The biggest obstacle, by far, for Trump to get into the White House is a guilty verdict in one of the four federal cases that lie ahead for him.
If you recall, from the outset, I had stated that I expected Trump’s attorneys to do a lot of last-minute filing in an effort to delay these trials as long as possible.
So far, they are doing an amazing job of this, possibly getting closer to the point that the clock will run until after the general election has taken place.
The polling numbers have made it very clear that if Trump gets a guilty verdict and/or sentence to jail in a federal case, his support drops.
The numbers have been consistent that his support falls by about 50% if he is convicted, a few more points if he is immediately sentenced to jail.
So far, Trump has managed to get some of these cases delayed well past the initial trial date, and they are far from done with these motions.
In fact, the election interference case has already been indefinitely suspended while all of this plays out.
Former assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Andrew McCarthy, a Fox News contributor, recently commented on this subject.
He stated, "Does it eventually get so late in the election-campaign calendar that it would be too unseemly to start trial? I would hope so.
"The administration of justice in criminal cases is an important national priority, but it’s not the only one – or, necessarily, the highest one.
“How much intrusion on politics by the justice system should Americans tolerate – particularly under circumstances in which the intrusion is being orchestrated by the administration of the incumbent president against his campaign opponent?"
Former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has backed Trump in these cases, recently writing, "The election-interference prosecution of Donald Trump, the former president and likely Republican presidential nominee, by the Justice Department of Joe Biden, the incumbent president and Trump’s likely Democratic opponent, is the most politically charged in American history.”
He continued, "Why? Because there is a lot of pre-trial work, including administrative detail, that must be attended to for a case to get to trial. As I elaborated in my [January column] about Trump’s delay strategy, the pre-trial process includes discovery, motions to dismiss the case or suppress evidence, hearings on motions, and so on.
“Whenever jurisdiction is finally returned to Judge Chutkan, all of that will have to crank up again – it takes a long time to get through, and it’s not like this is the only case on Her Honor’s docket.”
If Trump somehow dodges these bullets until after the election takes place and wins the election, he will probably never see the inside of a courtroom on these charges.
I fully expect whoever he appoints as the AG to dismiss the charges, but that will open a whole new can of worms and likely result in an impeachment inquiry of both Trump and his Attorney General if Democrats take back the house in the 2024 election or the 2026 election.