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  /  News   /  Trump delay tactics freeze legal battles post-conviction

Trump delay tactics freeze legal battles post-conviction

Delay, delay, delay. 

The tactic, a favorite of former President Trump’s, played a central role in his efforts to quiet bad press until after the 2016 presidential election – the scheme underpinning his historic conviction in Manhattan last month.  

But in his other criminal cases, early efforts to delay have proved fruitful. Trump’s federal cases in Washington, D.C. and Florida, plus a state case in Georgia, are effectively frozen in time after the former president’s legal teams pushed to tie them up in pretrial appeals and prosecutorial scandal. A slow-moving judge in Florida, plus the typically unhurried Supreme Court, have hardly helped with progress. 

Those early delays have made any resolution in Trump’s remaining cases unlikely before Election Day, when the former president will again face off with President Biden for a second term in the White House.  

If Trump wins, the three cases could grind to a halt – or fizzle out altogether. 


The latest speed bump came in Georgia, where an appeals court last week indefinitely stalled proceedings in Trump’s election subversion case while it considers whether to disqualify Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis (D) and her office from the prosecution.  

Earlier this year, defense attorneys exposed a romance between Willis and a top prosecutor on the case, Nathan Wade, as they built their case against Trump and his 2020 allies. The explosive revelation resulted in several fiery hearings where both prosecutors took the stand to defend their relationship and professional integrity.  

Judge Scott McAfee, who is overseeing the matter, ultimately decided that Willis could remain on the case if Wade resigned, which he did. But Trump and several co-defendants contend that the Georgia judge’s decision fell short, raising the issue with the Georgia Court of Appeals.  

The state appeals court tentatively scheduled oral arguments for October – just a month before the presidential election.  

Trump attorney Steve Sadow formally requested an oral argument on the matter Monday, writing that failure to disqualify Willis from the case is a “structural error” that could necessitate a retrial if the case went before a jury. A trial date in the Georgia case has not yet been scheduled.  

“Nowhere are these interests more important or on display than in a high-profile case that involves a former president of the United States, who is also the presumptive Republican nominee in the ongoing Presidential Election, and whose prosecution in Fulton County, Georgia has captured the attention of our great Nation,” Sadow wrote in the request.  


Trump’s federal case in Florida, where he is accused of keeping classified documents at Mar-a-Lago and refusing demands to return them, has long been on the rocks.  

U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon indefinitely delayed the case last month just weeks before it was set to head to trial, citing unresolved issues including how classified information would be handled before a jury. A new trial date was not scheduled. 

However, the backlog of issues on Cannon’s plate only begins there.  

The federal judge has scheduled four hearings this month to deal with a series of pretrial motions filed by Trump’s attorneys.  

Hearings on June 21 and June 24 will revolve around Trump’s contention that special counsel Jack Smith was unlawfully appointed to oversee the case. But it won’t just be Trump’s attorneys and federal prosecutors making arguments on the matter; Cannon ruled that outside parties — amici curiae, or friends of the court — can participate, too.  

Also on June 24, Cannon will hear arguments from both sides over whether Trump should be barred from making continued incendiary remarks about FBI agents who searched his Palm Beach, Fla., home in 2022. Trump has asserted that the FBI was “complicit in a plot to assassinate him,” the remark stemming from a long-standing policy of the agency that their authorization to use deadly force when necessary is essentially a given.  

The fourth hearing, on June 25, relates to evidence obtained from one of Trump’s attorneys, Evan Corcoran. Trump’s attorneys contend that audio notes obtained from Corcoran should be shielded by attorney-client privilege, but prosecutors claim the communications may have been part of committing a crime, and therefore, are not protected.  

Some legal experts have purported that Cannon, who was appointed by Trump, is slow walking the case, holding hearings on motions that most federal judges would rule upon without. But others point to the weighty nature of the charges against Trump, and Cannon’s relative inexperience, as reason for the case’s glacial pace. 

Washington, D.C. 

Once thought to be the most-likely Trump case to head to trial before Election Day, the former president’s federal election subversion case remains petrified as the Supreme Court considers the issue of presidential immunity. A decision could come any week before the high court’s term ends at the end of June.

During oral arguments in April, the Supreme Court seemed open to allowing some immunity for former presidents, suggesting that the case could be remanded back to the federal circuit court for more scrutiny of Trump’s claims by U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan. 

Once Chutkan weighs Trump’s immunity argument again, with any new Supreme Court guidance, Trump’s attorneys could appeal her determination – setting up another prolonged legal battle culminating at the Supreme Court. 

If the Supreme Court rules against Trump, the race will be on for prosecutors to get the case in front of a jury before Election Day. Meanwhile, from Trump’s team, expect more attempts to delay.