Donald Trump rages at the DOJ ahead of Super Tuesday

Just two days before Super Tuesday, the Republican presidential frontrunner, Donald Trump, took to his social media platform, Truth Social, to vehemently deny any claims of “election interference” by the Department of Justice (DOJ).

“We are currently in the midst of an election, with Super Tuesday approaching us very soon. According to the guidelines set by the Justice Department, they should not be prosecuting me,” Trump stated in his Sunday post.

According to the DOJ’s written policy on its website, federal prosecutors and agents are prohibited from deliberately timing any action, such as investigative steps, criminal charges, or statements, in order to influence an election or favor any candidate or political party.

The former president concluded his post with a strong message, emphasizing that this is election interference and should be stopped in the courts.

The Context:

Trump is currently facing 40 federal charges brought against him by the DOJ in June. The allegations state that he kept classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida even after his departure from the White House in January 2021. Additionally, he is accused of obstructing authorities in their efforts to retrieve these documents. Trump has entered a plea of not guilty for all charges.

During a hearing attended by Trump on Friday, Judge Aileen Cannon, who was appointed by Trump in 2020 and is overseeing the case involving classified documents, inquired about the Department of Justice’s “60-day rule” regarding actions that could influence an upcoming election. News outlets present in the courtroom reported that the DOJ responded by stating that the “60-day rule” does not apply to Trump’s ongoing trials, as he was indicted prior to launching his campaign.

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During the hearing, Jay Bratt, a senior counterintelligence supervisor at the DOJ, stated that they are fully compliant with the justice manual.

What We Know:

According to Trump, he asserts his right to keep the materials and asserts his extensive power to declassify documents while he was in office. Additionally, he believes that all the investigations conducted against him were politically motivated attempts to damage his presidential campaign.

DOJ special counsel Jack Smith is currently spearheading the prosecution of the classified documents case, as well as the federal election obstruction case against Trump. In relation to the latter, the U.S. Supreme Court has recently granted Trump the opportunity to present his argument asserting presidential immunity from prosecution.

In August, the DOJ indicted the former president as part of its investigation into the U.S. Capitol riot on January 6, 2021. The riot involved a mob of Trump supporters who, allegedly incited by his baseless claims of voter fraud, violently protested at the Capitol building in an unsuccessful attempt to prevent Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 Electoral College. Trump has pleaded not guilty in this case too.

Views:

According to legal analyst Renato Mariotti, it is highly unlikely that Cannon will be able to bring Trump’s Mar-a-Lago documents case to trial before the 2024 election.

During an interview with CNN on Saturday, the commentator expressed his belief that Judge Aileen Cannon has displayed a strong inclination to accommodate Trump’s team in the upcoming criminal trials, particularly in the case of Mar-a-Lago. He noted that it would be challenging for him to envision the judge putting pressure on Trump, especially considering the complexity brought by the classified documents involved, which could potentially allow for further delays. Realistically, he concluded that it is unlikely for the judge to compel them to proceed with the trial before the election.

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Cannon was informed by Smith’s office that the trial is scheduled to commence in July.

What’s Next?

On Super Tuesday, Trump and Nikki Haley will go head to head in a fierce competition amidst the hustle and bustle of the primary season. With over a dozen states holding races, the outcome of this pivotal day will determine the next Republican presidential nominee.

Trump’s numerous legal troubles notwithstanding, he has emerged as the undisputed frontrunner for the 2024 GOP nomination, thanks to his decisive wins in key states such as Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Nevada, and Michigan.

Haley, who served as the United Nations ambassador during the Trump administration, has responded to calls for her to withdraw from the race following her lack of success in previous primary elections, including in her home state of South Carolina. She remains determined and is now directing her campaign efforts towards Super Tuesday.

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