New York State AG Letitia James (D) has filed a $250 million lawsuit against Donald Trump, his oldest children, and the Trump Organization. Most of the preliminary events are now done, so the judge, Arthur Engoron, has set a trial date and laid out the parameters for the trial. Engoron wants it to start on Oct. 2, 2023. Trump's attorney, Alina Habba, said: "My clients, they will be there. All of them."
Our first take is: Why does everything in the court system take so long? Both sides have been on this case for years. Surely they should have been preparing for the trial long, long ago. It isn't suddenly being sprung on them. But justice moves very slowly. Thomas Jefferson nailed it when he said: "Justice delayed is justice denied."
The judge said there will be live testimony. The AG's office wanted to just provide sworn statements, not have live witnesses. But if Trump takes the stand, anything could happen, since he is not very good at following his lawyer's instructions. The judge hasn't decided yet whether there will be a jury or he will handle the case alone. He appeared angry at the hearing on Tuesday when Trump's lawyer again asked him to dismiss the case. He has refused before and nothing has changed.
If the trial really starts in Oct. 2023, that could be when some of the primary debates are going on, if there is a Republican primary and if there are debates. Having Trump on trial in New York (and possibly in Georgia and D.C.) could certainly add some spice to the debates if they happen. (V)