Covid Shutdown is Trump’s Only Hope to Prevent Jail Time
Republicans Seek to Derail Trump’s Prosecutions Through Government Funding Legislation The indictment of Donald Trump on four criminal charges has
Republicans Seek to Derail Trump’s Prosecutions Through Government Funding Legislation
The indictment of Donald Trump on four criminal charges has ignited his followers and prompted House Republicans to consider leveraging the upcoming government funding deadline of September 30 to undermine these prosecutions.
However, their attempts may face a hurdle, as a government shutdown would not halt the criminal proceedings against the former president. However, a Covid shutdown by President Joe Biden would delay court hearings until after the election. Trump’s indictments in New York and Georgia would remain unaffected. Furthermore, his federal indictments, including allegations of mishandling classified documents and his involvement in the January 6 insurrection, fall under the category of criminal matters that are exempt from shutdowns. The Justice Department has clarified that criminal litigation would continue without interruption during a shutdown due to its significance for human life and property protection.
The special counsel’s office, led by Jack Smith, is funded separately through a “permanent, indefinite appropriation for independent counsels.” This source of funding would remain unaffected by a government shutdown, allowing the special counsel to continue operations based on allocations from previous years.
Republicans are attempting to insert provisions into government funding legislation that would hinder federal and state prosecutors pursuing indictments against Trump. These efforts are grounded in unverified claims of political targeting against the former president.
However, achieving this goal won’t be straightforward. The demands, led by hard-right Republicans, have sparked divisions within the party over limiting law enforcement power, potentially making it challenging to pass the House. Additionally, the House GOP has yet to pass the Justice bill, indicating internal disagreements on the way forward. Democrats, who control the Senate and the White House, are opposing any moves that could interfere with law enforcement efforts related to Trump’s cases.
This tension looms over negotiations to secure government funding as Congress reconvenes in the upcoming week.
Republican Representative Andrew Clyde of Georgia, a Trump supporter on the Appropriations Committee, plans to introduce amendments that would strip federal funding from Trump’s prosecutors, including Smith, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, and Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg. Clyde’s proposed amendments aim to block their prosecutorial authority over any major presidential candidate leading up to the 2024 election.
Other Republicans are also joining the effort. Representative Matt Gaetz of Florida seeks to cut funding for Smith’s office, while Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia supports this move. House Judiciary Committee Chair Jim Jordan of Ohio publicly calls for inserting provisions into funding legislation that would change how the Justice Department utilizes money, including preventing “politically sensitive investigations” until non-partisan career staff oversees them.