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Trump legal brief: Eastman turns himself in as Trump's own booking looms

“Trump legal brief” provides succinct daily updates on the criminal cases against the 45th president of the United States.

Photo illustration showing the lawyer John Eastman's image on top of an official ballot.
John Eastman. (Photo illustration: Yahoo News; photos: David Swanson/Bloomberg via Getty Images, Getty Images)

Georgia election interference

Trump’s Georgia co-defendants begin turning themselves in for booking

Key players: Lawyer John Eastman, Georgia bail bondsman Scott Hall

  • Two of the 19 people charged with crimes stemming from former President Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election results in Georgia turned themselves in for arrest and booking at Atlanta’s Fulton County Jail on Tuesday, CBS News reported.

  • Lawyer John Eastman, who has been charged with violating Georgia’s RICO Act, filing false documents, conspiracy to commit forgery in the first degree and other crimes, is alleged to have helped implement a plan whereby fake electors in battleground states presented an alternate slate for the Electoral College that would have handed the election to Trump. Eastman’s bond had been set at $100,000.

  • Georgia bondsman Scott Hall, who faces seven criminal counts, is under scrutiny for his handling of voting machines. His bond was set at $10,000.

Why it matters: Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis has given the defendants in the case until Friday to turn themselves in. Eastman and Hall were the first to do so.

Trump’s Georgia booking on Thursday could be different from the ones before it

Key player: Fulton County Sheriff Pat Labat

  • When Trump turns himself in for booking in Atlanta on Thursday, his arrest could prove different from the three others preceding it. The biggest difference would be that the former president may be obliged to pose for a mug shot, an indignity he was spared at the courthouses in New York, Miami and Washington, D.C.

  • "Unless somebody tells me differently, we are following our normal practices, and so it doesn't matter your status, we'll have a mug shot ready for you," Fulton County Sheriff Pat Labat told local reporters, Fox News reported.

  • Georgia also favors courtroom transparency, and, unlike the federal cases being brought against Trump, the trial in Fulton County could be broadcast live.

Why it matters: Trump and his supporters often express the belief that he is being targeted because he is the frontrunner for the Republican nomination, and keeping the booking and courtroom procedures hidden from the public would help bolster that view.

Jan. 6 election interference

Justice Department responds to Trump on Jan. 6 trial start date

Key players: Special counsel Jack Smith, prosecutor Molly Gaston, U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan

  • Responding to a motion from Trump’s legal team to delay the start of the Jan. 6 election interference case until April 2026, due to the volume of evidence it would need to review in order to prepare for trial, the Justice Department said no delay was warranted, USA Today reported.

  • "In service of a proposed trial date in 2026 that would deny the public its right to a speedy trial, the defendant cites inapposite statistics and cases, overstates the amount of new and non-duplicative discovery, and exaggerates the challenge of reviewing it effectively," Molly Gaston, a prosecutor on Smith's team, wrote in the filing.

Why it matters: Pushing the start of the trial to after the presidential election could enable Trump, if he wins in 2024, the chance to try to pardon himself for any federal crimes he is found guilty of having committed. Judge Chutkan has said she will decide when the trial will begin, on or before a scheduled hearing on Aug. 28, the New York Daily News reported.

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Sept. 6 legal brief

A second former Trump administration official goes to trial on contempt of Congress charges, the 14th Amendment drumbeat grows louder, and co-defendants in the Georgia election interference and classified documents cases begin turning against the former president.

Jan. 6 election interference

Navarro trial begins on contempt of Congress charges

Key players: Former Trump economic adviser Peter Navarro, U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta, former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, special counsel Jack Smith

  • On Tuesday, Navarro’s trial got underway in Washington on charges that he defied a congressional subpoena issued by the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol. Navarro has pleaded not guilty, saying his communications with then-President Donald Trump were protected by executive privilege, CNN reported.

  • If found guilty on the two counts he is charged with, Navarro could face up to two years in prison and a fine of up to $200,000.

  • Navarro is the second former Trump official to be charged for refusing to comply with a select committee subpoena. Last year, former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon was found guilty of two counts of criminal contempt. He is appealing the decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals.

  • Mehta, the judge handling Navarro’s case, said he believes the trial will be brief, perhaps only a single day.

Why it matters: In his 2021 book, In Trump Time, Navarro boasted of his plan to delay the certification of the 2020 election, USA Today reported, and he later said in an interview that “Trump was on board” with it. Those comments could factor into Smith’s case against the former president.