A return to the White House could be former President Donald Trump’s path out of the courtroom according to one legal expert’s review of a landmark decision.
“…the President might be entitled to a postponement.”
Facing multiple legal battles, including cases in New York, Washington, D.C., Florida and Georgia, lawfare has been a central focus of the re-election effort of Trump, considered by many to be the victim of political persecution. The cake, however, may be far from baked in spite of the obstacles according to attorney Paul Golden.
Speaking with Newsweek, the partner of the New York law firm Coffey Modica brought focus on the 1997 Supreme Court decision regarding Paula Jones’ sexual harassment case against then-President Bill Clinton.
“In a concurring opinion, [then-Supreme Court Justice Stephen] Breyer noted that if the President could set forth and explain a conflict between a judicial proceeding and his or her ability to perform public duties, the President might be entitled to a postponement,” stated Golden.
While Breyer agreed with the majority that the president was not automatically “due immunity from civil lawsuits based upon his private conduct,” the justice opined, “…the Constitution permits a judge to schedule a trial in an ordinary civil damages action (where postponement normally is possible without overwhelming damage to a plaintiff) only within the constraints of a constitutional principle — a principle that forbids a federal judge in such a case to interfere with the President’s discharge of his public duties.”
According to Golden who applied the principle to criminal as well as civil trials, “One of many strategies a sitting president could use, therefore, would be to file a motion in the context of the state case, arguing that allowing a criminal case to continue would affect the president’s ability to run the country. But there are a host of other potential strategies available as well.”
“It is unclear how the criminal trial would be handled if, in the middle of the trial, Mr. Trump were re-elected president. Although the Department of Justice has concluded that criminal prosecution of a sitting president would be unconstitutional, its memos on the topic do not have the force of law until and unless a court adopts them. Even then, one court might not be bound by another court,” the attorney suggested.
Meanwhile, the president resumed his attacks on the “Rigged Trial” Tuesday as he maintained his position that the current $250 million NYC civil fraud trial, among his other legal woes, was purely “ELECTION INTERFERENCE!”
Taking to Truth Social, Trump wrote, “A Rigged Trial going on against me by a corrupt N.Y. State Attorney General and an out of control Judge. They brought Values down to a FRACTION of what they are worth, like Mar-a-Lago, and then called me a Fraud. They are the FRAUDSTERS, and the whole system is CORRUPT. I didn’t even include one of my most valuable assets, BRAND VALUE, in my Financial Statements. Also, this Psycho Judge refuses to acknowledge the fact that I have a 100% Disclaimer Clause on the First Page of my Statements — ‘DO YOUR OWN DUE DILIGENCE.'”
“But it all doesn’t matter, because regardless of what we say to show our TOTAL INNOCENCE, and it has been proven in many ways, and many times over, this political, Trump Hating Judge, together with his horrendous, seething with ANGER Law Clerk, with her illegal campaign contributions, will find me guilty as hell,” he continued. “NO JURY ALLOWED, A STATUTE NEVER USED FOR THIS BEFORE, A RIGGED TRIAL A RACIST & CORRUPT ATTORNEY GENERAL, A TRUMP HATING JUDGE, ELECTION INTERFERENCE!”