Though conventional wisdom among many on the left has long been that the sheer volume of criminal counts leveled against former President Donald Trump would be the death knell for his electoral aspirations, but according to a series of recent developments in the courts, that may be far from the truth, as the Daily Caller explains.
While many in the Democratic Party ranks may have assumed that Trump would already have at least one conviction to his name by the time the 2024 election rolled around, a spate of hiccups and delays in trial scheduling have rendered that prospect less likely.
Potential delays emerge
Trump is currently facing four distinct criminal trials, two in federal courts, one in Georgia state court, and one in New York state court, and thus far, at least two of the judges presiding over his cases have indicated the possibility of delays.
Further, the prosecutor in charge of the former president's Fulton County, Georgia election interference case has suggested that the trial in that matter might not be completed until the early part of 2025 – after the next inauguration.
Federal District Judge Aileen Cannon, overseeing Trump's classified documents handling case, has allowed a prior May 2024 trial date to remain in place for the time being, but is planning to hold a March 1 scheduling conference for the purpose of reexamining the former president's request for a postponement.
With Cannon already having pushed back deadlines for key filings in the case, many observers believe that a May trial date is an overly optimistic goalpost that is unlikely to be met.
Trump's New York state case involving hush money payments to adult entertainer Stormy Daniels may also be ripe for a postponement, as trial is currently slated to commence in March 2024.
Judge Juan Merchan suggested that he would wait until early next year to entertain requests to move the trial back, but given the legal logjam already surrounding the president in jurisdictions across the country, he may have no choice but to delay.
Jack Smith persists in DC
Though delays seem possible – if not likely – in the aforementioned matters, Special Counsel Jack Smith appears determined to hold fast to a March 4, 2024 start date for Trump's federal election interference trial in Washington, D.C.
While Judge Tanya Chutkan did recently grant Trump's lawyers an extension regarding certain discovery motions, it remains far from clear that she is disposed to changing the trial's commencement date, which is one day before the Super Tuesday primary contests.
Ballot challenges failing
Another angle used by those hoping to derail Trump's presidential campaign in advance involves raising Section 3 of the 14th Amendment to claim that the former president's involvement in the Jan. 6 Capitol unrest disqualifies him from eligibility for office and to argue that he should therefore be removed from state ballots.
However, challenges of that nature have already gone down to defeat in New Hampshire, Minnesota, Michigan, and Colorado, and though the arguments may eventually make their way to the U.S. Supreme Court, the long and winding road to get there could well stretch beyond the presidential primaries, if not also the general election.