Trump Court Hearings For August 28, 2023

Alright, there are two hearings today, both at pretty much the same time. The first is in Prettyman Courthouse in DC and concerns trial scheduling for the J6 case of Jack Smith. It may get VERY contentious. As a preview, even Trump’s attorneys are at severe disagreement, with one saying no trial and must wait until 2026. Alina Habba, on the other hand says Trump knows everything and is ready to go. I’ve always considered Habba a bit of a dim bulb, but man did she prove it there.

Regarding the other simultaneous matter, it concerns ostensibly Mark Meadows’ motion to remove the Willis charges to federal court. It was filed, and will be heard, in the Northern District of Georgia.

Via @CNN:

“Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis will lay out the first details of her sprawling anti-racketeering case against former President Donald Trump, his White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and 17 other co-defendants at a federal court hearing on Monday morning.

This will be the first time that substantive arguments will be made in court about the four criminal cases brought against Trump this year.

The subject of the hearing, set to begin at 10 a.m., is Meadows’ motion to move his case to federal court and possibly have it thrown out, but it’s much more than that – it could end up acting as a mini-trial that determines the future of Fulton County’s case against the former president.”

I am not sure how much of a “mini-trial” this will really be. If so, that could take all day if evidence is to be presented and argued, which strikes me as unlikely. No cameras in either hearing so you will have to follow @Brandi Buchman and, I believe, @JoshGerstein for live updates. Via Rosalind, “Jordan Fischer – @JordanOnRecord on bird site – is also giving nice updates for the D.C. hearing.”

UPDATE: The Fulton County Judge has just set September 6 as the arraignment and plea date for all Fulton County defendants, including Trump. That is pointy to be a busy day for the court then. Unclear if some will be allowed to appear by video, but they sure our ht to be encouraged to do so.

230 replies
  1. rosalind says:

    Jordan Fischer – @JordanOnRecord on bird site – is also giving nice updates for the D.C. hearing.

  2. SteveBev says:

    “Judge Chutkan says the court’s calendar isn’t going to be beholden to Trump’s political and personal schedule.

    Chutkan: “Mr. Trump, like any other person, will have to make the trial date work like any other defendant.”

  3. Amicus12 says:

    Meadows has brought in former Ken Starr deputy Robert Bittman. If he doesn’t get the result he wants we could be looking at a Shadow Docket special express.

    • Rugger_9 says:

      The reviewer is also Justice Thomas, which I think will grease the skids some. However, it’s not a slam-dunk 6-3 Meadows decision because of procedural scruples shown by some of the justices and FWIW we also have the earlier data point on executive privilege. I would suspect this will hinge on whether Meadows’ argument that this was all part of his CoS duties gets traction beyond Thomas and Alito. The personal intervention to the vote count clearly doesn’t, but recall how Alito rewrote history in the Kennedy decision.

      As an undercurrent which may prove important, it seems only Inmate P01135089 has a solid revenue stream for his lawyers and the others including Powell and Giuliani do not. The three fake electors have already pointed fingers at the top-line defendant as part of their claim they were federal officers as ‘real’ electors. I have no doubt others will follow that line, but it didn’t work for the Nazis at Nuremberg either. we’ll see if the parallel continues.

      These co-defendants left out in the cold need to kill their cases off now, because of the significant legal expenses coming their way if they don’t choose the PD office. A number I’ve heard bandied around seem to be in the 200 – 500 k$ range, is that a reasonable number? It would seem to be a motivation to sing especially if the hearings go badly and especially if SCOTUS doesn’t intervene (though I expect they will).

      • Matt___B says:

        Inmate P01135089

        Reminds me of the way they name the remaining cougars roaming the Santa Monica mountains above Los Angeles. Keeping track of wild animals roaming the local landscape, relatively safe until they encounter human civilization in the form of attempting to cross freeways, etc. Wild animal Trump is now encountering human civilization in the form of court proceedings.

      • Knowatall says:

        Your figure seems about right to me. My experience is in civil, not criminal, but $500-$1000 an hour is standard for many competent legal services. I would expect criminal to be perhaps higher. BMAZ can open a window on that :-)

  4. Troutwaxer says:

    “but they sure our ht to be encouraged to do so.”

    This should probably read “but they sure ought to be encouraged to do so.”

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          NB or “Nota bene,” is Latin for “note well.” The English version is ps, for post script. The note itself means check the author of the post: it’s not Marcy.

        • ZircZirc says:

          I assume NB stands for “Nota bene” which basically means “pay attention.” And you’re paying attention to the byline, which tells you the author of the post.

        • Ewan Woodsend says:

          It took me a while to understand that sentence too. Perhaps “NB: Marcy is not the author of this post” would be simpler to understand… but maybe most people got it straight away.

        • bmaz says:

          How about people just take a look at who wrote what they are reading? We went 12-14 years without having to babysit in this fashion, why can commenters not pay enough attention now?

        • Rayne says:

          If we have to hand feed readers here like that, they need to ask themselves why they’re here. It’s bad enough I have to remind people on every one of my posts that they should check the byline — and as a habit, they should check ALL bylines before reading — given how abstruse and occasionally arcane the content is at this site.

          Consider just how much of the material here is media criticism about specific journalists’ work; in other words, content here is often predicated on the work of bylined journalists. It’s irritating readers eat that up but then fail to check the bylines on posts here, contact Marcy through social media about content she didn’t write when she’s got more than enough on her plate.

          Always check the byline.

        • jdmckay8 says:

          abstruse. 1st time I recall ever seeing that word. And its a good one too! Learn something new ever day. Thx.

        • Peacerme says:

          My guilty pleasure of reading these articles , not skim through a, but real reading, happens at midnight and 2 am, when hubby is snoring and nobody is asking for anything. I am an old timer here, and I do check and note changes in style, however, my brain is often very sleepy as I am reading in the middle of the night.

  5. SteveBev says:

    Oh dear:

    ‘John Lauro is clearly worried the trial date is going to be a lot closer to the DOJ’s request than his and he is far more animated and overwrought than we’ve seen him in prior hearings.

    Lauro, shouting again: “This man’s liberty and life is a stake!” ‘

    This seems like it is a performance intended to impress Trump. Weird since he isn’t there. Can’t imagine it’ll impress the judge at all.

    • Ginevra diBenci says:

      Trump’s life is at stake? Weird indeed. I never knew defrauding the US carried the death penalty.

        • BRUCE F COLE says:

          A nationally televised and streamed funeral for Trump’s Ego could be held at La Brea tarpits after the guilty verdict. Stormy Daniels could officiate.

        • Matt___B says:

          But what state would the body be left in? Losing the ability to manipulate everybody and every thing around you all the time portends personal (Shakespearean even) tragedy…

        • Tetman Callis says:

          Naught left for him but to be crown’d with rank fumiter and furrow-weeds, with bur-docks, hemlock, nettles, cuckoo-flowers, darnel, and all the idle weeds that grow. (𝑝𝑎𝑐𝑒 the Bard).

        • TheWombat says:

          Don’t go polluting an LA tourist destination and resting place of noble dinosaurs with him. Add him to the spent nuclear waste piles.

          Excerpt from the proposed Long-term nuclear waste warning message:
          “This place is not a place of honor… no highly esteemed deed is commemorated here… nothing valued is here.

          What is here was dangerous and repulsive to us. This message is a warning about danger.”

          [Thanks for updating your username to meet the 8 letter minimum. PLEASE make sure to use the same email address each time you comment; you’ve used more than five across your commenting history here. We don’t ask for valid addresses, just the same one each time. /~Rayne]

        • TheWombat says:

          Thank you Rayne. I mean no deception, and every one I have ever given you should work. I’ve written this particular combination down and expect to use it in the future.

        • Purple Martin says:

          Depending on the frame of reference, Trump is about 80% raging Id, 20% corrupted rotting Ego, and a gaping hole where his Superego should be.

        • BRUCE F COLE says:

          I think your numbers are slightly off, but this isn’t a subject that lends itself to nit-picking, lol.

          There’s a great shot of him standing next to Alina Babble-on I saw today, can’t find it right now. In it, Trump looks like death warmed over and she’s grinning from ear to ear. There could be a thought balloon over her head: “He’s a corpse, yes, but also a decent meal ticket!”

          And here’s a classic video of her babbling on:

          She has perfected a combined affect of Stormy Daniels and Jenna Ellis. It’s horrifying to think that a recent POTUS is in any way associated with her, let alone uses her legal services. The cultural and moral descent of the American Right is startling & damning.

        • Knox Bronson says:

          Well, it’s obvious why he likes her: enormous talents on display.
          What still baffles me—and “baffle” doesn’t really convey the level of my incredulity—is how people still fall into his orbit and the concomitant servitude, usually ending in the destruction of their livelihoods, careers, freedom, solvency, and everything else.
          After watching the guy for going on fifty years, one would think people would know to stay away, to flee his proximity, screaming optional.

      • Ravenclaw says:

        How long do you suppose an obese 77-year-old narcissist used to soft living will stay healthy when locked up & disgraced in even a minimum-security white-collar prison? I wouldn’t give him more than 5 years, so any serious sentence could easily be a life sentence.

      • GumboRoux says:

        Correction: his self-absorption is at stake

        [Thanks for updating your username. I assume this is the name you’re using going forward as your last comment appeared to be under your RL name. /~Rayne]

      • David Brooks says:

        18 USC 241 (did I get that right?) has the death penalty in aggravating circumstances, but nobody is proposing it in this case. Except Lauro, apparently.

        • David Brooks says:

          Yeah, you’ve been forthright on that before and I agree some are losing it. I hope I made it clear that I get it. The only conclusion I draw is that the 1870 Congress was both serious about protecting civil rights and solemn in legislating around it.

        • Margo Schulter says:

          Yes, the talk of the death penalty is one aspect of what I call Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS), people who are so anti-Trump that they seem to out-Trump Trump. But TDS doesn’t have a monopoly here: believe it or not, I saw a question on a social media site asking why Al Gore didn’t get the death penalty for challenging the 2000 election results!

          Am I right that Trump himself advocated the death penalty for dug dealing, as did Richard Nixon in running for Governor of California in 1962?

          Anyway, I read that Fulton County in Georgia may have health and safety issues when it comes to mentally ill people incarcerated there. To me, well-trained by you and Popehat, Trump’s mugshot shouldn’t distract us from seeking the face of justice for these least of these. Ah, how simple would life be if the USA were to join the 108 countries which have abolished the death penalty for all crimes: then we could get to some serious reform of the conditions of incarceration.

          By the way, both my email and website changed in 2018-2020, but I’ve taken care to enter the new information consistently, and will be glad to cooperate with our moderators in straightening out any glitches I can.

          Meanwhile, I’m striving to keep the home evaps cooling, and am finding that Sacramento doesn’t have a true monsoon season, although it’s a bit more humid than Arizona or New Mexico. Right now my miniature evap shows 29ºC incoming air, and 23ºC outgoing. It does 55 CFM, and just cools down 1.5 cubic meter or so, including the space I occupy.

          But this death penalty talk is maybe one sign of the vicious cycle of Trumpism and TDS.

        • TheWombat says:

          Wherever I can, I assert that Trump Derangement Syndrome is the unthinking slavish devotion that his base gives him. That’s the real derangement. If enough people do it, the meaning of the term can change.

        • bmaz says:

          Yeah? It is also about people willing to corrupt and pervert the criminal justice system just to get Trump.

