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Trump Legal News: A Little Less Conversation, a Little More Action

On Monday, the Trump legal news was about dueling motions, as the various parties try to slow down the former president's trial in Florida (Trump, Walt Nauta), or to keep it on schedule (Jack Smith). On Tuesday, the Trump legal news was about the gears of justice doing just a little bit of grinding, as things inched forward on two fronts.

To start, there remains every indication that sometime in mid-August, Trump will be indicted in Georgia. However, the special grand jury that heard the evidence against him and then issued a pretty damning report has been dissolved because its term came to an end. To stick to the August schedule, a new grand jury will have to be seated. And yesterday, one was. Actually, two were. They are not exclusive to Trump, of course, and either or both of them would be available to consider the evidence against the former president and/or his cronies, and to bring down the hammer.

Meanwhile, there was a slight snarl in Trump vs. E. Jean Carroll v2.0, namely that the pending trial is going to cover things Trump said as president, and the stated position of the Department of Justice—both under Trump and under Joe Biden—was that he enjoyed special protections for things uttered while president because they were uttered in his official capacity, and were not the words of a private citizen.

The judge in that case, Lewis A. Kaplan, told the DoJ that he wanted a statement of its position on the issue by Thursday. It would seem that AG Merrick Garland and his legal beagles took a close look at the matter, and decided that their previous position was not supported by the facts. So, the DoJ informed all parties involved that it does not believe Trump can claim immunity here. Needless to say, the DoJ's opinion is not "final" here, but it does mean that Trump's lawyers won't be able to argue: "This case shouldn't have been brought; even the DoJ says so!"

And that concludes today's Trump legal news. Tune in tomorrow, same bat time, same bat channel, to learn about the next set of legal setbacks for the former president, whatever they turn out to be. (Z)

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