So little time, so much repetition. Thank God for Jack Smith’s five minute breath of fresh air today while the same stuff kept getting repeated over and over again. I get it, some people are just tuning in. But when you’re on for seven hours, it gets 0ld.

One nice thing. Like so many other Garland DOJ documents and filings, this was clearly a talking indictment. It goes a whopping 49 pages, and includes photos and testimony tidbits meant to do two things, intimidate the Trump defense team with the depth of his case, and finally start to show the public what has been kept under DOJ wraps until now.

Special Counsel Smith is already widely getting kudos for taking the somewhat risky move of moving most, if not all of the documents case to southern Florida for trial. It makes sense, since the vast bulk of the criminal activity, including lying to the FBI, and moving boxes around to hide them took place in Florida. And any residual charges stemming from Trump’s unauthorized possession, storage, and removal of the documents can be brought under a separate DC indictment.

But there are still risks. First, Washington DC voted for Biden 96-4. Florida went for Trump 52-48. Smith and his team are going to have to be uber vigilant not to end up with one kamikaze juror who can hang the damn thing and force a retrial.

The second thing is Bankruptcy court magistrate Aileen Cannon. Yeah, the crazy Special Master Trumpophile that had to be slapped down by the 11th Circuit not once but twice. It is unknown by what means she magically drew the gig of supervising Trump’s arraignment on Tuesday. But according to sources, it’s also in flux.

For instance, the Miami-Dade district court isn’t like Chicago or New York. They don’t have 50-60 federal judges on the FIFO roster. There may have only been two names when the case came up, and she was on top. There is also speculation that the chief judge may already that would have Cannon handle the arraignment, and then hand the case off to another judge for hearings and trial. And even if she keeps it, the 11th circuit is on guard to slap her down again if she goes off the reservation on pre-trial rulings. And who knows? Maybe Cannon learned her lesson with back-to-back public humiliations on behalf of Trump the first time.

But Smith also has a couple of things going for him as well. The first one is the indictment itself. Smith didn’t get it in DC, he got it from 23 random Florida citizens on the grand jury who didn’t even know when they were sworn in that they’d be hearing a case about Trump. But they racked him up on 37 counts.

Which tracks with my personal experience. To me, there are two kinds of jurors, the kind willing to pee on the floor to get off of jury duty, and those hoping to go home, but willing to serve if they’re called.

The media is full of the story of the woman in the Manafort federal case in Virginia. She was a MAGA true believer. She voted for Trump, would again, and admitted post trial that when she drove to court, she remembered to leave her MAGA hat on the seat so nobody would think she was biased. And when the time came, she nailed Manafort on every count. When a juror takes an oath, it gets real. Your personal word and dignity are on the line.

The second thing Smith has going for him is the Florida federal courts themselves. Once again Trump’s legal strategy, especially since he has no sane one, is his favorite twins, obfuscate and delay. He would love nothing more than to drag out the pre-trial motions until the national conventions, putting himself into the general election season for trial.

Unfortunately for Traitor Tot, Florida is one of the worst states in the union to try that. Because like the Commonwealth of Virginia, the Florida federal courts have the vaunted rocket docket. Their judges are famously aggressive in their scheduling. Get-’em-charged, get-’em-in, get-’em-out, get-’em-locked-up is the mantra. And Trump notwithstanding, Cannon should already be steeped in that mantra.

The goal for the federal courts is for the case to go to trial within 75 days of indictment. Of course, it never works out that way, mainly due to defense pre-trial motions requesting more time to prepare for trial. Even so, the national average is 8-9 months, and the rocket docket states are even quicker than that.

Which raises the real possibility that although the indictments were unsealed months after the Manhattan DA’s hush money case, if the rocket docket does its job, Trump’s case could either be in progress, or even heard and decided before the Iowa caucuses. This is going to get interesting real quick starting on Tuesday. Strap in, here we go.

