Donald Trump receives subtle warning during trial, judge says she will be 'watching carefully'

On Monday 29 August, a date for Donald Trump’s trial was set and the former president was warned to stay away from social media as his team already makes major mistake.

Donald Trump receives subtle warning during trial, judge says she will be 'watching carefully'
© James Devaney / GETTY IMAGES
Donald Trump receives subtle warning during trial, judge says she will be 'watching carefully'

Former president Donald Trump’s legal issues are far from over. Indeed, while pictures of his mugshot went viral and are already making him millions, this was just the beginning.

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On Monday 29 August, Donald Trump faced Judge Tanya Chutkan for a hearing in Washington. The judge set the beginning of his trial for 4 March 2024. This date clashes with Trump's presidential campaign as it falls right in the middle of the Republican primaries which he is hoping to win.

The start date is a blow to Donald Trump’s campaigning schedule. Moreover, during the hearing of 29 August, it appears that Trump was warned to stay away from social media as his attorneys have already made a massive mistake.

No more social media outbursts from Donald Trump

During the hearing on Monday, it was reported by CNN that Judge Chutkan was running ‘a tight ship.’ Indeed, while the trial hasn’t even started, things got heated in the courtroom between opposing sides.

More than once did Judge Chutkan have to ask Trump’s attorney John Lauro to ‘take the temperature down.’ It appears that Lauro was making ‘many assertions against prosecutors’ and accused the prosecution of running a ‘show trial.’

However, this kind of statement, made in passing or not, is something that both prosecutors and the judge will keep a close eye on. CNN outlined that Donald Trump and his team will be monitored and that what they say outside of court will be noted.

Prosecutor Molly Gaston said:

We are not starting fresh from indictment in this case

While in her closing statement, Judge Chutkan subtly warned that she will be:

watching carefully for anything that might affect that jury pool or poison that jury pool

This doesn’t mean that Donald Trump or his team cannot continue to make public comments on the trial as they have already been doing but that these will be taken into consideration and reviewed carefully.

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Donald Trump’s team has already made a huge mistake

During the hearing of 29 August, Trump’s attorney tried to argue that the date for the beginning of the trial was ‘unfair’. However his statement isn't based on the March 2024 date. In the statement made in court, Lauro refers to preliminary talks concerning the beginning of the trial. Trump's attorney wanted an April 2024 start date while the prosecution wanted the trial to start in January 2024. Lauro called the prosecution's desire for an early date 'is not only absurd, but it’s a violation of their oath to do justice.'

However, many believe that the March date is more than fair and Judge Chutkan had to remind Trump’s attorney that his client had ‘known about the government’s investigation for nearly a year.’

But this wasn’t the biggest mistake Trump’s attorney made. Talking to CNN after the hearing, former judge LaDoris Hazzard Cordell highlighted the fact that Lauro mentioned Powell vs Alabama as a point of comparison.

The Powell vs Alabama, also known as the trial of the Scottsboro Boys in 1931, is the case of two young African Americans trialed after being accused of raping two white women.

On that Judge LaDoris Hazzard Cordell said:

What the Trump team did was say that well what happened in that trial is what could happen here.

The former judge called this try to set precedent ‘absolutely absurd.’ Indeed, the Scottsboro Boys were ‘indicted and were in trial 6 days’ after the accusations were made. Moreover, the two boys never had the opportunity to choose their own attorney. Hazzard Cordell then finishes by pointing out that the 1931 trial of the Scottsboro Boys couldn’t be more different than Trump’s.

The former president now has 7 months to prepare his trial with a team of experienced lawyers.

Read more:

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Sources:

CNN: Retired judge explains the 'stunningly stupid' moment from Trump's team

CNN: Takeaways from a busy and significant day in the Donald Trump criminal cases

Donald Trump receives another warning from legal expert as he destroys his own defence Donald Trump receives another warning from legal expert as he destroys his own defence