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Trump lawyer: Trial in next few months would ‘attack’ right to fair ruling

John Lauro, the lawyer handling former President Trump’s recent indictment over alleged election fraud, said the federal prosecutor’s potential wishes for a trial early next year would infringe on the former president’s rights.

“Speedy trial rights are a defendant’s speedy trial rights, a citizen’s speedy trial rights, not the government. The government has an obligation to ensure a fair trial, and in this case, what we need is a journey to the truth,” Lauro said in a Fox News interview Thursday.

“This is a fast-moving railroad without any concern for justice.”

Trump was arraigned Thursday on four charges alleging that he attempted to organize fraudulent electoral college votes to overturn the results of the 2020 election.

The former president was arraigned just two days after being indicted, and his next court appearance is Aug. 28. Prosecutors wanted an earlier date, Aug. 21. 

That schedule has implied that special counsel Jack Smith wants a trial in the spring, though prosecutors have not yet officially requested a date. The trial date is expected to be decided at that Aug. 28 appearance, Judge Tanya Chutkan said.

Lauro said the charges are “criminalizing” Trump’s First Amendment rights, but that any request for a quickly-approaching trial would go further.

A trial in the spring would severely limit Lauro’s ability to prepare for trial, he said, and make it difficult to fully use a defendant’s rights to subpoena evidence and call for witnesses. He said a move for speed proves that the prosecution is political.

“They want to deny President Trump […] those rights and rush to judgment, for one political purpose. And that’s to uphold the Biden administration,” Lauro said.

“Why the bum’s rush on this case? Do they feel that there’s a problem in the other cases that are being orchestrated?” he added.

Trump’s second federal case — over alleged mishandling of classified documents — is set to go to trial in May 2024 in Florida. Lauro said that prosecutors believe they would have a better case in D.C. than in a “more diverse” jurisdiction like the Sunshine State, which could drive them to ask for the election case trial earlier.

The former president is also facing a trial in a New York state criminal case alleging that he falsified business documents in making hush money payments. 

Additionally, a Georgia investigation into Trump’s attempts to overturn the 2020 election is expected to be finalized by the end of the month, possibly adding a fourth indictment if a grand jury decides to charge him there.

The cases make for a busy calendar going into early 2024, with the New York case set to go to trial in March 2024 and three additional civil trials scheduled for October of this year and January of next.

The first primary vote of the 2024 election, the Iowa Caucus, is scheduled for Jan. 15, 2024. 

Trump currently holds a wide lead over GOP primary candidates, with recent national polling averages showing him with about 53 percent support.

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