PROMO 64 - Politician - Donald Trump at the Pentagon 2017 - Public Domain

Trump's legal calendar shows signs of stress

Donald Trump at the Pentagon 2017 - Public Domain
Brett Rowland

(The Center Square) – As former President Donald Trump fights against legal challenges across the country, his increasingly busy calendar is starting to show signs of stress.

The Republican frontrunner remains free without any travel restrictions as he campaigns for the GOP nomination to challenge President Joe Biden. Trump, 77 has pleaded not guilty to federal criminal charges in Washington D.C. and Florida. He also has pleaded not guilty to state criminal charges in Georgia and New York. 

In addition to those criminal cases, a case in Colorado could determine if his name appears on the ballot in that state. Similar ballot challenges are pending in other states. On top of that, Trump faces a civil trial in New York related to his real estate businesses. 

Trump attorney Christopher Kise for the first time this week requested permission to appear in the Florida classified documents case by phone while defending Trump in his civil case in New York. 

Kise wrote in a motion that is unable to attend the November 1 hearing in person "because he is engaged at trial in New York State Supreme Court ... another case wherein he represents ... President Trump."

Federal prosecutors did not oppose Kise's motion to attend by telephone. 

While Kise will appear by phone, co-counsel Todd Blanche plans to attend the hearing in person, according to the motion.

For months, Trump's legal team has been raising concerns about his crowded legal calendar. In the Florida classified documents case, Trump's attorneys have been asking to push back deadlines and the May 2024 trial date. 

Special counsel Jack Smith's team charged Trump in Washington D.C., with four federal counts related to contesting the 2020 election and connection to the storming of the U.S. Capitol building January 6, 2021. The charges include conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, conspiracy to defraud the United States, obstruction, and conspiracy against the right to vote and to have one’s vote counted, according to the indictment. Trump has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

In Florida, Trump pleaded not guilty in June to 37 counts that allege he kept sensitive military documents, shared them with people who didn't have security clearance, and tried to get around the government's efforts to get them back. That federal case is tentatively set to go to trial in May 2024, right in the middle of the Republican presidential primary calendar. In late July, special counsel Jack Smith filed additional charges against Trump and two other men that allege Trump ordered employees at Mar-a-Lago, his Florida residence and social club, to delete security videos while he was under investigation for retaining classified documents.

In New York, Trump pleaded not guilty in April to 34 felony counts related to charges he paid hush money to adult film star Stormy Daniels through a lawyer before the 2016 presidential election and covered it up as a legal expense before being elected president. 

In August, Trump pleaded not guilty to charges that he worked to overturn Georgia's 2020 election results. 

New York Attorney General Letitia James filed a $250 million lawsuit against the Trump organization. James filed the lawsuit against Trump, Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump and Ivanka Trump. It alleges that they used fraudulent financial statements to obtain favorable rates of insurance and business loans, and tax benefits. That trial is underway before Judge Arthur Engoron.

Trump has repeatedly said the legal cases are evidence of a witch hunt designed to keep him from returning to the White House.