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How is Donald Trump expected to fight his indictment?

There are legal strategies Trump can use to slow down the pace of the case against him.
How is Donald Trump expected to fight his indictment?
Posted at 4:26 PM, Jun 14, 2023

Former President Donald Trump is about to embark on a legal challenge unlike any he's faced before. In order to tackle the 37-count federal criminal indictment he now faces, defense attorneys are expected to file a series of motions that could delay the process. 

One set of motions the legal team has already hinted it will file would contain allegations of prosecutorial misconduct by Special Counsel Jack Smith's team.

"They've asserted that the prosecution took liberties that they shouldn't have taken," said former federal prosecutor and law professor Paul Pelletier. "In other words, they've asserted that one witness was offered a judgeship in exchange for their testimony. Now, I'm not so sure there's any truth behind that, but it will be motions like that."

The 49-page indictment accuses the former president of hoarding highly sensitive documents, then obstructing justice when the government tried to get them back. 

In one exchange, Trump allegedly said to his attorney, "Wouldn't it be better if we just told them we don't have anything here?"

His current lawyers may argue that exchange was a privileged communication between a client and his attorney. 

SEE MORE: Trump and Biden had classified docs. Why is only Trump being charged?

Prosecutors are aiming for a speedy trial, and the law requires a trial date be set within 70 days of the arraignment. 

"My office will seek a speedy trial in this matter, consistent with the public interest and the rights of the accused," said Special Counsel Jack Smith.

Legal experts believe any delay could represent an advantage for the former president. 

"And remember if he's the elected nominee, at least in his mind, he could be — then he's never going to be prosecuted if he's elected president," Pelletier said. "Also, delay is his friend. If another Republican gets nominated, he would want that person to be elected and ultimately be pardoned." 

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