Former President Donald Trump’s Tuesday (April 4) arraignment marked the start of a month-long trial that stretches into the 2024 campaign season.
In addition to charging Trump with three felonies, the indictment also set the stage for future legal battles: discovery, deadlines for Trump’s attempt to dismiss the charges, and a trial date.
Here’s an overview of what happens next:
After a years-long investigation, prosecutors will deliver the evidence gathered to Trump’s legal team in the coming days.
Prosecutor Becky Mangold of the District Attorney’s Major Economic Crimes said during Tuesday’s arraignment that the documents would be issued in three phases.
First, she said, prosecutors would release the grand jury stenographic transcripts and witness testimony notes to those who appeared at the secret trial within a week.
Second, which would include most of the materials, the district attorney’s office will produce other documents, including subpoena compliance information, witness documents, and other materials, which Mangold defined as “odds and ends.”
Mangold explained those documents would be produced within 65 days after the arraignment.
Finally, a potential third phase might include internal emails between the district attorney’s staff and other documents, although Mangold did not provide a timetable for their release.
Trump Will Try to Have the Case Dismissed
Following Discovery, Trump’s legal team is expected to try to dismiss the allegations, both before and after Tuesday’s arraignment; Trump’s lawyer, Joe Tacopina, publicly promised to do just that.
According to New York’s Code of Criminal Procedure, Trump has nine possible grounds for asking a judge to dismiss a case.
These grounds include claims that prosecutors failed to present legally sufficient evidence to the grand jury or that the charges were barred by the statute of limitations. One of the other possible avenues, known as the Clayton motion, would allow a former president to seek dismissal on the grounds that it is necessary for the interests of justice.
If the Dismissal Fails, the Matter Goes to Trial
If Trump’s dismissal fails, the case will go to court. After Tuesday’s arraignment, Mangold revealed that prosecutors hope to proceed with a trial in January 2024, arguing that the case should be heard as quickly as possible because of the overwhelming public interest.
Trump’s attorney, Todd Blanche, agreed that the former president wanted the case behind him, but emphasized Trump could not agree to a trial date until discovery occurred.