CNN’s Elie Honig Argues Trump’s Trial Date May Infringe On His ‘Constitutional Right’ to Prepare


CNN senior legal analyst Elie Honig argued that the date chosen by U.S. District Court Judge Tanya Chutkan for the start of the federal government’s trial against Donald Trump for his efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election may infringe on Trump’s constitutional right to prepare on Tuesday.

Chutkan selected March 4, 2024 as the start date on Monday, giving Trump and his legal team around seven months to prepare for trial.

Both Honig and criminal defense attorney Caroline Polisi expressed concerns with the timeline laid out by Chutkan.

Asked by Phil Mattingly if the trial date “made sense,” Polisi called the Trump team’s ask that the trial be delayed until well into 2026 “a bit of a reach,” but emphasized that “there are 12 million documents” for the defense to review in the case.

“March 4, it’s coming up. A lot of federal trials would give more time on that. So I do think it’s gonna be an issue. Likely it’s not gonna be a winner on appeal, but it’s definitely gonna be up for debate,” she added.

Honig, a former federal prosecutor, concurred with Polisi’s analysis, and went even further in his critique.

“I agree, judges have very wide discretion when it comes to setting trial dates, and I agree this will be an issue. Donald Trump will appeal eventually, but it’s cutting it really close here,” began Honig.

He continued:

But it’s cutting it really close here. To make Donald Trump on a case with 12 million documents, 12 million pages of documents, go to trial in seven months. And some of the rationales that DOJ offered up that the judge agreed with I think don’t cut it. For example, one of the things DOJ argued and the judge agreed with was ‘Well, he’s sort of known that this was a possibility from a year or so, going back to the January 6 trials.’ That’s not the way it works in our system! You are not on notice as a criminal defendant until an indictment drops. That’s the purpose of an indictment. You can’t just say ‘Well, you kind of should have known there was something floating out there in the ether.’ That doesn’t cut it. I also agree with Caroline. One of the big rationales has been ‘Well, we the prosecutors, we gave you this handy guide to most important documents. That’s nice, that’s a sweet courtesy, but guess what? It’s up to the defense lawyer to decide what matters to the defense. So I think they’re cutting it pretty close to the line here with respect to Donald Trump’s constitutional right to fully prepare.

Watch above via CNN.

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