worth noting how critical this date is for Trump, who surely noticed this date’s significance because he is always observant of the ways in which he feels he is being victimized for political reasons.
March 4 is a day before “Super Tuesday,” which is when the largest number of states will hold their primaries and caucuses in order to determine the presidential nominee.
Reason for Delay
The trial, however, has been delayed – it will no longer take place on March 4.
This delay forms a response to legal complications surrounding the question of the president’s immunity to the charges that Trump is currently facing.
Leading up to the event under scrutiny, the supposed attack made by his supporters against the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, Trump still held office. He was still the President.
This is a critical point because as President, one is granted certain powers that one does not possess as a mere citizen. The broader legal question in play addresses the relationship between the powers of the President and the President’s ability to be held accountable on a criminal level.
Cynics will observe that presidential immunity is something that Trump repeatedly refers to in order to evade legal troubles. You could call presidential immunity Trump’s favorite quick “get out of jail” card.
Trump does have a point, though, as much as some at the political betting sites may see it as a desperate excuse to avoid accountability for his alleged actions.
In a sense, the power of the executive branch depends on this concept of presidential immunity.
For decades, it has been an established thought of the DOJ that the executive branch required this immunity that Trump is claiming for himself in order to fulfill its assigned tasks. One may reasonably say that Trump’s claims thus have constitutional merit and they certainly do address the Constitution.
The reason for presidential immunity not applying to Trump, who still held office before Biden was certified, must thus be a complicated one, as it can be seen to violate this decade-long thought of the DOJ.
Now, on Tuesday, a federal appeals court denied in unison that Trump has this presidential immunity that would allow him to escape the federal charges that he is currently facing.
Donald Trump does not have immunity from charges he plotted to overturn his 2020 election defeat, a federal appeals court ruled, bringing the former US president a step closer to an unprecedented criminal trial https://t.co/Iv3h6OZVeI pic.twitter.com/tnGoLfJwDN
— Reuters (@Reuters) February 6, 2024
However, Trump’s hope for presidential immunity is still alive. He will try to depend on the Supreme Court to rule in his favor.
The Supreme Court might rule in his favor especially because the majority of its judges are conservative. However, if the Supreme Court does not rule in his favor, then the trial will start at some date that would be determined later, but that will take place after March 4.
Why Trump Seeks Delays
Trump clearly wants this federal trial to be delayed for as long as possible.
The reason for this desire is connected with the elections.
This federal trial has a negative influence on his election outlook in that it might steer voters, especially independent ones, from casting their vote for him.
Mainstream media outlets will report on the trial and, stemming from the endeavor of the prosecution against Trump to paint his actions in a bad light, will use the trial to help foment a negative public perception about Trump.
If the trial does not take place, then mainstream media outlets have less fodder with which to try to make Trump look bad.
There are more pragmatic considerations as well.
If the trial gets delayed, then the pertinent federal charges against him might also get dropped.
The hope for charges against him to get dropped amounts to a hope to have more time to campaign for election.
In multiple ways, therefore, this delay in the federal trial could help increase Trump’s chances of winning his reelection bid.