“You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you. Do you understand the rights I have just read to you? With these rights in mind, do you wish to speak to me?” (Miranda Warning – emphasis added)
The reporting I’m seeing so far today is calling into question whether Trump will actually be arraigned tomorrow as scheduled. It seem that by law he will have to have someone certified by the FL bar to represent him even for the routine process of formally presenting the indictment to the court and a defendant(s) entering a plea. However, despite Trump’s assertation late last week that Todd Blanchard (his lead lawyer up in NY) will now represent him (since he lost two fairly competent by Trump legal team standards) lawyers, and that he’d “be hiring more lawyers” – to handle the new federal indictment/case down there in FL. No biggie I thought over the weekend. He’ll hate parting with some retainers to get someone at least of Blanchard’s caliber but he’s knows he’s deep in the sh*t and he’ll cough up the dough.
It never occurred to me Trump’s stated intention to hire a new legal team to deal with this new indictment would be a new instance of him offering a new health care plan, or some other major thing “in a couple of weeks”, or “soon” which we all knew meant never. Like you I also figured he’d have some trouble hiring new lawyers, hence the thing I said about him going spastic over anyone even in the minor leagues of the profession (and he needs not just major league talent but all-stars) because seven figure retainers would be required he’d go spastic. Which of course he has. This is only one of the reasons but at the moment it’s in the front of his mind!
Two pieces of news broke earlier today. One was that several new lawyers for Trump had filed appearances with the court for this case. (If you don’t know, a lawyer filing their appearance is handing the judge’s clerk a formal document spelling out who they are, their credentials and who they represent) At the same time it was being reported at least one prominent Miami attorney turned Trump down. (Can you blame him/her?) But about an hour later I heard to my great dismay those other three who it was assumed were Trump lawyers hired for this new National Security case (again I say it’s a helluva lot more than a documents case!) turned out to NOT be Trump lawyers after all. Rather they were lawyers for a media organization. I suppose they assume there will be matters regarding what can be reported and what can’t be and they want to be able to file their own motions right away when those fights start happening.
The point though was that as things stood, Trump doesn’t have “local counsel” designated yet. That as I’ve noted creates a problem because without a local counsel filing an appearance for him on this case to represent him at the arraignment (and possibly beyond) the arraignment will have to be postponed! Trump can still be processed – getting booked with all the fingerprint and mugshot stuff and that seems to be on track. Maybe that’s why lawyers representing a media group filed appearances – so they can sue to have Trump’s mugshot released. No matter. The important part is that without local counsel there to represent him tomorrow the arraignment can’t take place!
I’m sure you noticed the Miranda Warning, and hopefully the part I highlighted. It doesn’t actually apply here, or as lawyers would put it it’s not “on-point” but I can’t help but wonder if Trump has decided to kick off the delaying crap we know is coming literally starting with delaying his arraignment. That’s why I’m suggesting he or someone he knows has decided to try and bend the Miranda decision by saying “I don’t have lawyer so I’m not ready to proceed and you can’t make me!” (with a “neener neener” tossed in for good measure. But again, going back to the Miranda Warning about not questioning a suspect without a lawyer if they invoke their rights, if they can’t afford one then one will be appointed for them.
Now, we all know even if it’s the ambulance chaser quality lawyer he can attract with no trouble at all, maybe not even having to pay a retainer upfront Trump CAN have himself local counsel for the quick process of his arraignment tomorrow. Hell, he’s got lawyers admitted to the FL bar at Mar A Lago as I’m writing this. They all haven’t quit. Just almost all the ones who are at least somewhat worth a damn.
Over the past couple of hours I’m really starting to think Trump will show up for booking, but send a note to Judge Cannon saying “Golly gee judge, I just can’t seem to find ANYONE willing to show up with me in your courtroom later for my arraignment. Can you pretty please give me ‘a couple of weeks’ to hire local counsel?” Basically try to paraphrase the words and intents of the Miranda decision?
I think we’re about to get our first proof of how Judge “Loose” Cannon is going to handle t his case. She COULD reply “You’ve got lawyers already who are certified by the FL Bar so get on the phone – I’ll give you an hour or two to get one of them here and in case you can’t or won’t I’ll have someone from the Public Defender’s Office standing by to represent you during the arraignment today.”
My friends, if that were to happen you’d hear a really strange sound. It would be hell freezing over!
The southern District of FL is one of those federal jurisdictions known as a “rocket docket’ because generally speaking judges move cases along. They don’t put up with anything close to the level of the b.s. delaying tactics Trump has gotten away with all his life. But damn if he did get Judge Cannon. Randomly assigned my a$$. You will never, never EVER convince me some computer algorithm magically pulled her name out of the computer hat.
The ONLY way I’d believe it was random is if we saw on live TV the names of each of the four judges were written in big block letters on a piece of regular copy paper, sealed up in identical envelopes from a brand new box, tumbled around for a few minutes in a drum of some sort and then some kid, a toddler was blindfolded and told to reach in and pull out ONE enveloped which would then be opened. Again, all of this in live TV on multiple networks. IF Judge Cannon’s name was the one picked, if Trump won the 25% chance I’d accept it was random. But by computer? No way. Where the hell’s the anti-Mike Lindell when you need him?
Anyway, with any other judge in that district who surely knows Trump and his ability to string things out when news broke that he doesn’t have local counsel, at least someone he’ll bring with him tomorrow they’d have sent a message. Which would be “Arraignment is a routine process that takes fifteen or twenty minutes. Maybe a half hour if there is a debate about bail. You have FL lawyers on your payroll so bring one of them, or a Public Defender will handle things for you. But you WILL show up in court and be arraigned or sit in a holding cell until you decide to have someone show up to at least handle such a simple thing for you.” (Maybe with an added “I’ve cleared my evening just in case. I’m not going anywhere until you’re arraigned and neither are you!”)
I’ve been trying to keep an eye on the news while writing this and it’s well past 4pm where I am and no word about Trump having an attorney for tomorrow.
So, if that’s how thing stand come 3pm tomorrow when the arraignment is scheduled Judge “Loose” Cannon will be forced to show her hand. As in is she going to protect Trump, or is she going to protect the rule of law?