Trump’s Last-Minute Move to Save Himself From Trial in Jan.6 Case Takes a Surprising Twist


Photo: AP/Alex Brandon

Former President Donald Trump is making a desperate attempt last minute to avoid criminal hearings in his January 6 election conspiracy case before the November election. As reported by Raw Story on Tuesday, July 9, 2024, the Supreme Court recently granted a presumption of immunity for “official acts” undertaken by presidents in office but provided little clarity on what constitutes an “official” act.

This decision has set the stage for prolonged legal debates in the lower courts about the admissibility of evidence and charges in special counsel Jack Smith’s prosecution of Trump. Experts suggest this will likely delay the trial until after the election. However, U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan, who is overseeing the case, might still hold extensive hearings to determine what evidence is admissible.

These hearings, dubbed by some experts as a “mini-trial,” could reveal all the case facts to the public before the actual trial. Hugo Lowell of The Guardian reports that Trump and his legal team are striving to prevent these hearings from happening. They are expected to argue that Judge Chutkan should decide on the immunity of Trump’s conduct based on legal arguments alone, without the need for witness testimonies or multiple evidentiary hearings.

If federal prosecutors push for witness testimonies, Trump plans to invoke executive privilege to prevent compliance. The case will officially return to Judge Chutkan’s jurisdiction in August, following a 25-day waiting period after the Supreme Court’s ruling. At that time, Trump’s legal team will begin arguing that all charged conduct and evidence fall under presidential immunity.

Trump’s team does not expect to win entirely but hopes to use the Supreme Court’s ruling to block testimonies from key figures like former Vice President Mike Pence. Pence was crucial to the plot to block the certification of electors and had refused to comply with Trump’s demands.

Trump’s legal team is employing a strategy to delay the trial and prevent damaging hearings before the election. By leveraging the Supreme Court’s recent decision on presidential immunity, they aim to minimize the exposure of the case’s facts to the public and avoid testimonies from significant witnesses.

The case’s progression will be closely watched as it returns to Judge Chutkan’s jurisdiction in August, with both sides preparing for a contentious legal battle over the admissibility of evidence and witness testimonies.

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