The Race To Try Trump Before The Election Reaches A Critical Stage

INSIDE: Mitch McConnell ... Hunter Biden ... Manuel Rocha
Former US President Donald Trump makes his way inside the Manhattan Criminal Courthouse in New York on April 4, 2023. - Donald Trump will make an unprecedented appearance before a New York judge on April 4, 2023 to a... Former US President Donald Trump makes his way inside the Manhattan Criminal Courthouse in New York on April 4, 2023. - Donald Trump will make an unprecedented appearance before a New York judge on April 4, 2023 to answer criminal charges that threaten to throw the 2024 White House race into turmoil. (Photo by Ed JONES / AFP) (Photo by ED JONES/AFP via Getty Images) MORE LESS
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Perhaps Some Clarity After Today

Two notable hearings scheduled for today in the various prosecutions of Donald Trump.

The more significant of the two comes in the Mar-a-Lago case, where U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon is set to consider the trial date and hear other pre-trial matters. Trump himself is expected to attend the hearing at the courthouse in Ft. Pierce, Florida, at 10 a.m. ET.

In filings late yesterday, Special Counsel Jack Smith and Trump proposed dueling trial dates. Smith targeted July 8. Trump unexpectedly offered up a trial date of before the election: Aug. 12. Now, to be clear, Trump emphasized that any trial this year would premature, unfair, etc. But he ultimately did resign himself to Cannon’s order to provide a date.

One twist here, as commentators have observed, is that the Jan. 6 case in DC – delayed again this week when the Supreme Court decided to review Trump’s claim of immunity from prosecution – might need the August window. By seeking to schedule the Mar-a-Lago case then, he may preclude U.S. District Tanya Chutkan from scheduling her trial before the election.

But that is probably too speculative to call clever or devious because so much remains in flux. For example, Trump is raising an immunity claim in the Mar-a-Lago case that could cause similar delays to the Jan. 6 case. On top of that, the classified discovery disputes in the Mar-a-Lago case could result in appeals before trial. All of which means the August date Trump is proposing may not really hold.

Some bad news: Judge Cannon’s hearing will not be able to be covered live. So we’ll be limited to what reporters in person relay after the fact. Still, this will be her first real substantive hearing in the case in open court, so we may get a better read on her disposition. She’s been a real wild card, but two rulings this week were in line with the law and what you would expect in a “normal” classified documents case. So it’ll be worth watching to see if she continues to jerk around prosecutors or takes a more neutral stance.

The hearing in Florida is scheduled to go all day.

The Georgia RICO Sideshow

The Fani Willis romance that has bogged down the Georgia RICO case comes to a semi-conclusion today with final arguments scheduled for 1 p.m. ET on the motion to disqualify her from the case.

Nothing much satisfying about this whole saga. I wouldn’t expect a ruling today from the bench, but we might get to take Judge Scott McAfee’s temperature. He’s pretty transparent.

Willis made one last bid yesterday to shore up her case, offering testimony from a winery worker in California that she paid cash on a trip there with special prosecutor Nathan Wade.

More On SCOTUS And Immunity For Trump

  • Aziz Huq: Why Is Trump Getting Special Treatment From the Supreme Court?
  • TPM’s Josh Kovensky: SCOTUS Tees Up Trump Question That Could Take A Lot Of Mulling To Answer
  • Lee Kovarsky: Trump Should Lose. But the Supreme Court Should Still Clarify Immunity.
  • Joyce Vance: The Supreme Court Disappoints


Jane Mayer: The Scandal Of Clarence Thomas’ New Clerk Crystal Clanton

Shutdown Averted

Unlike Kevin McCarthy, Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) gets to pass CRs with impunity and keep his job.

AOC On Tepid Oversight From Senate Dems

I don’t know if most people in the country even know what party is in the Senate majority at times.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY)

The McConnell Legacy

TPM’s Josh Marshall:

Mitch McConnell is one of those perhaps historic figures for whom the greatness of his skill and impact are matched only in inverse by the malignity of his impact on our politics. To put it more brashly, McConnell was great at doing political evil. There is now a kind of rearguard effort to remake McConnell as an institutionalist, a last vestige of the pre-Trumpian GOP. And on that last point, being a vestige, there’s some truth. On being an institutionalist, not at all.

The Race To Succeed McConnell

Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) is first out of the gate.

Still So Many Questions

Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders (R) is forced to respond to the TPM report on her Super Bowl extravaganza.

In The GOP Alternate Universe

Philip Bump: Hunter Biden gives House Republicans the rebuttal they didn’t want

Good Read

WSJ: FBI Informant in Hunter Biden Case Left Trail of Broken Promises

Accused Discord Leaker Expected To Plead Guilty

Massachusetts Air National Guardsman Jack Teixeira is expected to plead guilty Monday to posting classified documents on Discord.

US Diplomat To Plead Guilty To Spying For Cuba

Manuel Rocha told a federal judge he will plead guilty to working as a secret agent for Cuba for decades while serving as a career diplomat for the United States.

Have A Great Weekend!

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  1. Nikki Haley calls for all Trump legal cases to be ‘dealt with’ before November (

    “I think all of the cases should be dealt with before November,” she said Thursday in an interview with NBC News’ “Meet the Press” moderator Kristen Welker in Falls Church, Virginia, where voters will cast their primary ballots Tuesday.

    “We need to know what’s going to happen before it, before the presidency happens, because after that, should he become president, I don’t think any of it’s going to get heard,” she continued.

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