What’s next in SSAT’s legal travails

Serial sex abuser Donald Trump (SSAT) was arraigned yesterday in Miami and pleaded not guilty on all counts. His valet Waltine Nauta was present but did not have a local attorney and so did not enter a plea and will do so June 27. While SSAT sat and scowled during the proceedings, Nauta apparently looked confused. No tentative date was set for SSAT’s trial, maybe because his codefendant Nauta could not enter a plea.

In federal criminal cases, the defendant has a right to a speedy trial within 70 days of entering a plea. But the defendant can waive that right and the trial can be much later. It is expected that SSAT and his lawyers will try and drag this out as long as they can with all manner of procedural motions so that it does not occur before the elections. If SSAT wins the presidency, he can order the justice department to drop the case and even pardon himself. This would be an incredible misuse of presidential power but when has that stopped SSAT? While his devoted supporters keep saying that the justice department has been weaponized against him and that what is happening to him is making the US look like a banana republic, it has always been the case that SSAT is the one who had made a mockery of many of the institutions that constitute a functioning democracy.

SSAT must have been disappointed the turnout of supporters was so small and they seemed to be mostly from the Miami area. He had called upon them to turn up in large numbers as a show of support and must have expected thousands but it may be that many are either weary of this never-ending soap opera or are gun shy after the events of January 6th and nervous about things getting out of hand and them ending up in jail like so many of those who took part in the riot that day.

When this case does go to trial, SSAT’s is not required to be in court during the entirety of the trial. But in the case against him filed by E. Jean Carroll, he did not show up at all and that may have hurt him with the jury, so he may decide to show up at least occasionally. His lawyers will very likely tell him not to take the stand in his own defense because An experienced prosecutor could make someone like SSAT look very bad under cross-examination. Furthermore he would be a very undisciplined witness and ignore his lawyer’s instructions and could risk censure by the judge for outbursts or for blustering and filibustering about irrelevancies the way he does in interviews and debates. There are fairly strict rules about what you can say and your behavior in court and SSAT will like contravene them.

If he is tried and convicted, then the next phase will be sentencing. There are no minimum sentences for any of the offenses but there are guidelines for judges to calculate what is deserved. I am not sure what the prosecution will ask for. but they are likely to go high. Usually the sentence can be reduced if the defendant shows remorse and contrition but in SSAT’s case, we can rule that out right from the start.

Meanwhile, Georgia Fulton County district attorney in Alabama Fani Willis is weighing indictments against SSAT for attempting to overturn the 2020 election results there, special prosecutor Jack Smith is weighing indicting him for his role in the January 6th riots, and New York attorney general Letitia James is investigating civil fraud charges against him, his three oldest children, his company, and others.

Meanwhile, largely unnoticed in yesterday’s media circus in Miami, in Manhattan the judge accepted E. Jean Carroll’s case amended plea for punitive damages against SSAT for him defaming her again the very next day after the jury found him guilty of defaming her. He did this at the CNN town hall where he called Carroll’s account “fake” and labeled her a “whack job”. This lawsuit is in addition to her earlier lawsuit against SSAT which was suspended during the time he was president and is still pending trial.

SSAT is apparently having trouble finding lawyers to defend him. This partly because he makes a terrible client, partly because he tends to try to avoid paying them, partly because prestigious law firms worry about reputational damage by taking him on as a client, and partly because lawyers who works for SSAT run the real risk of being disbarred for doing illegal or unethical things.


  1. ockhamsshavingbrush says

    Regarding the point of having trouble finding laywers…..there’s another interesting twist here. Those lawyers representing him in the Mar-a-Lardo case will have to have clearance for TS/SCI documents if they want to represent Mangolini. Sooooo..he has to find a laywer willing to represent him (there go 99.5% of all sane and competent members of the bar) for the publicity (so there go 90% of the rest) ’cause they shure as hell won’t get paid.

    So that leaves only those with -- let’s say -- questionable moral standards. In a Venn diagram the overlap between those wanting to represent him for shits n’ giggles and the ones getting the clearance is pretty much zero.

    The real problem is that the judge presiding over this case is none other than EiIeen Canon. So I can envision her tossing out all motions and evidence of the DA and grant every notion by the little punk ass bitch. So they can drag this on for basically all eternity.

  2. sonofrojblake says

    A positive step -- he had to turn up, sit down and shut the fuck up. And he actually did! That’s the real surprise.

    Now cue 16 months of manufactured delays.

  3. Tethys says

    Judging by Jack Smiths indictment, he will be getting tried within 70 days. Obviously he had a lawyer present in court, so reports of his lack of legal representation can be ignored.

    There are some stipulations by the DOJ that makes me think that Jack Smith has laid a cunning trap for Loose Cannon. Any attempt by her to dismiss, delay, or obstruct is going to result in more censure, and an immediate appeal and change in court venue.

    She should recuse herself if she has any common sense whatsoever.

  4. John Morales says

    “Serial sex abuser Donald Trump (SSAT)”

    Should that not be SSADT? Either that, or Serial sex abuser Trump.