        • bmaz says:

          That is a load of crap. If you do not have a clue about the actual legal aspects of what you are yammering about, then don’t.

        • Rugger_9 says:

          It’s about making it as grim as possible to get the rubes scared enough to send money, nothing more.

    • BRUCE F COLE says:

      How Smith could respond to that:
      “Actually your Honor, our democracy is at stake; this man attempted to subvert it.”

      • SteveBev says:

        “GASTON: There’s an “incredibly strong public interest” in prompt review of the evidence by a jury. Trump is accused of historic crimes. He’s also been posting nearly daily about the case, including disparaging witnesses and attacking the integrity of the court and jury pool.“

        • BRUCE F COLE says:

          Fuller quote is even better:

          “He has publicly disparaged witnesses, he has attacked the court and citizens of the District of Columbia which is our jury pool,” Justice Department prosecutor Molly Gaston said, adding that Trump is “accused of historic crimes: attempting to overturn the presidential election disenfranchise millions of Americans and disrupt the peaceful transfer of power.”

      • QueenOfTheTeapot says:

        When given evidence of fraud, (I can certainly attest to what I saw in PA and MI in the wee hours of the am), President Trump has a DUTY under the Constitution to get to the truth. Bill Barr lied when he said there was no evidence as a Philly FBI investigator called Barr when he found evidence of 200k (I *think* that was the number) of fraudulent votes. Barr told him to bury and not discuss it.

        • SteveBev says:

          Well well well

          I for one am looking forward to seeing
          “Queenoftheteapot” on the Trump witness list in due course, and to seeing his/her evidence on oath as to pertinent facts being subjected to the scrutiny of cross examination.

        • BirdGardener says:

          When given evidence of fraud, (I can certainly attest to what I saw in PA and MI in the wee hours of the am)

          I’m looking forward to learning how they managed to be in two different places at the same time, as they would have had to have been to be able to testify as to what they allegedly witnessed.

        • SteveBev says:

          Alice laughed. ‘There’s no use trying,’ she said. ‘One can’t believe impossible things.’

          I daresay you haven’t had much practice,’ said the Queen. ‘When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.’

        • ShallMustMay08 says:

          Nice reference there for the Queen.

          The EW prior post with SDFL crew of two for me is Daisy and Tom.

        • Sherrie H says:

          Do you have a link for that? Rudy Giuliani didn’t even argue fraud in court in Pennsylvania, just that aid to fix mismarked ballots wasn’t uniform across all the counties.

        • Patrick Carty says:

          We’re so often of such overwhelming evidence, yet it never materializes. Sure, Rudy even has “Scientific Evidence” of voter fraud, and given his legal pickles these days I’d say now would be a good time to release it. But it’s not coming is it? And I so wanted to witness the Kraken unleashed upon humanity too.

        • bmaz says:

          It is garbage. Please folks, have some discrimination about not purveying such garbage “from other sites”. We are not “other sites”, and don’t have time to police it.

        • John Paul Jones says:

          “(I can certainly attest to what I saw in PA and MI in the wee hours of the am).”

          I doubt even Superman could accomplish that feat, being in two places at roughly the same time when those two places are separated by nearly 600 miles.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      As every other defendant in America knows, court dates are set by the court, and don’t revolve around a defendant’s golf or business schedule.

      For a guy who claims to be a man of the people, in a Roman dictator sort of way, Trump gets awfully upset when he’s treated like a plebeian and not a patrician.

      • ColdFusion says:

        Sadly 6 Jan 2024 is a Saturday, but I’d be willing to put an extra penny in my federal taxes to cover the cost of having the trial start that date. It would be poetic justice, but sadly, is too soon to be “fair” even though the accused is too rich and powerful for it to ever be “fair” compared to regular people.

    • BRUCE F COLE says:

      March 4


      [FYI – link edited to remove tracking. I’ve left the tracking portion here which is everything from the question mark on. In the future, please check to see if you can do this with other links you share – delete the question mark and everything after in a URL, then paste the remainder into your browser’s URL line and see if the page comes up correctly. MSN doesn’t need to know who shared the link and that you were connected to the individuals who read the link you shared through emptywheel. /~Rayne]

  6. Rugger_9 says:

    Meadows has apparently been testifying in the hearing today, I look forward to the commentary which will be instructive about what Judge Jones thinks of his defense process. He’ll also get a chance to be cross examined if he goes.

  7. SteveBev says:

    And in the Georgia proceedings, Meadows testifying and (per CNN) has said this
    “Former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows described a daily morning call he convened in the days after January 6, 2021, with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley.

    The purpose of the call was to discuss the possibility that “some of our adversaries” might see the United States as “weak” in the wake of the January 6 attack on the US Capitol and Donald Trump’s effort to overturn the 2020 presidential election results.”

    Meadows seems to be saying that Trump himself created a national security crisis.

    We’ll have to see how this plays into Meadows defence, but he seems to be gearing up for saying that he Meadows did what he did in order to put himself in a position to try and steer Trump away from adopting unwise course and options others were urging.

    • Rugger_9 says:

      Fani Willis’s cross examination will also be very interesting for what comes out. It’s not like Meadows can restrict her questions here since he’s on the stand.

        • SteveBev says:

          As predicted she isn’t

          “The prosecutor with District Attorney Fani Willis’ office asked Meadows which federal policy, specifically, Meadows was advancing when he joined a post-election call with Donald Trump’s then-personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani.

          The prosecutor continues to press Meadows with tough, narrow questioning on the federal government’s role in the state’s determination of its election results. “

        • Rugger_9 says:

          Did they get into the count verification invasion? Or, the apparent call to have ‘the campaign’ front the money for more recounting delays (which IMHO by itself says it isn’t the CoS acting in his government role).

