I love it when a plan comes together. We haven’t even had the preliminary hearing yet, and already Special Counsel Jack Smith is showing that he has more courtroom strategic brains for breakfast than Judge Cannon and the entire Trump legal team have had since conception.

During Trump’s arraignment on Tuesday, Judge Aileen Cannon was noticeably absent, which means that things went smoothly, but still started media conjecture with her status in the case. But then an event in the hearing occurred that took all of the attention off of Cannon, and put it firmly on Jack Smith instead.

Towards the end of the hearing, the judge subbing for Cannon asked the lead prosecutor what kind of bond restrictions the government wanted to impose. To which the prosecutor replied, None, Your Honor. Surprised, the judge persisted, You’re not requesting a cash bail requirement? No, Your Honor. You’re not requesting that the defendant turn over his passports? No, Your Honor. You don’t want to impose any travel restrictions? No, Your Honor. You don’t want to impose any restrictions on the defendant talking to prospective witnesses? No, Your Honor.

The shocked judge went ahead and put in place an order barring Trump from communicating with any potential witnesses or his co-defendant. But it was too late, the media was already going ape sh*t. Why was Smith treating Trump like the rich brat at his birthday party? Why didn’t they hit him with the normal travel restrictions, pestering him with having to clear campaign travel through the judge? Why didn’t they at least muzzle him from trying to coerce potential witnesses on their testimony?

Oh ye of little faith. Here’s why. How often have I said it? If you take a shot at the King, it had better not miss. And today The New York Times is reporting that it’s because Smith has his eye trained solely on pulling off a head shot.

According to The Times, Smith is playing a long game, or more appropriately in this case, a short game. Trump’s defense plan is to try to obstruct and delay everything until the trial bumps up against the 2024 general election campaign. And it’s never too early to start.

Want cash bond? Trump will ask for a hearing in order to argue that with his notoriety, personal recognizance should be sufficient. A delay. Hit Trump with travel restrictions? Another hearing to complain that Trump is running for President, and clearing his travel would be an undue hardship. Bar Trump from speaking to witnesses? Another hearing on First Amendment rights. Trump is running for President, can the government claim that something he says in a campaign speech is a direct reference to a witness? Smith made the tactical decision to avoid all those hearings and delays. You’re not going to shut Trump up anyway, so let it go.

Now let’s introduce Judge Cannon into the equation. And again, I am making no judgements on her previous ruling missteps. Especially since yesterday she issued her first ruling from the bench in the trial. And that ruling was for the Trump defense to complete their Security Clearance Applications, and giving them until Tuesday to turn them in. Not some random Tuesday in September, next Tuesday. Maybe judge Cannon missed Tuesdays hearing because she was brushing up on the rules for the Rocket Docket.

But today Jack Smith pulled a move that I can only describe inspired. Smith sent a Protective Order to Judge Cannon, stating that the prosecution was now prepared to release all non classified material to the defense under the Rules of Discovery. Smith requested that Judge Cannon issue an order prohibiting the dissemination of any information in the files to the public by the defense. The stated reason for the order was the fact that there are still multiple active investigations under way, and premature disclosure could screw them up.

This is a master class in legal tactics. Normally the way it goes, the indictments are unsealed, and the arraignment is held within 48 hours. During the arraignment the judge names a date for the preliminary hearing. And at the preliminary hearing, the judge opens the discovery window. The judge asks the prosecution how much sh*t they’re dumping on the defense, and then the defense requests a time window to go through the documents. Trump is counting on expanding that window as much as possible to delay the trial.

Look, Smith isn’t just running circles around Trump’s defense team, he’s running them around Judge Cannon too. Trump’s defense team wants endless delays and hearings. Smith just deprived them of that oxygen by not giving them any reasons to ask foe hearings on Trump’s bail conditions. And now, Judge Cannon hasn’t even set the preliminary hearing date to open discovery, and Smith is already handing over all of his non classified material for the Trump team to go through. Which makes it harder for the Trump team, 6-8 weeks from now at the preliminary hearing, to ask for 4-6 months for discovery when they’ve already 90% of the stuff for 6-8 weeks.

This isn’t Jack Smith’s first ride at this rodeo. And if Judge Cannon isn’t quite sure how to run a rocket Docket, then Smith will be right there to keep her on the rails. When I mentally envision the Trump defense team, I can only see a bunch of goofs in dumpy suits, staring out at a swamp with a sign that says, Here there be tygers. Never a dull moment.

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37 COMMENTS

  1. Smith is a consummate genius, of that there’s no doubt. But he’s also going to be helped by Trump’s team not even having half a wit between them.

