Former Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández, on trial for drug and weapons charges in New York City, has a list of big names he wants to subpoena to testify at his trial — including former U.S. President Donald Trump.
According to the U.K. Guardian, Hernández’s lawyer has pledged to subpoena three American presidents for his trial in federal court: Trump, current President Joe Biden and former President Barack Obama.
Hernández, once an ally of the U.S. and president of the Central American country of Honduras from 2014 to January of 2022, also seeks to subpoena imprisoned Mexican drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, currently serving a life sentence in U.S. prison.
Hernández, extradited last month, pleaded not guilty at his arraignment on Tuesday.
He faces charges that include conspiracy to import cocaine and weapons possession.
Prosecutors allege he took millions from drug cartels. In return, they received protection from arrest.
His lawyer, Raymond Colón, has described Hernández as a “prisoner of war” for having been kept in solitary confinement. and has sought to subpoena an impressive list of people to testify on behalf of his client.
While Colón acknowledged getting Biden to testify may be difficult, he didn’t see the issue with getting Trump or Obama to appear in court.
“Why not? Biden may be busy running the country, but I can’t think of anything that Trump is doing that’s important and I know that Mr Obama is retired, so …” Colón said.
He also protested Hernández being kept in solitary confinement.
“We’re not asking for him to get special treatment because he’s a former head of state, but these conditions are psychologically debilitating,” Colón said.
“He’s not a terrorist,” he added. “There’s no violence in his history.”
However, Hernández is a former head of state who has found himself named in a series of drug trafficking cases brought by prosecutors in New York.
In one of those cases, a prosecutor described the former Honduran president as plotting with a trafficker to “shove the drugs right up the gringos’ noses.”
Judge Kevin Castel set a trial date of Jan. 17, 2023, although that’s merely tentative. It’s unclear what the chances of any of the major subpoenas issued by Hernández’s legal team have of coming to fruition, however.