The Weekend Wrap: January 28, 2024
Navarro sentenced and Trump's NY criminal case gears up
Welcome to the Weekend Wrap! Here are the week’s white collar highlights:
D.C. Federal Case - January 6 Allegations
Gag Order - The full D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals declined to review the decision of a three-judge panel upholding in large part the limited gag order that district court judge Tanya Chutkan imposed on Trump. There were no noted dissents, including from the three Trump-appointed judges on the court.
Trump can now seek review by the U.S. Supreme Court, which has discretion whether or not to hear his appeal.
Immunity Decision - All eyes are still on the D.C. Circuit as we await its ruling on Trump’s claim of presidential immunity.
It’s now been almost three weeks since the arguments. In the usual world of appeals court decisions that’s not a long time at all, but the court raised expectations that it would act very quickly when it set a very accelerated briefing schedule. The delay is now starting to get a tiny bit worrisome and may signal that the three judges are disagreeing about some aspect of the decision. My hope is that the delay just means they are trying to craft as airtight an opinion as possible so the U.S. Supreme Court will not see a need to take the case.
Trial Date - As we’ve noted before, because the case is paused during the immunity appeals it is increasingly unlikely that the March 4 trial date will hold. Last week court watchers noticed that Judge Chutkan set an April 2 trial date for a January 6 Capitol rioter in a different case. Reading tea leaves, that suggests she is expecting her calendar to be clear and that she doesn’t anticipate the Trump trial beginning before mid-April at the earliest.
Georgia State Case - January 6 Allegations
Most of the buzz about Georgia last week continued to focus on the allegations in a motion filed by defendant Mike Roman. He argues the case should be dismissed or the DA’s office disqualified based on alleged misconduct. The motion claims that Fulton County DA Fani Willis hired Nathan Wade as a special prosecutor to lead the Trump case while they were involved in a romantic relationship. Roman alleges that Wade’s qualifications to handle such a significant prosecution are questionable and that Willis failed to follow proper procedures when hiring him. He also alleges that the county has paid Wade more than $650,000 — more than three times Willis’s own salary — and that Wade has taken Willis on several lavish vacations with the money he has earned from the case.