        • SteveBev says:

          Meadows is not doing at all well (so far as it can be judged from reports) he is having lots of failures to recall on how certain things came about, as a means of avoiding admitting coordination with Trump campaign people; and re the text message his evasion of such coordination has him pinning himself into another wholly unconvincing evasion

          “In one instance, Meadows was pressed about a text message he sent to a Georgia election official where he asked if the ballot signature-matching process could be sped up if the Trump campaign paid for it.

          Meadows testified that he made that offer without discussing it with the Trump campaign, and claimed he was trying to learn about the election process so he could advise Trump about the speed of the process.”

          In other words, even though the outcome Meadows was seeking would have benefited candidate Trump, Meadows is arguing that he was asking about the signature matching to advise Trump as president.

        • SteveBev says:

          They don’t seem to have got to the attempt to get into the count yet.

          My guess is that even though the text message is later in time , pining down the evasive quality of his evidence on something as simple as a text message is a precursor to examining him on the stuff where they are calling witnesses to rebut his account.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          The administration of state elections is intentionally outside the purview of the federal President. He might have a personal political interest in them, as a candidate, but he can have none as President, which means neither can Meadows, as his CoS. To paraphrase Michael Corleone, “It’s not business, Sonny, it’s strictly personal.”

        • SteveBev says:


          One has to wonder why Meadows would choose to give evidence, given that his explanations are so inadequate he seems to be making matters worse for himself in the process.

        • Harry Eagar says:

          And, perhaps, waiving his 5th Amendment protection.

          At another site, a commenter suggested he is trying to get all his Georgia actions under Hatch violations so he can claim his (putative) immunity from Smith.

          IANAL, but nobody has charged him with a Hatch violation and nobody can force that, so I put that in the realm of Cloud CuckooLand

        • BRUCE F COLE says:

          Brilliantly put. That’s the bullseye that Willis’ crew is aiming for, I hope. It’s the underlying offense, violating the boundaries of the Constitution in the service of one man’s ambition.

        • Rugger_9 says:

          On the personal level, I’m not sure how this benefited Meadows to advertise just how slimy an eel he is (in the legal sense) in front of the very judge he wants to run his case.

          If Judge Jones was going to give meadows any benefit of the doubt on future, that mulligan’s been spent already.

        • Rugger_9 says:

          The claim of learning about the election process to inform Inmate P01135089 rings more hollow than usual, because since when would anyone in Trumpworld have the time to do ‘research’ like this without being directed to by the boss? A CoS has plenty to do already without going on a lark between election and certification, and covering several other states as well.

          Maybe he’s channeling this guy:

        • Sherrie H says:

          LOL, and offering to pay for it with campaign funds was clearly in the nation’s interest by not increasing federal debt!

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Somewhat reinforces the exclusively personal and political – that is, non-executive branch – work Meadows and Trump were then doing.

      • Rugger_9 says:

        In another example of idiocy, Meadows decided to testify today, which apparently opened the door to be asked about all relevant facts without 5A protection. Whether DA Willis does it today or in the trial later remains to be seen.

        If 5A protection has been voluntarily waived by this event, does that mean that DA Willis can call Meadows as a hostile witness later?

    • Tech Support says:

      “I was acting as a federal officer during these campaign-related activities because I was trying to stop him, not help him.”


      I can imagine that being true on 1/6 if he was appropriately horrified at what was going on, but I think there’s quite a bit in the run-up, in Georgia, that does not comport with that explanation.

      • SteveBev says:

        I do not myself think it is a framing which will or should work, because the actual evidence seems to show active complicity.

        But I think it is at least possible that Meadows is trying to imply if not explicitly state something along the lines of “to be the adult in the room it was necessary and proper for me to stay in the room to be in a position to advise the President appropriately”

  8. SteveBev says:

    🚨BREAKING: JUDGE CHUTKAN sets former President Donald Trump’s election fraud trial for MARCH 4, 2024.

  9. Norske23 says:

    IANAL, curious if Lauro’s objection to the date and claim that he can’t mount an adequate defense is a placeholder for appealing a guilty verdict. If so, does that sort of argument fly?

    • scroogemcduck says:

      The more likely fuckery is Trump firing him on March 3 2024 and trying to get the trial adjourned so his new attorney can “get up to speed”.

        • scroogemcduck says:

          Stewart Rhodes tried it. I don’t see why Trump wouldn’t also give it a try, but IANAL. He certainly won’t be concerned about pissing off the judge.

        • Drew in Bronx says:

          Trump is likely to try any erratic thing, but he’s not as premeditated & ideological as Stewart Rhodes. By the time trial is that imminent, he’ll likely be pretty dependent on his attorneys, unless they really stop doing what he demands.

          Elizabeth de la Vega thinks he will feign a serious illness to avoid standing trial. He might actually develop stress related symptoms that would put him in the hospital, faked or not.

        • IainUlysses says:

          I don’t see it. He was incredibly hung up over appearances when he had Covid and when he had that unscheduled routine physical.

          If he was pursuing legal strategy alone, maybe. But he never is.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Replacing a lawyer in a criminal case requires court approval. Doing so on the eve of Trump’s J6 trial wouldn’t cut any mustard with Judge Chutkan. The lawyer would have to be dead or on life support, and Chutkan would verify it. And woe unto a lawyer’s bar license were he to lie to the court about something like that.

        In fact, Trump’s lawyers might have the devil of a time trying to cut him loose even now, though Trump might try to fire a couple for “allowing” Chutkan to set an early a trial date.

        • Norske23 says:

          It seemed like he was declaring Trump’s team to be comprised of bad lawyers, which is an odd strategy

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Trump’s lawyers always act as if every judge is named Judge Cannon, and they can get away with whining instead of lawyering.

