How Hunter Biden, Jack Smith, and Trump’s legal troubles are setting the stage for 2024

On the same day, across the street, the Supreme Court said it would take up a case that could decide the fate of two of the four criminal charges against Donald Trump in the D.C. election subversion case.

That was just Wednesday in Washington.

Earlier in the week, special counsel Jack Smith asked the Supreme Court to decide a question that will determine whether his D.C. case is allowed to move forward at all.

The former vice president, the former president, the president, and the president’s son all have had separate special counsels assigned to them by the Biden Justice Department.

Trump, of course, is facing criminal trials in four separate jurisdictions around the country next year and could be a convicted felon on Election Day. He could even be in jail.

Republicans in Congress have tried to intervene in every one of those cases, arguing they’re all politically motivated, while at the same time calling for the prosecution of the president’s son.

Presidential politics is rarely uncontaminated by what’s going on in Congress, the courts, and at the Department of Justice.

But next year really will be different. 2024 will be defined by the collision of politics and the law.

The political fortunes of Joe Biden and Donald Trump will be affected by decisions made in the Supreme Court, by district judges in Washington and Florida, by local officials in Georgia and New York, by congressional inquiries, and by federal prosecutors, to an extent that is unique in the history of presidential campaigns.

So on this episode of Deep Dive, host and Playbook co-author Ryan Lizza is sorting through this swirling mess of law and politics.

To help make sense of it all, he got together with colleagues James Romoser, himself a lawyer, and also POLITICO’s legal editor; and Betsy Woodruff Swan, who’s been on the Hunter and DOJ beat.

In their conversation, Betsy and James highlight the relatively unknown figures who emerged in 2023 who are likely to have an enormous influence on 2024; they reassess the conventional wisdom that everyone may be getting wrong about the politics of the Trump trials; and they dig through everything you need to know about Hunter Biden.

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