Hours After Aileen Cannon Suggests She’ll Stall Florida Prosecution, Trump Moves to Stall DC One

Judge Aileen Cannon has not yet released a ruling describing how much she’ll bow to Trump’s manufactured claims of classified discovery delays in the stolen documents case, but she made clear that she will delay the trial somewhat. As reported, at least, that delay will come because of the competing schedule in DC.

Trump’s lawyers argued that they need a delay in the documents case because preparations for it will clash with the federal election case, which is slated to go to trial on March 4 and could last several months.

Trump’s indictment in the election case — which came days after Cannon set her initial timeline for the document case — “completely disrupted everything about the schedule your honor set,” Trump lawyer Todd Blanche told Cannon.

Another Trump lawyer, Chris Kise, personified the crunch the former president’s attorneys are facing, phoning into the hearing from a New York courthouse where Trump is undergoing a civil trial targeting his business empire.

“It’s very difficult to be trying to work with a client in one trial and simultaneously try to prepare that client for another trial,” Kise said. “This has been a struggle and a challenge.”

Note: as DOJ pointed out, Kise’s NY trial schedule was already baked into Cannon’s schedule.

Having secured that delay, Trump turned to delaying his DC trial, with a motion to stay all other DC proceedings until his absolute immunity claim is decided, a 3-page motion Trump could have but did not submit when he was asking for a delay before submitting his other motions. Everything he points to in that 3-page motion, the completed briefing on the absolute immunity bid, was already in place on October 26. But he waited until he first got Cannon to move her trial schedule.

As I laid out the other day, Trump is not making legal arguments sufficient to win this case — certainly not yet. He is making a tactical argument, attempting to run out the clock so he can pardon himself.

Update: LOL. Trump filed the DC motion too soon, giving DOJ a chance to notice the cynical ploy in DC before Aileen Cannon issues her order.

Yesterday, the Court conducted a hearing on the defendants’ motion to adjourn trial, in which defendant Trump claimed that trial in this matter should be delayed in part because “[t]he March 4, 2024 trial date in the District of Columbia, and the underlying schedule in that case, currently require President Trump and his lawyers to be in two places at once.” ECF 167 at 1. Defendant Trump’s counsel reiterated that argument during the hearing yesterday. However, defendant Trump’s counsel failed to disclose at the hearing that they were planning to file – and yesterday evening did file – the attached motion to stay the proceedings in the District of Columbia until their motion to dismiss the indictment based on presidential immunity is “fully resolved.” See United States v. Donald J. Trump, No. 23-cr-257-TSC, ECF No. 128 at 1 (D.D.C. Nov. 1, 2023), attached as Exhibit 1. As the Government argued to the Court yesterday, the trial date in the District of Columbia case should not be a determinative factor in the Court’s decision whether to modify the dates in this matter. Defendant Trump’s actions in the hours following the hearing in this case illustrate the point and confirm his overriding interest in delaying both trials at any cost. This Court should [sic] allow itself to be manipulated in this fashion.

61 replies
  1. Harry Eagar says:

    This is the way the world ends, neither whimper nor bang but with a dither.

    If it isn’t obvious, I’m taking a poke at 14th Amendment skeptics,)

  2. Quake888 says:

    Typo in SCO brief: not is missing.

    This Court should NOT allow itself to be manipulated in this fashion.

    • BRUCE F COLE says:

      That’s an egregious enough typo that it makes me wonder if it isn’t a typo at all: they’re addressing Cannon, after all, whose trademark so far with this defendant is to do the opposite of what the govt proposes, so maybe Smith is giving that judge’s behavioral tic a stress test?

      • BRUCE F COLE says:

        Oops, forgot the snark tag again!

        [Moderator’s note: Seriously, stop shit posting here. These kinds of remarks DDOS threads, filling them with idle chatter. Share a comment when you have something to contribute to the conversation about the topic, otherwise save it for an open thread. We mods don’t need the extra work clearing comments like this for publication. /~Rayne]

  3. Marji Campbell says:

    As always, thanks for your analysis! Unfortunately, DOJ omitted one teensy word in that last sentence: This Court should allow itself to be manipulated in this fashion.