        • bmaz says:

          You can add new lawyers to the team, but not replace the lead without the new lead avowing he/she is fully up to speed and ready for trial.

  10. Rugger_9 says:

    Judge Chutkan says 04 MAR 2024. I’m not sure where it falls within the the GOP primary season (assuming Defendant-1 doesn’t just demand nomination by acclamation), but this will certainly be done before the election, regardless of anything Judge Cannon does.

    What searches or other evidence is at risk of being tossed here and on what grounds? I’m pretty sure SC Smith was careful on this score, but I’d be interested to see what the defense will try to muddy the waters.

  11. P’villain says:

    Coincidentally, MarchFourth is one of my favorite bands. Check them out, folks; their circus vibe is a perfect accompaniment.

  12. iamevets says:

    The significance of March 4th predates the Constitution. The Confederation Congress, which operated under the Articles of Confederation (our first Constitution) picked March 4, 1789, as the day it handed off power to the new constitutional government. March 4th was the Constitution’s first official day in business.Mar 4, 2023

    • FLwolverine says:

      My understanding (I’m not a trial lawyer) is that March 4 will be the beginning of jury selection and whatever pre trial motions weren’t previously heard. It’s too bad it isn’t the date for opening statements, because invoking “the Constitution’s first day in business” on the first day of a trial about overturning the Constitution could make for delicious oratory.

        • bmaz says:

          I would estimate jury selection takes 3-6 days. So if Chutkin can make the parties adhere to this schedule, then it is possible the trial in chief really can start March 4. We’ll see….

        • Drew in Bronx says:

          Given the months it’s taking to impanel the jury in some Georgia RICO cases and the weeks for jury selection in the Proud Boys seditious conspiracy case, it’s kind of jaw dropping to think it could be 3-6 days. But I think you’re probably right-it’s a single defendant, and a very no-nonsense judge who’s demonstrated a command of this situation already. (And Federal jury selection normally does move quickly when you don’t have a dozen or more defense lawyers each pressing every issue)

        • bmaz says:

          I could be totally full of it, but the “single defendant, and a very no-nonsense judge” figured into my probably too optimistic thought.

        • David F. Snyder says:

          Occasional optimism is fine. As long as one remembers that enthusiasm is rarely reliable for the long-term.

    • Ravenclaw says:

      Hmm. Since Cyrus Griffin’s term as President ended April 30, 1789, there seems to have been about an 8-week ‘overlap’ there. Never noticed that before.

  13. TimothyB says:

    Remarkable position from Mr. Lauro Trump’s counse “We will not be able to provide adequate representation” …. “he trial date will deny President Trump the opportunity to have effective assistance of counsel.” more in this thread:

    I’ve seen attorneys get this far out of sync with the Court when appeal is the only practical way to win. That seems an unpromising strategy here — given likely trial length, appeal will likely not be resolved pre-election, no?

    Perhaps they need to help the client with his political and fundraising positions as well as his legal one? Baiting the court to say something entirely normal client can misrepresent? (Like his claim court has admitted to election interference.)

    • SteveBev says:

      Judge: “Mr. Trump is represented by a team of zealous, experienced attorneys. And has the resources necessary to review the discovery”

      And she says a lot of the discovery has long been available

      Judge: “I’ve seen many cases delayed because the defendant lacks adequate representation. That is not the case here”

      • SteveBev says:

        And during arguments before ruling Chutkan said (per CNN)
        Chutkan said, adding that the defense could have been prepared for this moment. “Any agent (? ) diligent, zealous defense lawyer would not have been sitting on their hands waiting for an indictment.”

        • bmaz says:

          Oh hell, I would have had all the motions Lauro bleated about substantially worked up before the initial appearance. Reckless not have done so.

        • SteveBev says:

          It struck me that this was all performative nonsense from Lauro.

          Chutkan is dead right that the vast amount of the substance of the evidence and the discovery is well known to the defendant and his legal team. Trump has been publicly opining on it.

          I am never the less pleasantly surprised that the trial date is as soon as it is. Their complaints still seem like bluster. If they don’t have the various motions worked up already then Trump needs clog more t-shirts to pay for extra attorneys to get stuff done

        • Rugger_9 says:

          More to the point, Judge Chutkan wants pretrial motions filed by 09 OCT. Lauro’s table pounding (since neither the law nor the evidence were on his side here) managed to prod Judge Chutkan into carrying out her promise to move along so there is less time to contaminate the jury pool. These guys are too clever by half sometimes.

        • SteveBev says:

          ‘Able’ is definitely the adjective which comports with the usual court room decorum when stating
          ‘get your shit together, I’m not taking nonsense from you’

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          The lack of preparation Lauro claims in court is no indication of how unprepared for trial he and his colleagues really are.

        • Rugger_9 says:

          But, but, but, but Alina said Defendant-1 was so smart he didn’t need to prepare! I guess he’s not going to testify in his defense then.

          In GA, Meadows apparently mentioned that he was sent to find a ‘less-litigious’ way to ‘resolve’ the vote to let Trump win. Sounds like a bus is coming for Inmate P01135089 as well as a statement against interest by Meadows since the litigation was all campaign-related (0-60 at that point, more or less).

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Habba makes a virtue out of madness, when she confuses, “Won’t prepare,” with “Needn’t prepare.”

  14. Rgt27_24AUG2022_1012h says:

    Where is transcript of Chutkan hearing today available ?

    [Welcome to emptywheel. Please choose and use a unique username with a minimum of 8 letters. We are moving to a new minimum standard to support community security. Because your username is far too short it will be temporarily changed to match the date/time of your first known comment until you have a new compliant username. Please also use the same username and email address each time you comment; this is your second username, your first having been “rgt.” Thanks. /~Rayne]

  15. Tom Christopher says:

    In both cases, a week before the trials start, Trump will fire the lead attorneys (or they quit when he does the ask), and the replacements will ask for 6-month delays so they can prepare to have a fair trial. There are two levels of justice in the USA. You have unlimited money to hire lawyers, or, you don’t.

