He was in a really bad mood – and not so much because of the charges that could see him behind bars for the rest of his life.
Donald Trump, 77, was on trial again Thursday for his role as a would-be “coup plotter” after the 2020 election defeat. Magistrate Moxila Upadhyaya formally presented the indictment, which was prepared by Special Counsel Jack Smith, 53. And it showed up 15 minutes late at the federal courthouse in Washington. Trump commented, according to the reporter, with a murmured, “Completely unacceptable.”
Foto: WIN MCNAMEE/Getty Images via AFP
Judge saw no reason for title phrases
The magistrate then greeted the accused as “Mr. Trump”, and not – as he is used to – as “Mr. President.” It is normal practice in the USA that former presidents continue to be addressed by the former title.
But Moxila Upadhyaya apparently saw no reason for such a ceremony.
Trump was therefore “really angry”, the broadcaster CNN referred to his environment: That was the main reason he left the courthouse in a “bad mood” and “dejected”, revealed moderator Kaitlan Collins (31).
“If you follow me, I will follow you!”
Notable: On Thursday, Trump assured the court that he understood that he could influence or threaten litigants – to post on Friday on his own social network “Truth Social”: “If you follow me, I will follow you!”
US Special Counsel Jack Smith, who oversees the process, assessed this as a possible threat to witnesses and requested an injunction against Trump. He had a spokesman spread that the post was just a “political speech” and not intimidation. The ex-president had already insulted the special counsel in the past as “insane”.
Photo: SAUL LOEB/AFP
Democrats want live broadcast
It could now be even more uncomfortable for Trump: Democratic congressmen are demanding that the upcoming trial be broadcast live.
► 38 members of the House of Representatives wrote to the authority responsible for federal courts: real-time information from the courtroom is necessary “given the extraordinary national importance for our democratic institutions”, it said.
There is usually a strict ban on filming and photography in US federal courthouses. For Trump, of course, live images would be an image problem: although he likes to present himself as a victim in front of his supporters, shots as a simple accused in court should be rather uncomfortable for him.
Tough “Obama judge” leads process
After the official indictment, federal judge Tanya Chutkan (61) will lead the trial. She was chosen at random. Trump could have had bad luck here: the judge appointed by ex-President Barack Obama (62) is considered tough!
At the next hearing on August 28, she has to make the first important decision: when should the trial begin? Team Trump is procrastinating, the prosecutors are stepping up the pace. Experts are guessing next spring as the start date.
Trump has pleaded not guilty to all four counts.
Foto: action press
In general: 2024 will be a hectic year for Republican Trump when court dates collide with campaign commitments! Because there are two more processes.
► The procedure for grants to porn star Stormy Daniels (44) is scheduled to begin on March 25, 2024 – in the middle of the US primaries.
► The trial in the secret files case in Fort Pierce (US state of Florida) is scheduled to start on May 20th. By then, Trump wants to have the nomination as Republican presidential candidate in his pocket.
► The court schedule could get even tighter: In the US state of Georgia, a fourth trial against Trump is looming over allegations of electoral interference.
At the end of an overall lousy day of court, there were also delays on the drive home to Trump’s golf club in Bedminster (US state of New Jersey) on Thursday: a herd of goats blocked the access road, and Trump had to wait a while in the stopped motorcade.
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