    Heh heh, oops!

  4. boloboffin says:

    That’s like the edition of the Bible omitting “not” from “Thou shalt not commit adultery.” :D

  5. Eichhörnchen says:

    IANAL, so it seems very strange to me that a judge would change the course of a trial because of the defendant’s choices (in this case, using the same lawyers on multiple cases).

    • Rugger_9 says:

      Judge Cannon is looking for spoon-fed excuses to give Defendant-1 what he wants with multiple delays with ‘justifications’ for each. However, she also gives the game away with the unnecessary commentary raking the DoJ over the coals.

      I don’t think Judge Chutkan will be convinced by the arguments raised by her defendant. He’s an EX-president not the current one so there is no real Constitutional issue to be decided as this non-lawyer sees it. There is no policy or statecraft consequence here. Executive privilege has already been addressed by rulings in other motions and with respect to Defendant-1, EP was denied including the fact it is being used to hide criminal activity evidence. See US v Nixon.

      Even the concept of EP is not an enumerated power, it still exists only as an opinion of the administration and not in the US Constitution nor as a statute.

    • Buzzkill Stickinthemud says:

      IANAL either, but it would seem to me that if it takes X total lawyer-hours to defend different cases, then it doesn’t matter how many lawyers you have (to a point; obviously fewer lawyers means less communication issues). Having one team of lawyers for multiple cases serializes everything, introducing extra (desired) delay.

      I suppose that’s a defendant’s prerogative, though.

  6. harpie says:

    Each time DOJ mentions TRUMP, they call him “defendant Trump”.
    LOL! I was just wondering this morning if they might do that.

    • anaphoristand says:

      And it’s notable that they first do so in the sentence directly following reference to the defense’s whining about the many toilsome obligations, “currently requir[ing] President Trump and his lawyers to be in two places at once.”

  7. wa_rickf says:

    Perhaps Judge Chutkan can turn a lemon into lemonade and rule: “Thanks for the suggestion, DoJ, that this court allow itself to be manipulated; however this court WILL NOT allow itself to be manipulated.”

  8. PeteT0323 says:

    Judge Chutkin might make a call to Judge Cannon to coordinate schedules like Judge Chutkin supposedly did with Judge Engoron. I doubt the call would ever come from Florida first.


  9. Boatsail says:

    People should understand that “judge” Loose Cannon is NOT a real judge but a right wing racist REpublican politician masquerading as a judge. Just because you put on a black robe that does NOT make you a judge. Intellectual competence and capacity as well as character, integrity and moral force does.

    • Rayne says:

      Federal judges may act in ideological fashion, but they’ve been nominated a president and approved by the Senate and can only be removed by resignation, retirement, or impeachment.

      Ranting about Cannon won’t change this. Might be more effective to ask why the 11th Circuit has only leaned in on her once.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Whatever you’re smoking, you might try another brand. The problem is that Aileen Cannon is indeed an Article III judge and has the power to do exactly what she’s doing. She’s one of many Republican judges who do such things; some of her compatriots sit on the Fifth Circuit bench.

      • Boatsail says:

        Nice to see Judge Loose Cannon has so many fans among the Emptywheel set. I am not one of them and feel the same way about the six right wing racist REpublican politicians on the supreme court masquerading as judges.

        • bmaz says:

          Not fans so much as just not knee jerk dopes. Understand how and what Federal judges are. They are of all stripes. That is, and always has been, their nature. Get over it, and go vote for better politicians if you want better judges.

        • Ginevra diBenci says:

          We are not Cannon fans. We simply understand her actual powers and believe it serves the discussion better to take that reality into account.

          I wish my senator, whom I greatly admire, had not voted for her. But based on her qualifications I might have done the same. Her incompetence, I believe, undermines the partiality she has displayed and will ultimately show the rotten bargain she seems to have struck. If anything, it is sad to see someone in her position sacrifice her integrity for someone as unworthy as Trump.

