Just this morning I wrote that for all the sudden doomsday hysteria about Donald Trump’s criminal trials supposedly getting pushed past the election, none of it was based in reality. In fact none of it was based on anything, other than the media and pundit class seeing an opportunity to scare you into staying tuned in during the brief lull while awaiting the U.S. Court of Appeals ruling. This morning I wrote that the ruling would come any day.
Sure enough, it turns out today was indeed the day. The U.S. Court of Appeals has ruled, unanimously and firmly, that “presidential immunity” does not protect Donald Trump from being prosecuted for crimes he committed while in office. Anyone paying close attention knew that this was going to be the ruling, and that it was going to happen soon. But it’s nonetheless good to now have it on the books.
So what happens now? Trump has a very short window to file an appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court, which he will. The good news for us is that the Supreme Court has shown a consistent lack of interest in getting involved in Trump’s criminal cases. So there are two realistic scenarios here.
Scenario one is that the Supreme Court spends a couple weeks chewing on Trump’s appeal and then formally decide that it’s not taking up the case. Once such a decision was announced, Trump’s criminal trial would then get underway just as soon as Judge Chutkan can make it happen.
Scenario two is that the Supreme Court does take up Trump’s appeal, but then bowing to the pressure of the moment, agrees to hear the appeal with all due haste. In such case we’d likely see a ruling against Trump that wouldn’t take much longer than in scenario one.
Either way, I expect we’ll be looking at Donald Trump’s criminal trial in Judge Chutkan’s courtroom taking place pretty close to its original timeframe. It was originally set for March. At this point we might be looking at, what, April? In such case, Trump’s criminal trial in New York (Alvin Bragg) would then take place in March.
Keep in mind that March is next month, and April is the month after that. As I tried to explain this morning, we’re now that close to seeing Donald Trump on criminal trial. And while today’s ruling is being spun in a bunch of scary ways (“The Supreme Court will protect Trump no matter what” or “The Court of Appeals waited too long and ruined everything), this is just the usual doomsday nonsense that these types like to churn out. They’re the ones who spent the past week trying to convince you that today’s favorable ruling was somehow never going to happen.
In the meantime let’s keep our eye on the prize. Even while we wait for Donald Trump’s criminal trials to soon get underway, we have a special election taking place just one week from now in New York for a House seat that could end up deciding the House majority. We also have the 2024 Democratic primary in Nevada today. Instead of letting the media bait us into fretting over worst case scenarios, let’s focus on trying to win the battles that we can win. We won this one. Onward!
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report