Washington D.C. District Judge Tanya Chutkan refused on Tuesday to accommodate former President Donald Trump’s request for a pretrial delay because it would keep her from hosting his trial the day before Super Tuesday, right as voters head to the polls to vote in the 2024 presidential primary election.
Trump and his legal team requested that motions for subpoenas in the case, in which the Republican is being prosecuted for his speech about the 2020 election, be due Feb. 9, 2024 instead of Nov. 9, 2023. The Trump team’s request claimed the millions of communications included in the government’s discovery, which “continues to be provided on a rolling basis,” were “not well organized” and would take months to properly examine.
The lawyers insisted that granting Trump additional time to build his case is pertinent to preserving his due process rights. Chutkan, however, who has shown a blatant disregard for Trump’s constitutional rights in the past, claimed “those arguments are unpersuasive.”
“The government points out that the sole organizational defect cited by the defense was actually a best practice—rather than compiling the email materials themselves, the government provided those materials in a format that would easily allow the defense to compile them in their preferred manner,” Chutkan wrote.
She also warned that delaying the subpoena deadline to February would “take considerable time” — severely hampering her plans to host the trial in the middle of primary elections in early March.
Trump’s request, Chutkan insisted, must be weighed “against the disadvantages of backloading the pretrial schedule.”
Instead of granting the Trump team’s requested extensions, Chutkan decided to issue a “partial extension of the deadline” to Nov. 27 for motions to compel and Dec. 13 for motions for subpoenas.
Chutkan’s decision comes mere days after Special Counsel Jack Smith and his legal team acknowledged Trump’s “overriding interest in delaying both trials.”
The Obama judge confirmed her willingness to meddle in the 2024 election in August when she vowed to legally curb Trump’s speech on the campaign trail.
“What the defendant is currently doing — the fact that he’s running a political campaign has to yield to the orderly administration of justice. If that means he can’t say exactly what he wants to say about witnesses in this case, that’s how it has to be,” Chutkan said.