          But for us on EW trying to make sense of the case, it makes no sense to simply denigrate Cannon because we’re not “fans.” It’s complicated, like life.

  10. Amicus12 says:

    I think the $64 question is whether DOJ will seek to deny the stay request on grounds that defendant’s claim of absolute immunity is frivolous because his “characterization [of his actions] are not consistent with the indictment.” Doc. 109 at 2.

    A great deal may turn on that because a denial of a non-frivolous claim of absolute immunity in the context of a criminal indictment is immediately appealable. Helstoki v. Meanor, 442 U.S. 550 (1979); In re Sealed Case No. 99-3091, 192 F.3d 995, 997 (D.C. Cir. 1999). See also Turkiye Halk Bankski v. United States, 16 F.4th 336 (2d Cir. 2021), vacated on other grounds, 598 U.S. 264 (2023).

    • SteveBev says:

      The request for a stay, based on the immunity claim, is supposedly to prevent the ‘irreparable damage’ that the claimed immunity supposedly exists to avoid – ie being put to the time trouble and effort of defending oneself at trial at all.

      One is therefore bound to wonder why it is that Defendant Trump did not seek a stay as part of or alongside the MTD (Presidential Immunity).

      And there was arguably a delay in filing that motion too

      I note that on 28 September 2023 Defendant Trump applied for an extension of time in relation to motions.

      His reply to the Government response on the motion was filed October 5, the same date as his Motion to Dismiss on Presidential Immunity Grounds.

      Judge Chutkan ruled on various matters including the extension of time on October 6, granting 2 week extension for dispositive motions – noting the “Defendant had had months to anticipate research and brief” such motions, albeit that the Defendant had filed the MTD( Presidential Immunity)
      (See opinion and order October 6 p 4)

      It seems rather ‘odd’ that a motion for stay based on immunity claims has been delayed for several weeks after the immunity claim was filed, particularly when the filing of that immunity claim was somewhat dilatory in all the particular circumstances of the case (ie many many months after the Defendant could have anticipated charges relating to Jan6, albeit before the deadline of 9 October previously set by the Court)

      • Amicus12 says:

        Correct. But it’s hard to see the court denying the stay request based upon a finding of bad faith or unclean hands or the like. Possibly something the court will mention or note as an additional consideration if it does deny the stay.

        And yes, the game that is afoot is pretty transparent.

        • SteveBev says:

          One reading of the situation is that the Defense, realising that an adverse ruling on the Immunity claim is imminent, and in readiness for appeal also realise that their application for interlocutory relief would be deficient if they hadn’t argued for such a stay before the immunity issue had been adjudicated upon.

          Or have I over read how they ought to have created a proper record for appeal?

        • Amicus12 says:

          Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 8(a)(1) provides that “[a] party must ordinarily move first in the district court for . . . a stay of the judgment or order of a district court pending appeal,” so the motion serves both to try and shut down the district proceeding and to create the proper record to seek a stay from the court of appeals if the trial court denies the immunity and stay motions.

        • Amicus12 says:

          Agreed. Trump’s drive by motion doesn’t even lay out the standard for grant of a stay, let alone make the requisite showing.

          The generally recognized showing for a stay is “whether the stay applicant has made a strong showing that he is likely to succeed on the merits; (2) whether the applicant will be irreparably injured absent a stay; (3) whether issuance of the stay will substantially injure the other parties interested in the proceeding; and (4) where the public interest lies.” Nken v. Holder, 556 U.S. 418, 434 (2009).

        • SteveBev says:

          The motion to stay is entirely framed in terms of further steps within the current proceedings prior to determination of the immunity issue.

          That’s why I wondered whether they felt it was necessary/desirable to squarely argue that point, so that when it comes to applying for a stay pending appeal, first to Chutkan and secondly to the Court of Appeal, those applications are not compromised in some way by not having argued that aspect of the claimed Immunity right as a substantive part of the foundational grounds of appeal.

