Monday 18 March 2024

Schiff Hopes Trump Faces Trial Before Election

 Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), who is running for Senate, said on Sunday that he hopes some of the criminal cases against former President Donald Trump go to trial before the 2024 election in November.

During an interview on CNN, host Dana Bash said Trump’s “strategy to delay these cases is paying off” and asked Schiff if he believes there is a chance that Trump might not stand trial before Election Day as dates across the myriad of cases get pushed back.

“There is a chance that he could evade justice by delaying justice. This is a tried-and-true tactic of Trump throughout his career. And I hope that the courts are aware of exactly what he’s doing and his incentive in trying to prolong this,” Schiff said.

“I hope they won’t go along with that strategy in New York, I hope that they will look at the facts in terms of what caused the late release of this discovery,” he added, referring to a hush-money case in Manhattan where the trial date has been pushed back at least 30 days. “If it was driven by the Trump defense team not requesting it earlier, they should not postpone the trial any further.”

Schiff said his “greatest concern” lies with the timeline of the 2020 election interference case brought by special counsel Jack Smith. The Supreme Court is considering whether Trump can invoke presidential immunity to shield himself from federal prosecution after it kept the former president on the ballot in states that tried to ban him over the U.S. Capitol breach on January 6, 2021.

“If [the Supreme Court] doesn’t, it’s making a deliberate decision essentially to push the trial past the election. And I think that would be a terrible decision, both for the interest of justice,” Schiff said. “It would be a terrible decision in depriving American voters of the information they would learn during the course of that trial, but it would also just further discredit this partisan and reactionary court.”

Trump is facing three other criminal cases, including another one led by Smith over the former president’s handling of classified documents, as well as civil litigation. He has broadly denied any wrongdoing and has argued that politically motivated prosecutors are conducting a “witch hunt” against him.

Bash noted that Schiff has “vehemently disagreed” with Attorney General Merrick Garland’s handling of investigations into Trump and asked whether the Cabinet official bears any “responsibility” for the prospect of federal cases not being resolved before the election.

“I think the Justice Department did wait at least a year to look beyond the foot soldiers, that is, those that broke into the Capitol that day, and refrained from looking at those who were the inciters of the attack on the Capitol, the organizers behind it, the higher-ups,” Schiff replied. “And, yes, I think that delay has contributed to a situation where none of these trials may go forward, although it is still my hope and belief that at least one or two of them might go forward before the election.”


He added, “So, yes, the department bears some of that responsibility. But, nevertheless, when they did bring the indictments, there is still time — was still time to bring those cases in a timely way. They’re not responsible for any delay at that point. The Trump legal team is. And the courts should not play into that stratagem. The court should recognize that, as he has done before, he hopes that pushing this off will mean no justice for himself or the American people. And the court should simply not abide that strategy.”

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