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Cami Mondeaux, Congressional Reporter


NextImg:Trump's trifecta: Three things former president is counting on to avoid historic criminal convictions


As Donald Trump faces at least three criminal cases while running for reelection in 2024, the former president is relying on a number of strategies to avoid severe punishments or jail time.

Trump is at the center of three criminal proceedings, and a fourth is possibly on the way — putting the former president and current GOP front-runner in a bind as he vies a return to the White House next year. The cases bring separate charges stemming from different criminal investigations into the former president, which some of his top aides and officials have reportedly conceded in private include damning evidence.

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If Trump is convicted in any of the cases, the former president may turn to unprecedented measures as an escape plan. Here are three different strategies Trump could pursue to avoid jail time:

Delay, delay, delay

At the core of the Trump defense team’s tactics is the push to delay all of the former president’s legal proceedings until after the 2024 election.

Doing so would allow Trump to focus most of his attention on the campaign trail, where the former president is currently dominating the GOP primary field — possibly setting the stage for a rematch between himself and President Joe Biden next year. If Trump were to win the election, he has suggested he would demand the Justice Department drop any pending charges against him.

Such a move would be a disruption of norms implemented after the Watergate scandal during the Nixon administration, after which the DOJ has kept its independence from the White House.

If charges have already been pressed against Trump and he wins the election, there’s also a chance he could try to pardon himself. Several other GOP candidates have suggested they would pardon Trump should they win the election instead.

Trump’s legal team is pushing for delays in all three cases based in New York, Florida, and Washington, D.C., by issuing a number of challenges that could push trial dates past the general election.

Rely on allies 

It helps to have friends in high places, and that may be an avenue Trump pursues as he navigates a slew of criminal charges.

In at least one of the cases, Trump’s charges will be overseen by Judge Aileen Cannon: a Trump appointee who has a history of ruling in the former president’s favor. Cannon is overseeing the classified documents case out of Florida, and she will have authority over whether the case proceedings will be delayed and what information can be accepted as evidence.

Weaponize political attacks 

Another tactic Trump has taken on is dismissing all charges as a political attack against his presidential campaign, accusing Democrats and the DOJ of election interference.

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In doing so, Trump is likely to push back against all charges and appeal any convictions that may come his way. If worse comes to worst, the former president could even bring his legal woes all the way to the Supreme Court, which currently holds a conservative majority thanks to the judges appointed during Trump’s term.

However, appealing criminal convictions at the Supreme Court level is a difficult process, and the likelihood of success would ultimately depend on what specific charges Trump faces.