    He’ll be playing three games of three dimensional chess while they’re trying to work out the rules for tic-tac-toe, and the loose Cannon thinks she’s playing checkers.

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      • Good article! Try Grammarly next time. It will correct all the typos you missed when you didn’t proof read. The professionalim of journalism is lost on social media.

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        • ‘Professionalim?’ Must have missed that when you didn’t ‘proofread.’ If there was only somewhere you could go to find help with typos.

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          • LG, Alex, and James and any others concerned with grammar policing. Murph is almost blind and so we, in turn, cast a blind eye at his little typographic errors. He can sometimes get his articles proofread but the exigencies of time mean that this isn’t always possible. Please allow a little forbearance in this. The meaning and passion of his work is still clear and unclouded, unlike his vision.

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          • I know this as “Muphry’s Law”, although it is known by many names, such as Bell’s Law, Skritt’s Law, McKean’s Law, and others. Some variation of, “Any post correcting an error in another post will contain at least one error itself.”

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        • You are so right! Here at work, supervisors send out shift notes that read like a kindergarten kid wrote it, and they have all those tools available to them also. Makes them look uneducated, foolish and sloppy!

        • Good Grief , everyone is just stating their opinion, it’s just group talk , we’re not in a classroom or trying to be professionals . If it bothers you so much then don’t read it !

  2. If Trump and Cannon are hoping they can keep the sailboat from drifting with the current to get where it has to go by raising sails and steering it off-course what Smith is doing is STEALING THE WIND! Being carried only by the current will mean it will take longer than it should but the sailboat DELAY can raise sails and try to steer it off course but it won’t do any good because Smith won’t allow those sails to catch any wind.

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    • I don’t think so Denis…She just had a perfect chance to deal Trump a softie by allowing 608 weeks for the Trump legal team to just SUBMIT their security authorization applications, and she gave them until next Tuesday…Maybe Aileen learned the lesson the first time she burned her fingers on the stove…Everybody from the chief judge to the 11th Circuit has their eyes on her…

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  3. My only concern is about Trump’s talking to witnesses. There should NEVER be any “First Amendment rights” when we’re talking about a court case. Even jurors lose their “First Amendment rights” when hearing a case (judges normally instruct jurors, “You are not to discuss matters about this case with anyone outside this court/the deliberation chambers”–depending on the timing; during a case where the jury’s not sequestered, they’re warned against talking to anyone outside the court and when they are sequestered, they’re told they cannot discuss the case even among themselves outside the court and deliberation chambers). But with a defendant? Oh, no. The ONLY people with whom they should be talking–especially about the case–are their lawyers (they might be allowed some engagement with family members but typically more in the “I need your support/sympathy/comfort” vein rather than actual details of the case, even if the family members are in the courtroom, with things like “strategizing” how to discredit the witnesses or how to refute the witnesses).

    And, given Trump’s propensity to argue EVERYTHING via social media, I would’ve requested that the Court appoint someone to “oversee” Trump’s posts before he unloads in a vein similar to the “Simpsons” episode (“The Girl Code” from Season 27) where Lisa develops an app that predicts the consequences of posting a comment. Ostensibly, one of Trump’s lawyers could explain to Himself that it would be for Himself’s benefit because ANYTHING Trump might post could be used against Trump in the court (and, make Trump aware that it would be an absolute certainty that Smith and his team WILL be monitoring his every post with the sole intent of catching Trump posting something incriminating). I know that would be a longshot of keeping Trump somewhat “quiet” during the trial (or even before the trial) but a halfway good lawyer for Trump should actually be able to make the case that Trump might, at times, be his own worst enemy.

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    • The problem with appointing someone to pre-approve Trump’s social media posts at this point is that it would open up more avenues for challenges (and thus delays, which Smith seems determined to avoid). You’d have a First Amendment challenge on appointing anyone, to start with. Then you’d have a fight over whom to appoint. Then you have fights over each post that he or she disapproves. And so on. Better to wait until the first violation of the order, and then Smith can say “Look, your honor, he can’t abide by these restrictions, he’s in contempt of your court, you have to do something” and then she’s kind of stuck – she doesn’t want to look weak. Patience for the RIGHT moment to lower that boom is a lot more effective.

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      • They may be hoping Trump incriminate himself further–he’s already made several virtual confessions about various aspects of the case.

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    • The only person with the ability to get Drumpf to shut up, sit up, and act like a Good Boy™ is Ghislane Maxwell. It makes me wonder just what kind and how much damning information she has on him.

