The Weekend Wrap: November 12, 2023
Steve Bannon appeals and Florida Trump case continues to drag
Welcome to the Weekend Wrap! Here are last week’s white collar highlights:
It was a relatively quiet week in the Trump criminal cases, with most of the action taking place in D.C.
D.C. Federal Case - January 6 Allegations
Trump Motions to Dismiss: Prosecutors filed their oppositions to Trump’s various motions to dismiss on Monday. Here’s how they characterized the motions:
The defendant attempts to rewrite the indictment, claiming that it charges him with wholly innocuous, perhaps even admirable conduct—sharing his opinions about election fraud and seeking election integrity—when in fact it clearly describes the defendant’s fraudulent use of knowingly false statements as weapons in furtherance of his criminal plans. . . . [T]he defendant stands alone in American history for his alleged crimes. No other president has engaged in conspiracy and obstruction to overturn valid election results and illegitimately retain power. The indictment squarely charges the defendant for this conduct, and the defendant’s constitutional and statutory challenges to it are meritless.
Prosecutors also responded to Trump’s motion to strike references to the January 6 riot at the Capitol from his indictment as irrelevant and unduly inflammatory. Prosecutors responded that details about the riot are in fact central to the charges. They intend to show that Trump summoned the mob to D.C. and urged it to march on the Capitol, and then used the ensuing violence and delays to further pressure Mike Pence and lawmakers to delay the vote certification. In addition, the focus of the indictment is obstruction of the joint Congressional proceeding to count the votes, and the riot is critical evidence of how that obstruction was carried out. That’s clearly correct and should be obvious.
I don’t expect any of these Trump motions to succeed.
Motion to Stay: Prosecutors also opposed Trump’s motion to stay the entire case pending the resolution of his motion to dismiss based on alleged presidential immunity. They argued there is no basis for a stay and that Trump is simply repeating his pattern of seeking delay at every opportunity.
They also urged Judge Chutkan to decide the motion quickly, so the government can seek to expedite any appeals. As we’ve discussed before, the biggest concern right now in the D.C. case is whether an interlocutory appeal on the question of immunity will force Judge Chutkan to put the trial on hold. Prosecutors clearly recognize this risk and are signaling they will do whatever they can to avoid delays.
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