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Trump’s Outlaw Persona And Victim Card, Says Legal Expert On His Take On A Possible Trial

Andrew Weissmann, a former federal prosecutor and a law professor, recently offered his take on the former Trump’s indictment

Andrew Weissmann, a former federal prosecutor and a law professor, recently offered his take on the former President Donald Trump’s indictment in a recent podcast.

Trump was arraigned last week in a criminal case involving the payment of hush money in 2016.

The best outcome for the case is whatever the jury decides, whether it is acquittal or conviction, Weissmann said in the “Firing Line” podcast hosted by Margaret Hoover.

Andrew Weissmann at The National Board of Review Annual Awards Gala held at Cipriani 42nd Street on January 8, 2023, in New York City. Weissmann is a former prosecutor from the state of New York. NINA WESTERVELT/BENZINGA

“If you believe in the rule of law, it means that you’re entitled as a defendant to first a lengthy period of time after charges of fraud to prepare. You’re entitled to discovery. There’s a due process clause in this country,” he said.

While noting that Trump’s next court appearance is scheduled for December, Weissman said neither side — the New York prosecutors who are making the case against Trump or Trump’s team — was particularly interested in a speedy resolution.

“From the perspective of the Manhattan district attorney’s office, other investigative avenues could be considered between now and the former president’s next court appearance, the legal expert said. The unsealing of the indictment last week may have to do with New York’s statute of limitations, as under state law, certain charges have to be brought within a certain timeframe after the crime or crimes have occurred,” Weissman added.

When asked about the impact of a trial on Trump’s national campaign for the presidency, Weissmann noted that a request by Trump’s team to waive Trump’s next court appearance was turned down because the embattled businessman-turned-politician is involved in a criminal case, where the defendant is required to show up.

“I think that the criminal case is going to go forward in terms of first principles,” Weissmann said. “The judge presiding over Trump’s case is also going to be keen on seeing the case through to the end and having a decision from the jury one way or the other,” Weissmann added.

Former President Donald Trump attends the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) 287 mixed martial arts event at the Kaseya Center in Miami, Florida, on April 8, 2023. Trump is currently facing 34 counts of indictment for falsifying business records in New York. CHANDAN KHANNA/BENZINGA

The bigger issue is how Trump deals with being under indictment in one case — or even up to four cases, the law professor said.

One of the reasons why Trump didn’t ask for a quick trial is that he plans to run, Weissmann added. 

“He is going to run, I think, and he has run as the outlaw president. He has been very ‘counter-government’ and very much playing the victim,” he said of the former president. “So this, I think, will play into the particular narrative.” 

Trump is currently face 34 counts of falsifying business records in violation of New York in relations to Stormy Daniels by a Manhattan grand jury. The next hearing is expected to take place on December 4 in New York. The current judge, Juan Merchan, had denied Trump’s motion to not appear in the next hearing. 

Produced in association with Benzinga

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