Former Longtime Prosecutor Blasts ‘Unprofessional’ Trump Lawyer Amid Criminal Case


John Lauro, a lawyer for former President Donald Trump, was predictably not thrilled this Monday with the decision by federal Judge Tanya Chutkan to schedule for March of next year the ex-president’s trial in his federal case alleging election interference. Trump’s team had been clamoring for a trial date in 2026 — five years after the events of January 6.

“We will certainly abide by your honor’s ruling, as we must. We will not be able to provide adequate representation,” Lauro told Chutkan, according to journalist Kyle Cheney. “The trial date will deny President Trump the opportunity to have effective assistance of counsel.” Lauro and Trump’s team had raised particular concerns about the large number of documents that would figure into the discovery process, meaning the routine period before trial in which the defense will have the opportunity to assemble information on the case potentially relevant to its eventual trial arguments.

There was a difference of opinion regarding the nature of Lauro’s remarks after Chutkan set the trial date for early next year. “Thoroughly unprofessional statement by Lauro,” Andrew Weissmann, a former member of Robert Mueller’s team on the Russia investigation, remarked. Ron Filipkowski, another former prosecutor, thought similarly. “Preemptively laying the ground work for an ineffective assistance of counsel appeal 6 months before trial based on an inability to prepare is both unethical and typical of a Trump lawyer. Another one prepared to light his reputation on fire,” Filipkowski said.

Renato Mariotti, yet another former federal prosecutor, found Lauro’s statements about the trial date to be routine — but criticized the lawyer for antagonistic remarks earlier in the proceedings, during which he claimed Special Counsel Jack Smith had gone so far as to violate an oath. “This is standard, par for the course language from a defense attorney who is facing a trial date that is much sooner than he asked for,” Mariotti said. “Anyone suggesting otherwise is trying to mislead you. Lauro’s earlier tone with the judge is *not* typical and likely a show for his client.”

Lauro also accused the federal team of seeking what would be a “show trial” if their proposal for the trial date had been put into motion. (Prosecutors were pushing for January.)