    Me, I kinda like the slow grind of the justice system, in this case.

    The creeping doom.

  5. Holms says

    Another welcome development: Boris found guilty of deception and contempt of Parliament. The report recommended 90 days suspension from Parliament, however this was rendered moot by Boris resigning.

  6. jenorafeuer says

    In terms of getting lawyers, it was pointed out on another site that there’s an interesting stipulation in the contract for Trump’s current lawyer, Christopher M. Kise:


    (All-caps in original)
    Given Trump’s constant willingness to not pay people, and the court’s obvious unwillingness to have to deal with unnecessary delays caused by having to get a new legal team up to speed again, one can see a reason for the court insisting on this. (Also, the lawyer already got paid out of a Trump PAC, which is its own other set of questionable ethics, but he did at least get paid.)

  7. sonofrojblake says

    @Tethys, 3:

    Judging by Jack Smiths indictment, he will be getting tried within 70 days

    On what basis do you say this? (Note: not a trick question, I’m sincerely interested how you come to this conclusion, am assuming you know something I don’t (easy enough) and hope you’re right.)

    Please elaborate on that, and “some stipulations by the DOJ”.

  8. Tethys says

    @ 8

    The law is clear that the DOJ has 70 days to try the case, and the indictment has provided such strong evidence that the defense has very few legal means of delaying his right to a speedy trial.
    Cannon has issued an order that accepts the plea of the defendant and directs his lawyers to get their Security Clearances in process TODAY.

    From CBS news:

    In a Thursday order, Cannon gave “all attorneys of record and forthcoming attorneys of record” a Friday deadline for getting in touch with the Justice Department’s litigation security group so that they can expedite “the necessary clearance process.”

    Her previous attempt to invent laws about Special Masters was laughed out of the 11th circuit on appeal, and provides the DOJ with strong evidence that her impartiality is highly questionable. If the DOJ ends up having to appeal due to Cannon issuing more nonsense orders, it goes to the 11th Circuit, and the previous ruling becomes precedent for the DOJ.

    Jack Smith seems to have anticipated, and preemptively blocked Cannon from doing anything other than following the rule of law, by the book. The law on recusal is clear, but stupidly leaves it to the judge’s discretion. Her options are to conduct the trial according to the law, or recuse herself. I’m sure the 11th circuit has made it plain that they will not be publicly embarrassed by any further nonsense from her.

    The stipulations are within the indictment, and are written in dense legalese. Basically any attempt by Cannon to dismiss would automatically go to appeal at the 11th Circuit.
    Any ruling with even a hint of prejudice would be very bad for Cannon’s career.

    The DOJ could also file a writ of Mandamus, though that is a rare circumstance.

    From wiki:

    Mandamus (/mænˈdeɪməs/; lit. ”we command”) is a judicial remedy in the form of an order from a court to any government, subordinate court, corporation, or public authority, to do (or forbear from doing) some specific act which that body is obliged under law to do (or refrain from doing), and which is in the nature of public duty, and in certain cases one of a statutory duty.

    I find it curious that there has been so little media attention being given to the still missing records which are apparently being stored in Bedminster NJ.

    Perhaps it’s Jack Smiths plan C, if Cannon tries to dismiss the Miami case?

  9. sonofrojblake says

    Thanks for that summary, very informative. I do hope it works.

    More questions, if you know the answers and don’t mind answering:
    -- when he’s tried, is he required to attend?
    -- can it/will be televised?

    I think if it’s televised it’ll be too much for him -- the thought of a TV audience tuning in to watch but seeing him have to sit quietly while other people talk… is he even capable of that? I mean, I know he’s done it at the recent hearing, but for an extended period? If I liked popcorn, I’d be stocking up…

  10. Tethys says

    There are parts of a felony criminal trial that do require him to be physically present in court, but I am not sure if he is required to attend the entire proceedings, or if virtual teleconference will be allowed. He has the right to attend, and there are ways he could waive those rights, but it is up to the judge whether they will accept such a waiver or whether teleconference will be allowed.

    Same for media presence. The judge decides, and it’s not even progressed to the stage where it is known for certain if Cannon will actually be presiding over his trial. I expect that she will not, as the previous 11th circuit ruling was scathing in its assessment of her impartially.
    Statutes require the court to serve the public interest in equal application of the law, and avoid any actions which would undermine public trust in the court itself. Letting her preside would seem to violate that law, but it’s Florida, so who knows what shenanigans might happen during this years season of tfg, the (w)reckoning.

    I did not check to see if these charges are considered a “Capital Offense”, in which case he is required to attend according to this


    Rule 43 states

    A. Amendments Proposed by the Supreme Court. Rule 43 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure deals with the presence of the defendant during the proceedings against him. It presently permits a defendant to be tried in absentia only in non-capital cases where the defendant has voluntarily absented himself after the trial has begun.

    The Supreme Court amendments provide that a defendant has waived his right to be present at the trial of a capital or noncapital case in two circumstances: (1) when he voluntarily absents himself after the trial has begun; and (2) where he “engages in conduct which is such as to justify his being excluded from the courtroom.”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *