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Jumpin’ Jack Flurry: counselor Smith to Light TNT Stick in September

PoliticsJumpin’ Jack Flurry: counselor Smith to Light TNT Stick in September

He’s going to help sanction the 2024 election.

In his column today, Rich aptly describes Biden Justice Department special counsel Jack Smith as a “delegitimizing machine” for both MAGA and anti-Trump factions, and his January 6 prosecution of Donald Trump as “a stick of TNT in the middle of an already fraught [2024] election.”
Start planning for that stick to be lit in September, a little over a month before Election Day.

A low-boil issue that we’ve discussed several times on the podcast bubbled over last week. For a long time, I assumed the courts would think it too unseemly to commence a trial of the Republican presidential nominee on the eve of the election. I’ve second-guessed myself on that over the past few weeks, reasoning that there is no norm Democrats and their prosecutors are unwilling to bulldoze in their quest to get Trump convicted in accordance with the campaign calendar.
Hence, why should the vaunted “60-day rule,” which is not even a real rule, stand in their way?

And sure enough, in pretrial proceedings in Smith’s other Trump prosecution, the Mar-a-Lago documents case, prosecutors announced that the Justice Department’s make-it-up-as-they-go-along 60-day rule — the unwritten guidance that, in the two months prior to an election, prosecutors should refrain from taking actions that might influence the outcome — does not apply in Trump’s cases. Their rationale? Because Trump has already been indicted, and everybody knows that, the trial of his case — the public parading of the witnesses and evidence against him, and what prosecutors are hoping will be a jury verdict of guilty — couldn’t possibly influence the election.

The glee from the media-Democrat complex was manifest. At first, I thought: “Well, it remains to be seen whether the courts will allow themselves to be the puppet on the end of the Democrats’ string.” But then, as ever, Trump’s too-clever-by-half lawyers undermined his position.

They had been insisting that there should be no trial of the Mar-a-Lago documents case prior to Election Day (a result that the complexities of litigation under the Classified Information Procedures Act [CIPA] is likely to produce in any event). But when Smith proposed a July 8 starting date for the trial, which is expected to take up to two months (maybe more), Trump’s lawyers countered by proposing August 12.

As Smith’s team suspects, this was a disingenuous gambit:
Trump doesn’t really want an August 12 trial date; what he wants is a placeholder that will make it practically impossible for Judge Tanya Chutkan to schedule trial of Smith’s January 6 case in Washington, D.C., so that it starts before Election Day. But more than disingenuous, the Trump proposal was self-defeating: Again, because of CIPA, it is highly unlikely that the Florida case could be tried pre-election anyway; but even if their August 12 proposal is thus illusory, Trump’s lawyers have now undermined their credibility to argue to Judge Chutkan that the Biden Justice Department must not be allowed to subject the Republican candidate to a criminal trial during the campaign stretch-run (when voting-by-mail will already be under way).

When they next try, expect Smith to counter, “But Trump himself suggested starting a two-month trial against him in mid-August.”
Understand, from Smith’s perspective, this is all about getting the January 6 case to trial pre–Election Day. That’s the one Democrats are passionate about — as Rich suggests, it’s their compensation for the failure of impeachment and the lack of insurrection proof.

Need more on that? Well, in an unusual move last night, the Supreme Court indicated that it may announce some rulings this morning. All signs are that the justices will issue their decision in the Colorado ballot-access case — the one in which the state tried to disqualify Trump from running, rationalizing that he is an insurrectionist under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment. Trump is nearly certain to win a sweeping victory (I believe it will be unanimous). But what really caught my eye this morning was the last paragraph of this report on the expected ruling from New York Times Supreme Court guru Adam Liptak:
ou might have noticed that the Left didn’t take it very well when the Supreme Court said it is going to hear Donald Trump’s immunity case.

The reaction was telling in all sorts of ways. It showed, as I noted the other day, how conspiratorial-minded prominent left-wing commentators are and demonstrated how vested many of them are in the hope that Jack Smith’s January 6 case will make it impossible for Trump to win the presidency again.

Perhaps most important, though, the firestorm was more evidence for how woefully misconceived Jack Smith’s prosecution is.

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