    • bmaz says:

      This is complete bullshit. Did you read the comments before so weighing in? Because, that has already been covered today, and that is not how things work in federal criminal courts.

    • Harry Eagar says:

      I would pay lots of ameros to be present when trump’s team try to qualify their experts. In fact, I suspect trump will not call any expert witnesses.

      • timbozone says:

        Expert vs “Expert”? The court would have to determine if they’re qualified or not. And I’m betting that if you’re a dunderhead seditionist who is still trying to claim that Federal and state courts all over the country got it wrong back in Nov 2020-Jan 2021 time frame, that ain’t going to qualify you as a real expert in the eyes of Chutkan…nor go much of anywhere on appeal.

      • Legonaut says:

        This entire saga has been filled with lawyers equipped with impressive credentials, yet misapply their knowledge/experience and should know better. Alan Dershowitz? Johnathan Turley? Just a couple of the kind of “experts” Trump could call upon — they aren’t disbarred yet, could probably pass qualification, and would be happy to assist him.

  16. SteveBev says:

    As expected Trump has responded to the DC hearing with his customary dignity

    “Today a biased, Trump Hating Judge gave me only a two month extension, just what our corrupt government wanted, SUPER TUESDAY. I will APPEAL!”

  17. RockyGirl says:

    So TFG has vowed to “appeal” the trial date set by Judge Chutkan.

    IANALitigator (lowly patent attorney here; ask me about semiconductors and plasmas and I’m your girl) but I do not believe that an order setting a trial date is either a final order or an appealable interlocutory one, but would appreciate the insight of our esteemed band of commentators.

    Also, if such an order is not appealable, what recourse would a defendant who is unhappy with the pace of trial have?

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      None. It’s within the court’s discretion. It can slide days or weeks as legitimate events intervene. But it’s not appealable before a verdict is rendered.

      Arguing the point with the date Chutkan has set virtually forces Trump’s lawyers to argue that Trump is destitute and that they are incompetent – that they’ve never heard of modern digital litigation management resources and methods. But Trump lawyers probably don’t stay Trump lawyers by telling him such things.

    • elcajon64 says:

      “Lowly”!? – My grandfather was a patent attorney (never referred to himself as a lawyer because he passed the bar before graduating law school) and worked on some fascinating projects. He did the patent work for the rotatory engine among other stuff. He even argued a case in front of the Supreme Court. I have his participation certificate in my office.

    • person1597 says:

      Fun Fact — You can create mini plasma balls by overstressing 8kx8 eproms during programming. Pretty much a pure silicon plasma (like St. Elmo’s fire) under quartz. Ahh the 70’s. Now it’s legit Big Eyed Beans from Venus!

  18. Troutwaxer says:

    is anyone going to correct the obvious typo on the last light (which I posted about at at 10:34 am this morning?)

    [Moderator’s note: Back off and stop obsessing about typos which don’t affect the meaning of the post. You realize the contributor has a life, yes? Focus on the topic or find something else to do. /~Rayne]

  19. LibrisLibraque says:

    Fascinating day in the northern district of GA. Some very funny moments, like Meadows saying Biden never offered him the CoS job in his administration. Another gem when Raffensperger explained what happened after Meadows left him a voicemail in November 2020. Paraphrasing, but something like: “Did you call him back?” “No.” “Why not?” “Well to start, he didn’t leave his phone number.” It also sounded like Raffensperger doxxed the gmail account with which Meadows contacted him later in 2020.

    Judge Jones was engaged. One of his questions was especially interesting to me. After observing that the GA results were certified by governor Kemp far in advance of the January 2 phone call, the Judge asked Raffensperger if anything could then change the results? Raffensperger said he didn’t know and hedged that he was an engineer, not a lawyer, before finally saying he wasn’t aware that anything could change the GA results after the governor’s certification.

    Couldn’t help but think the advocates missed some obvious points / arguments, but IANAL. Hopefully Judge Jones has everything he needs before him. Sentiment in the gallery was mixed, but widespread shock that Meadows took the stand. He dug himself a few more holes in attempting to get out of this one, but it may just work.

  20. Frank Probst says:

    @bmaz, what was your take on Mark Meadows testifying? Did he help himself at all? And will there be potential 5th Amendment ramifications even if he succeeds in moving this to federal court?

    Also, I’m not seeing much info on the one defendant who wasn’t released on bail. It looked like that happened largely because he didn’t hire a lawyer to work things out in advance, but he was also the one who had previous issues with allegedly assaulting an FBI agent who was delivering him a subpoena. My impression from watching that hearing was that the judge was a “substitute judge” and NOT the judge who would be handling things moving forward, and she seemed to be largely punting the whole thing to the regular judge. So he spent at least one night in some sort of confinement, but I didn’t get a clear understanding of exactly where he went and when his next hearing will be.

    • SteveBev says:

      A bond hearing has been set for Thursday for Harrison Floyd – the only one of 19 defendants to be detained in jail in the Fulton County 2020 election subversion case against Donald Trump and his allies.

      Floyd was accused of participating in a harassment campaign against local election workers. Unlike the other defendants, Floyd failed to negotiate a set bond with the district attorney’s office and a judge before turning himself in at the Fulton County jail.

      In a motion for bond filed Monday, Floyd’s attorney notes that “Mr. Floyd’s co-defendant, Donald J. Trump, has four (4) separate felony cases, and was given a bond by this Court.”

      The attorney also pointed out that “Among the nineteen (19) defendants, Mr. Floyd who is the only African-American male, remains the only defendant denied bond.”

