A D.C. federal judge called out the latest bid at endless delay from attorneys for Donald Trump.
Trump’s lawyers had argued that deadlines in his D.C. election reversal case should be delayed because of issues relating to classified material.
It was an obviously bogus excuse to further push the proceedings down the calendar from the start, but federal prosecutors with Special Counsel Jack Smith’s office made it clearer in a Monday filing. Trump attorney John Lauro hadn’t even submitted his paperwork for a security clearance yet, they said, while another, Todd Blanche, had done so more than one month ago. Attorneys in cases involving classified material need a provisional security clearance to review records.
So, Tuesday morning, U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan essentially called the lawyers’ bluff: She ordered Trump attorneys to “initiate and complete all security clearance tasks” by Oct. 10. And she wants proof of compliance by Oct. 11. The next hearing in the case is scheduled for Oct. 16.
Trump’s strategy throughout his lifelong series of brushes with the legal system has been to delay the proceedings. It’s incredibly salient now as he remains the overwhelming frontrunner for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination; getting elected next year would allow him to quash the two federal criminal cases brought against him.
Smith’s team has, accordingly, been open in calling out attempts at unreasonable delay when they see it – that’s quite often. Chutkan’s order Tuesday morning suggests that she’s also quite aware of the dynamics here, and willing to call Trump’s bluff.