New Indictment Will Help Trump’s Legal Battle

The federal indictment of former President Donald Trump that was handed down this week is likely to put a hold on other legal cases against him.

On Tuesday, Letitia James, the attorney general of New York whose office is leading a state criminal case against Trump, said that all state-level cases against the former president will be “adjourned” while the federal prosecution plays out.

If this does indeed happen, then it’s very likely that these investigations will stretch well into 2024, and potentially even after the presidential election is held in November.

James sat for a recent interview with Pod Save America, saying that she believed that the scheduling of the federal case led by special counsel Jack Smith would ultimately push back her case. The fed’s case centers around Trump’s handling of classified documents, while James’ case centers around business fraud.

The attorney general also said she believed other investigations into Trump being led by Fani Willis, the district attorney of Fulton County in Georgia, and Alvin Bragg, the district attorney in Manhattan, would be pushed back as a result of the federal indictment.

As she explained:

“In all likelihood, I believe that my case, as well as DA Bragg and the Georgia case, will unfortunately have to be adjourned pending the outcome of the federal case. So, it all depends upon the scheduling of this particular case.”

Trump was arranged in a Miami federal courtroom on Tuesday after a grand jury decided to indict him. The former president was charged with 31 total violations. Some of those are in relation to the Espionage Act for “willful retention” of national defense information.

Some of the charges are also related to false statements and obstruction of justice.

Last week, Smith said that he and his team would “seek a speedy trial” in the case, though it still likely would push back all other investigations and cases.

What’s more, Smith said she believes “everyone is concerned” over the fact that U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon was appointed to oversee the classified documents case. That’s because Trump nominated Cannon to her position, and she could end up slowing down the trial based on a number of things at her disposal.

There are some legal pundits who believe that Cannon should recuse herself from the case, citing some past rulings that she’s already made in relation to this matter. One in particular is the fact that she allowed a special master to comb through the materials that were seized by the FBI from Mar-a-Lago to see which could be used in the case.

A federal appeals court ultimately overturned that decision by Cannon.

While James believes the federal indictment will push her case back, not everyone is on board with that thinking.

The Prosecuting Attorneys’ Council of Georgia’s director, Pete Skandalakis, said that he didn’t think other cases would be delayed as a result of the federal indictment. 

He even said that researchers on his staff looking and found “no law that gives the federal government the ability to go first” in a criminal case.