      Last week, a magistrate judge declined to release Floyd on bond, noting that the decision had to be made by the judge assigned to the case.

  21. hollywood says:

    It seems the defense moves in Georgia are to try and remove to federal court and to remove Willis from her DA position. Then, as in all the cases, delay, file lots of questionable motions and appeal the rulings on those motions.

    • Georgia Girl says:

      The Georgia legislature will not be removing DA Willis from the Trump case. The Georgia Republican party apparatus may be dominated by Trumpists, but the Georgia Republican legislature, while it numbers some MAGA worshippers, is nervous about 2024. Trump has already brought the state two Democratic U.S. senators. Meanwhile, white suburban women in metro Atlanta, who used to be reliable Republican voters, are very angry about Georgia’s six-week abortion ban.

      For those of you who haven’t seen it, Atlanta artist Chris Veal (who is white) teased right-wingers by featuring Trump’s mugshot in his latest mural with a bubble to Trump’s mouth that reads: “M.A.G.A. My Ass Got Arrested.”

  22. Tetman Callis says:

    I’ve seen a lot of scheduling orders in a lot of jurisdictions. They’re routine documents that don’t offer much for a casual interested observer to mull over. But I can’t remember ever seeing one that was so carefully, I might even say artfully, crafted as the order Judge Chutkan issued today. It’s tight while at the same time offering plenty of wiggle room (i.e., time for a good attorney to prepare).

  23. Doctor My Eyes says:

    I waited all day, and I just can’t stop myself any longer:

    Mark Meadows is trying to make a federal case out of it.

    • jdmckay8 says:

      that was worth reading. One thing: she wrote:

      Lauro also notes his plans to file a selective prosecution motion because “the prosecutors’ boss,” (which is to say President Joe Biden), “is running a presidential campaign.”

      Ari Melber has more from that statement, from the transcript:

      (…)selective prosecution motion, given the fact that this prosecution provides an advantage to these prosecutors’ boss, who is running a political campaign against President Trump. (… our motion will*) go directly to the core of criticisms that Mr. Trump made historically against President Biden and his son and whether or not this is a retaliatory action as a result of that.

      (* my words, for clarification)
      I’ve heard this floated ad nauseam on right wing media forever. Never seemed even remotely possible to me they’d try this in a courtroom. (standard IANAL, BUT….) Aside from being ludicrous on the facts, not too hard to see this ploy could make things worse for TFG. Couldn’t this give Smith’s team legal permission to introduce (among others) Marcy’s voluminous facts/timelines that are on the precipice of proving the whole Hunter Laptop thingie was a retaliatory ratfucking to deligitimize Joe?

      I’m wondering if Lauro’s knowledge of Hunter’s Mac(s) is informed by Comer & co.,and Lauro is operating on a very, very poison-boomerang-back-atch’a understanding? I think it is like, really in Public Interest to clear up this fiction.

      • SteveBev says:

        I’ll have a go at trying to think about what the parameters of the argument might need to look, for the purposes of provoking discussion and in the expectation of being corrected.

        This is all performative, to delegitimise the case in the eyes of the public.

        It is difficult to see how exactly Trump lawyers will specifically frame their attack.

        They have the burden of proof to establish that the case is an affront to justice denying Trump equal protection of law.

        A person claiming selective prosecution must show that the prosecutorial policy had a discriminatory effect and that it was motivated by a discriminatory purpose. To demonstrate a discriminatory effect, a claimant must show that similarly situated individuals of a different class were not prosecuted.

        The offences and their circumstances, for which Trump and his co-defendants and perhaps more widely the January 6 defendants are arguably unique in the annals of US criminal law, and thus the class of defendants to which Trump belongs (however broadly or narrowly one defines it) are arguably sui generis, ie they are only comparable to each other and no other class of individuals.

        Hunter Biden’s misdeeds etc do not (on this view) create a comparative class of individuals

        On this view, the happenstance that prosecution may thwart Trumps political ambitions and thus have the possible outcome of assisting political rivals is the natural but not unjust consequences of his own behaviour.

        The Trump selective prosecution argument therefore has to go further and allege and prove something like a wholesale concoction of evidence, constructed by malicious actors and connived in by demonstrably biased and malicious prosecutors.

        The use of SC to insulate the investigation and prosecution from the AG and the President overcomes the simplistic version of ‘doing Biden’s bidding/working in favour of Biden’. So Trump must allege and prove something much further than this.

        There may be refinements to their arguments eg the investigation and prosecution was slow walked so as to time the prosecution to cause maximum damage. But this fails against the procedural history of the investigation and prosecution, and Trumps own efforts to raise procedural and other impediments.

        • BirdGardener says:

          Discrediting the office of the special counsel in the eyes of the public (by any means) is probably one of the GOP’s goals. If they can make the public believe the office itself is always used in a partisan manner, it’s a win for them.

        • iamevets says:

          It’s not that hard to make the case special counsel is run in a partisan manner – at least in the cases of Starr (with Kavanaugh), Durham and who knows about Weiss. don’t know enough to speak to other special or independent counsel’s.

          It’s all part of the republican playbook. And since they do it they make the case everyone must do it. True corruption.

        • SteveBev says:

          ‘Not hard to make the case SC is run in a partisan manner’

          1. In the minds of sections of the public? – Yes indeed and especially when there’s a tub thumping media reinforcing partisan prejudice about the machinations of a deep state conspiracy.
          Not so much, when uncovering the deeds of partisan Trumpian placemen requires the diligence of thoughtful and perceptive analysts, for an audience who appreciate nuance and detail.

          2. In court? – It requires at the very least a well particularised evidential foundation regarding the specific prosecutor, within a framework which is generally hostile to broad allegations and and which sets exacting procedural steps before any such claims be acted upon in ways which might meaningfully affect the substance of the case

        • jdmckay8 says:

          This is all performative, to delegitimise the case in the eyes of the public.