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  1. I agree Joe that Cannon is in a really different place than before. Espionage charges have led to executions of citizens and long jail time for much less than 37 felony counts. If judge Cannon wants to phuck around with Jack Smith…good phucking luck lady. There are some dogs you can chase away. Some you can pet. Some you better not phuck with or they’ll tear you apart. Jack is a junkyard dog. Best to leave him be and follow the rules like law is your religion. Watching Jack today…I’d be sh*tting my pants if he turned his laser gaze on me. Just ask judas…er…meadows. All his underwear has skid marks as I type.

  2. I heard commentary during a panel discussion on MSNBC earlier that was interesting. Air Melber (who grates on me quite often) I think was the one who noted that it turns out Smith and his team have actually been a step or two ahead of where we all thought for quite a while. It was noted a Special Grand jury had apparently been at work in FL for some time and we only just learned about it. But when Smith brought in the last witness he wanted them to hear from BOOM. They seem to have been in on everything gathered including elsewhere and we got a much more substantial indictment than we’d been anticipating. In the same way it was noted that there was going to be distress both in the DOJ and with the non-MAGA public about FL being the jurisdiction used but one part of the charges was exclusive to actions in FL and couldn’t be tried elsewhere without serious risk of being overturned on appeal or even thrown out with jeopardy attached. (There’s a pending SCOTUS case/ruling that will deal with this very type of jurisdiction issue of different parts of charges being spread across jurisdictions. And could result in a ruling that if you choose the wrong jurisdiction and get overruled on appeal the case is over due to double-jeopardy) It was finally noted Smith/DOJ knew all, more in fact than they wanted to know about Cannon as well as the uncomfortably high odds she could get the case. The prediction is that Smith is, despite our fears a step ahead and has a plan to deal with that problem. We’ll see.

    In the meantime we know beyond the arraignment she may or may not hear the actual case. A later panel discussed two awful possibilities. She could dismiss the charges, or set a trial date way the hell out that would prevent a trial before the election. The first could be appealed because without grounds she can’t just dismiss the case. So such a decision could be appealed and her appellate court has already shown they will slap her down fast and hard. At most she might get a months delay IMHO. The other option for her to help Trump is to hem and haw about how “complex” the charges are (they aren’t) and that discover will take a reallly, like really long time and golly gee they will be sooooooo busy (despite them being a so-called rocket docket) it might take forever to get around to them. So it would be “impossible”, and soooooooo unfair to Trump to go to trial until late 2024. And with the holidays coming up might as well push things into 2025! THAT would be far more difficult for prosecutors to overcome. She could get away with helping Trump that way.

    So, in general Murf you’re correct. The fly in the ointment is the re-emergence of Judge Aileen “LOOSE” Cannon.

  3. “When a juror takes an oath, it gets real. Your personal word and dignity are on the line.”

    Along with being reminded that breaking that oath can–and will–lead to some serious jail time and/or fines. “Lying under oath” (aka “perjury”) doesn’t merely apply to witnesses on the stand. (We don’t even really need to get into the religious end of swearing an oath–“So help me God”–and ITS penalties.)

  4. I was almost on a federal jury in Andrew Hanen’s court in Brownsville when the defendant decided to plea to the case at the very last minute. Not unusual with drug/money laundering trials on the border. I was ready to take my job seriously.
    On the other hand, the one time I sat on a jury for a civil trial, I was the 1 against 11 when a black woman was trying to get compensation for an injury in a Houston court in the 1980’s before an all white jury. In the jury room a couple of the older white women thought she should not get any compensation for her injuries, but changed their minds when they saw the rest of the jury was against them. If you remember from back then few small business employers offered health insurance so she was out a lot of money from the injury. Eventually with me as the lone dissenter she got some compensation, how much it covered her lawyers I am not sure. but it tainted my mind to juries at the time.
    my two cents

  5. 12 Angry Men…great movie about juries. Great chess players anticipate many moves. Jack strikes me as someone who has anticipated contingencies and has located the mines in the minefield.

  6. Y’all talk as if DOJ had a choice on the venue. They didn’t. It was dictated by federal law and the verbiage of the Espionage Act. Trying it anywhere else would have resulted in a mistrial and double jeopardy would have prevented him from ever seeing any accountability.


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