Former President Donald Trump‘s lifelong scorched earth legal strategy is about to smack into the looming Republican presidential primary calendar – and his own posture will influence whether the Stormy Daniels case is in the headlines during the early primaries.
Trump, who was indicted last Thursday, is facing multiple charges believed to be a mix of complex federal and state charges. His legal team, including a top white-collar criminal defense lawyer and the former federal prosecutor Todd Blanche, is expected to lead the defense.
The former assistant U.S. attorney has previously represented Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign manager, and Igor Fruman, a one-time associate of Rudy Giuliani who pleaded guilty in a campaign finance case, according to POLITICO.
Former President Donald Trump has a history of mounting aggressive legal challenges. He has now been indicted after being investigated for decades. He has already announced a run to take back the White House
‘I don’t think this is a coincidence. You have to recognize that this peculiar strategy by the New York DA is quite ingenious in using Mr. Trump’s style, his prior conduct, his strategy of delay and attrition against him,’ said David Shapiro, a former FBI agent and financial fraud specialist who teaches at John Jay College in New York.
‘The more you delay, the closer you get to 2024,’ he said. But if Trump opts for a strategy of ‘delay, delay, delay, delay,’ it amounts to saying, ‘go chop your knees off,’ he added.
Trump’s indictment has already shaken up the political field, as the former President made his way from Mar-a-Lago to New York Monday.
Trump used a stable of lawyers and an aggressive posture to run out the clock on a House Democratic push for his tax returns until the end of his presidency – in a case that made it to the Supreme Court.
In the Stormy Daniels case that has brought multiple charges for falsifying business records and one reported Class E felony, Trump lawyer Joseph Tacopina has already said he would fight ‘very aggressively.’
‘There’s very little doubt that Tacopina team will litigate everything. They’re going to challenge just anything possible to delay,’ said Dan Feldman, a law professor at John Jay who teaches oversight and investigation and previously served in New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s administration.
There have already been indications that Trump’s team could try to change the venue, which could delay matters if the judge allowed it to occur.
Like every motion, it would require the judge to allow the opposing side to respond.
Trump continues to vehemently protest against the judge assigned to the case, Juan Merchan, saying he ‘HATES ME.’
But Tacopina told ABC’s ‘This Week’ ‘he didn’t think the judge was biased. ‘Do I think the judge is biased? Of course not,’ he said.
One expert pointed to DA Alvin Bragg’s ‘ingenious’ strategy, where if Trump delays, it might work against him
A Manhattan grand jury has voted to indict former president Donald Trump over hush money paid to porn star Stormy Daniels
Still, prosecutors could move to try to bump Tacopina from representing Trump due to his past communications with Daniels when the porn star who is key to the case was herself seeking a lawyer.
A series of delays could postpone an outcome until after the November elections. But it could also juxtapose key moments – including hearings, motions, jury selection, and arguments – with crucial parts of the campaign, although Trump has seen a bump in the polls since the indictment.
The first Republican presidential debate, on Fox News, is set for some time in August in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
That is about six months before Iowa Republicans hold their Caucuses, followed quickly by the New Hampshire primary in early 2024.
Other milestones include the Iowa State Fair, set to begin August 10th.