  4. Today the ball is in the hands of the super capable Smith and his team. In the coming weeks the defense will get to whack at it. Assuming a viable opponent always pays better than presuming a lesser one.
    And anything (OJ???) can happen in a jury trial.

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  5. Very informative. if all goes as you described, Jack Smith is taking the guess work out of the hands of the Judge and all she needs to do is follow along. This case is important for the Judge too. After failing before, she doesn’t want to be challenged again, her abilities are on front stage for the WORLD to see.

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  6. This is very exciting. I admit I was really pissed that he had no bond, no travel restrictions, no mugshot and no jail time but now I understand and it’s brilliant!!!!! Jack smith is onto trump in a very big way!!!! Trumps delay tactics have been a lifelong way for trump to skirt responsibility for his crimes because it’s always worked for him before. Trump probably has no idea this is going on behind the scenes!!!!!!! He has no idea Jack is onto his tactics….oh this is gonna be sooooooooo good!!!!!
    Very exciting stuff going on here. Word is Jack may file addition charges in New Jersey, and of course we have the wonderful Fani Willis indictment coming up in August!!!! Not to mention the J6 investigation…which will be HUGE and also run by Jack Smith.
    I’m so encouraged now…so relieved that Jack Smith is our side, and the side of democracy.
    Jack Smith is going to save the country…I just know it.
    There’s light at the end of this 8 year battle finally.
    Trump has taken so much from us, that it almost seemed like we were going to be stuck with him and his continuous attack on our country forever!
    For the first time in 8 years, I have hope….and it feels absolutely wonderful!
    We still can’t be complacent. Every one of us has to vote against the republicans. We have to keep our democracy, and the only way to do that is to vote for democratic candidates for the foreseeable future and until the Nazis like Gymbag Jordan, MtraitorG, Boebert, Turd Cruz, Hawley, Gommar, Gaetz, etc.
    Keep in mind that Desantes is promising he will destroy the liberals if elected, and turn the orphaned parent less children into Nazis by imposing his will upon them…ya know like Hitler did when he exterminated millions of Jews because he didn’t like them.
    These Nazis must be purged so the real republicans can get their party back.

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    • Blah blah blah and boohoo is what we are still hearing from the democrats years after Trump was elected. They really need to get over it and move on. They are wasting so much money on trying to find him guilty of something just so they can say I told you he was a criminal. If they can only get him on a littering charge, they will be happy.
      I remember the democrats were the ones who couldn’t function enough to go to work or to classes after Trump won. They even needed support animals to help them through their mental breakdown. Lol They are such sore losers that getting Trump is the only thing they focus on.

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      • Sweetie , I don’t know how old you are but you sound young and lack the knowledge of what you are saying. Trump has been a Con all his life , I’ve been reading about him for over 40 yrs. His own family had to sue him. Yes, the Democrats knew what was ahead and they and many others were concerned . Seems the people were right .

        • Same here! Over 40 years of lies and crooked deals from Trump and his father. Discriminatory housing practices, corner cutting and stiffing contractors on Trump Tower, phony university, phony foundation, being such a poor businessman he bankrupted CASINOS, goes on and on. Plus being a Russian asset, knowingly or not, by calling for us to leave NATO, and praising dictators like Putin repeatedly… And that’s just scratching the surface! If Trump were running as a Democrat, I’d be a Republican!

  7. Very slick, if the snot nose kid in the orange tinted skin tries to schedule a rant flight in his beyond maintenance schedule jet plane and overshoots or re-routes to Argentina, the sh*t will hit the fan all over the world, there will be no welcome arms ANYWHERE, the risk could come to someone shooting down that poorly painted piece of tin …

    Just schedule short duration appearances in court for signatures or compliance schedules, he should be reminded that certain countries WOULD LOVE to scramble their fighter jets to escort his hugely labeled plane into safe keeping, (OR ELSE) …

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  8. I am encouraged by this situation. however, I was also encouraged when Mueller was working on taking trump down. That was such a letdown. Perhaps I am jaded at this point in my life. I’ve seen a lot of really crappy people get away with really bad stuff for far too long.

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  9. Bullfrog Barr isn’t there to lie to the public as attorney general. He’s suddenly found religion. Nothing is guaranteed in life. Nothing. The good news is Garland knows what ‘suggestion’ means.

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  10. Jack Smith wants Donald Trump to do exactly what he is doing, talk more & tweet more, and be on TV more. So do I! Every time he talks or tweets he gains more Republican support and loses more votes to Joe Biden. (That’s a perfect math formula that is!) And he hurts himself worse legally even worse. He’s sabotaging himself politically as well legally. Keep him talking!!

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