        • Amicus12 says:

          Trump has asked for extraordinary relief: that the court stay a criminal proceeding. If you’re going to do that you ought to make the requisite showing.

          This may be a tactical motion to try and provoke the court into ruling on the underlying immunity motion.

          Assuming the court denies the motion to dismiss on grounds of (supposed) absolute immunity and the related stay motion, then we are off on a sleigh ride. Trump then goes to the D.C. Circuit and won’t be shy about resort to the Shadow Docket. I suspect his attorneys believe that that is his best pathway to delay the DC trial until after the election.

          If the court of appeals upholds the gag order, and there is subsequent infringement, the trial court may accelerate the trial date and hold the determination of the immunity motion pending the receipt of evidence. That would be very unorthodox, and I suspect Trump would try some method of higher court review to force a ruling on his immunity defense before then.
          So far, the court has acted in a highly orthodox fashion. But the court also knows that the immunity defense is subject to collateral appeal and once that happens things may be out of her control. Everyone recognizes what is at stake with the immunity issue.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Yep, the DC Circuit will rule on these appeals promptly. The delay will be if the Supremes accept cert. on any of them.

  11. rattlemullet says:

    The former president is a National Security risk. Any judge delaying this case continues to put the Nations Security at risk. No deference should be given to trump about his court schedules. He would not have this problem if he was not a one man crime wave. His problems are self inflicted, he is the only billionaire who cannot find qualified attorneys due to his complete lack of integrity, whenever he’s talking he lying. This man has stolen highly classified documents, he has shared those same documents, he has lost highly classified documents, he has transported highly classified documents to places that are not secure by any standard and no one knows how many copies have been made. Cannon is treating this document case about highly classified documents putting Nations National Security at risk as if the defendant before her has a case about over due parking violations that have not been paid.

    • dopefish says:

      Emotionally I agree with everything in your post, but a big part of “rule of law” is that you need the rules/laws to apply equally to everybody.

      Even if Trump presents a risk to National Security, I don’t think that has any bearing on what the legal process should be or how Judge Cannon or others should act. I mean, it seems obvious that if he becomes president again he will escape legal accountability somehow–and also that it will have massive ramifications for U.S. foreign policy, alliances around the world, etc. in addition to the domestic consequences. But none of that is really relevant in the matter before the court. Trump is charged with specific alleged crimes and these court cases are just about those charges.

      Everyone who believes in rule of law should want and expect the government to try these cases, and the judges to manage them, the same as they would any other criminal case, including following CIPA procedures for classified evidence and so on. Judge Chutkan has seemed to be very clear about this whenever it came up in her court: just like any other criminal defendant, Trump’s 1st-amendment rights might have to give way a little where they conflict with other rights such as the right of the gov’t and public for there to be a fair trial. Judge Cannon so far does seem to show a lot of deference to the arguments from team Trump, even the nonsense ones, but sometimes the system works that way.

      We’ll see whether the legal system is up to the task of holding Trump accountable now, with such high stakes for the U.S. and the world. Its pretty clear that for decades Trump was able to skirt the edge of accountability and get away with lots of shit that normal folks would have gone to jail for, but maybe his time has finally come.

  12. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Like a Trump attorney, Cannon is ignoring the govt’s argument that a reason for the delay in making a small amount of classified discovery unavailable in SDFL is that it was so sensitive, additional security measures needed to be implemented in Florida before it could be made available in that SCIF. It was available in DC, where one more of Trump’s lawyers have their principal office, and has now been made available in Florida. Or perhaps she finds the argument blithe and not credible.

    • dopefish says:

      She did enter that order on Oct 17 basically saying the gov’t had to provide the classified evidence in the Southern District of Florida, and that it being available somewhere else in the country was not good enough. IANAL but that does kinda make sense to me.

      (I recall this being mentioned in one of the posts here when it happened, but I couldn’t find it with a quick scan)

  13. OnKilter says:

    IS Judge Cannon engaging in ex parte communication with the Trump legal team? She seems to be tightly coordinating with the Trump team strategy for delay.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Cannon doesn’t need to coordinate with Trump’s lawyers, not if they are singing from the same page in the hymnal.

