Judge Deals Another Major Blow To Trump

Gage Skidmore from Surprise, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

(PartiallyPolitics.com) – U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan, who is overseeing the federal election interference case against former President Donald Trump in Washington, has ordered that Trump needs to declare whether or not he would be using an advice-of-counsel defense in the trial. If Trump states that he will, he might be called to hand in all private messages and communications he has previously had with his lawyers.

In August, Trump was indicted on four counts over his alleged attempts to overturn the 2020 presidential election and his role in the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol attack. He has pleaded not guilty to all four charges and has maintained that he has committed no wrongdoings. The charges Trump will be facing include conspiracy to defraud the U.S. government and to obstruct an official proceeding.

Ahead of the 2024 presidential election, in which Trump is the frontrunner in the Republican race, he is going to be facing four criminal cases. He has pleaded not guilty to all cases, both federal and state, and has maintained that the charges against him are part of an attempt to stop him from winning back the White House.

An advice-of-counsel defense can be used in cases where a person’s lawyer has advised the defendant in good faith that their action was not breaking any laws. Prosecutors requested from Chutkan that Trump should provide notice if he is planning on using such a defense by December 18 at the latest.

In the motion, they note that should he not disclose this ahead of time it could cause delays to the trial which is scheduled to start on March 4, 2024.

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