          I get that. Still, I’m gobsmacked they formally announce they are bringing this into the courtroom. Also signalling it will be major part of TFG’s defense. I’ve kept up on everything wrt to this for about 9 months now, confident in my knowledge of the facts.

          There’s nothing (beyond innuendo) supporting this claim, can’t see how this goes anywhere… especially in this Judge’s courtroom.

        • ButteredToast says:

          In addition to it serving Trump’s political ends (which explain most of his legal “strategy”), it’s possible that he demanded Lauro deliver up this specific garbage. Though it’s hard for me to believe Trump would necessarily know what was said, given that the hearing wasn’t televised.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          He need only know the tenor of what was said, that it was what they agreed on, not the precise words.

        • BirdGardener says:

          I’m not familiar, and looking up the phrase got me this (relevant part begins at section 2.4, near the top of the 5th page):

          (It details how to pull random names from the jury list; they use ‘seed’ much the same way game developers do re. RNG, Random Number Generator.)

          My eyes glazed. Pretty sure that’s not what you meant. I’m guessing you meant influencing sympathetic people who might land on the jury, but my brain is not exactly working well today.

        • jdmckay8 says:

          Not intimately, no. Never tried doing it myself. [g]

          If that’s your take on their purpose, I accept it. But geezus, they’ve been doing this since (at least) Jan. 6. With a big assist from rw media.

          This is only one incident. Among other things, I am paying closer and more detailed attention to see if, based on at least what I’ve seen since 2016. That being, kind’a like climate equilibriums breaking, we are now in an age where massively corrupt politicians supported and empowered by equally corrupt/evil rw media has more/saturating power to steer national resources corruptly, rather then our institutions intended to fight just that.

  24. Bobster33 says:

    Is it possible for an outside group to delay Trump’s trial? Glenn Kirshner is saying that there is a federal law that allows victims to attend the trial. Since there are 330 million potential victims of his sedition, the only way to satisfy the law of allowing victims to be present would be to televise the trial.

    Suppose the day before the trial, some outside group sues to demand the trial be televised. Since the court would not have the means to televise the trial, the court (appeals court or Supremes) could intervene and require the court to televise the trials. Because these would be no equipment in the court, could this become the basis for another delay?

    • bmaz says:

      Glenn Kirschner is a hyperbolic dope. The “victim” in the DC case is the US Government, not some idiotic splinter group.

      • bmaz says:

        Let me add, personally I think this Board effort is infirm and likely unconstitutional, and there is already an action against it. But, for now, it takes effect in October and some Republican Trumpers are already preparing to try it on Willis.

  25. Operandi says:

    Navarro also had his “Trump invoked executive privilege psychically” pre-trial hearing today for his Contempt of Congress case. Probably the most shocking turn of events was that Mehta, 52, used the decidedly millennial phrase “pretty weak sauce” in reference to Navarro’s evidence (though, Google ngrams does show the term had some usage as early as the 70’s before taking off in the aughts). A ruling is promised by Wednesday on whether Navarro can use EP as a defense.

    • Legonaut says:

      Sounds like someone might have kids/nieces/nephews, and “heard it on the streets” (as I used to tell my parents when asked about questionable phrases I’d bring home).

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Trump was incapable of invoking executive privilege at the time in question. This sort of thing has been litigated several times and Trump lost repeatedly.

    • BRUCE F COLE says:

      I can’t believe that the govt didn’t raise this point from the SCOTUS Nixon II ruling in their presentations to Mehta:
      “…the [executive] privilege [accorded by this ruling to former living Presidents] is not for the benefit of the President as an individual, but for the benefit of the Republic.”

      Did that not come up yesterday, or is Politico just failing to report it?

      And in the same vein, was Trump v Thompson brought up in this hearing? Surely Politico would have mentioned it, right? And in that regard, why hasn’t Biden issued a statement of refusal to uphold this purported claim of EP? That was the nail in the casket of the Trump v Thompson ruling.

      I realize that the govt is disputing the vailidity of the claim because there’s no documentation, but Jesus H, can’t they also say, “Even if the court decides that this claim was issued, without having been documented or witnessed, the “benefit of the Republic,” in getting to the bottom of what happened on January 6 2020 surmounts any such purported claim, as Nixon II and Trump v Thompson both direct.”

  26. Tedinoz says:

    On the subject of Trump’s lawyers (pick a case, any case)…
    How would they be billing, and what sort of credit terms would they allow?
    Trump does have a certain reputation regarding non/late payment of lawyers fees (perhaps this is just fake news :). But I can’t imagine a trial lawyer accepting ANY delay in settlement of their fees. But then, IANAL.

    [Welcome to emptywheel. Please choose and use a unique username with a minimum of 8 letters. We are moving to a new minimum standard to support community security. Thanks. /~Rayne]

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Shirley, you jest. Cash up front. Virtually every defense lawyer believes, Only God gives credit, all others pay cash. For good reason. Donald Trump is the last client any lawyer should work for on credit. He is infamous for not paying his bills.

      • vinniegambone says:

        ” And now we turn to our firm’s fee agreement which i need you to sign. We just need a check from you for $ xxxx and we will get right to work as soon as we receive it.

  27. Konny_2022 says:

    What I liked best from all the reports on the various court hearings yesterday, Aug. 28, is:

    “Is there a role under Article II of the Constitution for the president in a state election or any election?” Jones asked during Meadows’ testimony.

    And here the answer, as per Politico’s report:

    “I don’t know enough to opine,” said Meadows, describing his responsibility as “to keep [Trump] well-informed and well-advised on a variety of issues.”

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Mark Meadows is not the brightest bulb in the pack. He should not be anyone’s choice to be first in the dock amongst these defendants. It does not bode well for them.

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