      • Rwood0808 says:

        I asked that same question months ago and got a non-reply basically saying it wouldn’t happen. However, with trump we seem to see a lot of “it’ll never happen” happening.

        If said communications were found how would that impact the case?

        • bmaz says:

          Ex-parte communications of that nature would be a significant thing. But there is not one shred of evidence to support that allegation. None. It is easy enough for all parties to discuss timing issues.

      • bbuckrah says:

        Aren’t these maneuvers of the sort that I remember from high school civics, being called “dilatory tactics”? And weren’t these also to be deemed the legal practitioner’s in-real-life equivalent of “pounding on the table” when no cogent legal defense argument adheres? And isn’t contempt of court the call when this game is being played at such olympian levels, to frustrate the public’s right to a fair, honest, efficient and speedy trial?

        • bmaz says:

          Lol, no. The defense argues all kinds of things in the trial court, lest they not make a record for appeal. This is not “pounding the table” this is doing what must be done. Terming it “contempt of court” is ridiculous. A federal trial court is not the internet.

        • Rugger_9 says:

          I’m almost curious as to why the defense team hasn’t ‘forgotten’ some of these steps to create an appeal point for ‘ineffective counsel’. Granted that is a stretch given how many death row case claims of ineffective counsel get shot down (it’s pretty high, maybe 80%) but the appeal on those grounds would waste some significant time. Coming from and ex-POTUS aligned very closely to a majority (even if CJ Roberts is having legacy concerns) I can easily see SCOTUS taking cert on any appeal by Defendant-1 with Alito writing the ex-post-facto-pretzel-logic justification.

        • Rugger_9 says:

          Kise’s antics in court to bury Eric’s bombshell admissions yesterday provide an example. Kise cited an October 3 article from the RWNM rag Washington Examiner which was itself sourced to the Donald Trump Super PAC. See the 7:18 AM PDT post in the link.

          What it show me is that the team assembled by Defendant-1 will stop at nothing, even at the risk of sanctions or contempt orders. If they are that terrified, whatever they are hiding is a doozy.


  14. Chris Bellomy says:

    Now that Trump went to not-Twitter and offered to put Cannon on the Supreme Court, is Judge Cannon now obligated to recuse? It is a very public bribe offer, after all.

    • bmaz says:

      No. And it would be a horrible precedent if a defendant could, himself, via his own actions, make a judge recuse. This is absurd. And by the way, without a quid pro quo, that is not really a bribe.

      • Chris Bellomy says:

        I think the quid pro quo is obvious, but it’s also implied rather than explicit.

        One of my lawyer friends got excited about this, so I had imagined there was substance to his argument. I guess not.

      • SteveBev says:

        The supposed post “screenshot” is being described as faked at least on this site
        https ://www. thatsnonsense. com/did-trump-offer-judge-cannon-position-on-supreme-court-in-truth-post-fact-check/
        [double space in link]

        So two reasons why the issue is a nonstarter.

  15. The Old Redneck says:

    1. There are no Supreme Court vacancies right now.
    2. Trump is not President and can’t nominate anyone for the job.
    3. Putting all that aside, she’d never make it through a Senate confirmation process.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      That Cannon would never make it through the confirmation process is probably not the point. It’s absurd and prejudicial of a defendant to “offer” this in the middle of a trial over which she’s presiding. The guy must be desperate, even about what Cannon might do.

      It’s also about Trump treating his trials as media circuses, which he uses to keep the contributions coming in and himself the center of attention. His lawyers are trying to do the same thing before Judge Engoron, baiting him in hopes he will do something prejudicial. A lot of reporting is buying into and supporting that process.

      • e.a. foster says:

        “offering” the Judge a promotion, is just part of Trump’s clown act. it keeps people talking about his antics and not his alleged crimes.
        Given Trump’s record anyone who believes Trump’s “offers” are a tad delusional.

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