Judge Tanya Chutkan is following the process for dealing with a difficult defendant: giving Donald Trump enough rope to hang himself with. Another cliché you might interject is “painting someone into a corner,” which the Special Counsel did with his motion that Judge Chutkan partially granted. Trump’s attorneys have tried every way they can to delay the prosecution of this case instead of preparing a proper defense. Of course, they likely don’t have one. They had better try to come up with one unless they want to see their client in federal prison. Jack Smith has shown from the beginning of his investigation that he takes his job very seriously and he has no time to play around with Donald Trump. He’s not about to start now.
The government’s motion requested (or demanded) that Trump declare his intent to use a “rely on advice-of-counsel” defense. He has been saying publicly for quite some time that he did, in fact, rely on them when trying to overturn the election and create chaos in our systems. Judge Chutkan denied the motion in part and granted it in part. The denial is with respect to the date of disclosure that the Special Counsel requested-December 18, 2023-but she otherwise granted the motion. Now, Trump will have to shit or get off the pot. The court gave him until January 15, 2024, to present all evidence he has that supports his claim. This is a tactic Smith has used before.
It’s generally referred to as “piercing the attorney-client privilege,” and Smith used it to get testimony from Evan Corcoran in the espionage case against Trump in Florida. Corcoran ultimately recused himself from that case because of his impending testimony. Considering that testimony and the guilty pleas in Georgia, Trump might want to rethink his defense. It means that his attorneys will have to turn over materials relating to any discussions with Trump regarding the legality of his attempts to overturn the election. Of course, the current attorneys may not have been involved in that part, but John Eastman will almost certainly be called as a witness for the prosecution. This suggests another cliché: oh, what a tangled web we weave, but that’s what happens when you lie for a living. Eventually, those lies will catch up to the liar, which is exactly what’s happening in the present case.
Judge Chutkan has ordered Trump not only to take ownership of this defense but has compelled him to turn over all relevant documents. This is how the Special Counsel has painted Trump into a corner. This alleged defense is all we have heard from Trump since his indictment. He will now have to come up with some other defense or he can refuse to turn over anything and find himself in contempt of court. In fact, Trump’s lead attorney, John Lauro, put the defense in the public eye during his August appearance on Meet the Press. Trump and his attorneys have attempted to try this case in the public forum, and now, it has come back to bite all of them in their collective ass.
Shirley is a former entertainment writer and has worked in the legal field for over 25 years