The judge in Trump’s election case is suspending court deadlines as an appeal over presidential immunity is heard

(Andrew Harnik/Associated Press)

The judge in Trump’s election case is suspending court deadlines as an appeal over presidential immunity is heard


Dec. 13, 2023

Donald Trump’s 2020 election interference case in Washington will be stayed while the former president continues his claims that he is immune from prosecution, the judge overseeing the case ruled Wednesday.

U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan agreed to stay any further proceedings that would take this case to trial or impose additional legal burdens on the defendant. But the judge said that if the case returns to her court, she will consider at that time whether to keep or continue the dates of any future deadlines and proceedings, including the trial scheduled for March 4, 2024.

At issue is an appeal by Trump’s lawyers last week against an order from Chutkan rejecting their claims that the case should be dismissed on immunity grounds. Special counsel Jack Smith’s team has also asked the Supreme Court to answer the legally untested question.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s earlier story follows below.WASHINGTON (AP)

Lawyers for


Trump told a federal appeals court on Wednesday not to rush its investigation into whether the former president is immune from prosecution as they accused federal prosecutors of trying to rush through his 2020 election subversion case before next year’s presidential election.

The prosecution has one goal in this case: to unlawfully try, convict and convict President Trump before the election in which he is likely to defeat President Biden, defense attorneys wrote Wednesday. This represents a blatant attempt to interfere in the 2024 presidential election and disenfranchise the tens of millions of voters who support President Trump’s candidacy.

The issue is of paramount importance to both sides, as a ruling in Trump’s favor would likely derail the case and because a lengthy appeal could delay a trial well beyond its currently scheduled start date of March 4. Trump is accused of a plan to undo the 2020 treaty. election after he lost to Democrat Joe Biden, and he has denied doing anything wrong.

Special Counsel Jack

Smith, whose team has brought two federal cases against Trump in Washington and Florida, has tried to keep both on track, while Trump at one point tried to delay the proceedings and even asked for the prosecution to be postponed in Washington couples until 2026.

A separate potential problem for prosecutors arose Wednesday when the Supreme Court said it would review an obstruction of official proceeding charge brought by the Justice Department against more than 300 participants in the Jan. 6, 2021 riot at the U.S. Capitol . That is one of four charges Smith has filed against Trump

meaning that a Supreme Court ruling would benefit the riot suspects


A delay until after the election would clearly benefit Trump, especially because, if elected president, he would have the authority to try to order the Justice Department to dismiss the federal cases.

In telling the Washington-based federal appeals court that there was no reason to expedite the immunity question, Trump’s lawyers wrote that the “date of March 4, 2024 has no talismanic significance.

Apart from the unlawful partisan motives of the prosecution, there is no compelling reason to maintain the date, especially at the expense of President Trump and the public’s overriding interest in ensuring that these cases of extraordinary constitutional significance are appropriately decidedly, with full and thoughtful attention to everyone. relevant authorities and arguments, they wrote.

At issue is an appeal by the Trump team, filed last week, against a judge’s rejection of arguments that he was protected from prosecution for actions he took as president. Smith tried to short-circuit that process by asking the Supreme Court on Monday to take up the issue during his current term, a request he acknowledged was extraordinary but which he said was essential to moving the case forward.

Smith’s team simultaneously asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit to expedite consideration of Trump’s appeal, writing: The public has a strong interest in seeing this case go to trial in a timely manner. However, the trial cannot proceed until the suspect’s cross-appeal has been resolved.

The Trump team made clear it opposed that request, saying the case raises new, complex and sensitive questions of great importance.

Whether a President of the United States can be criminally prosecuted for his official actions as President goes to the heart of our system of separated powers and will be one of the most consequential questions ever answered by this Court, they wrote. The manifest public interest lies in the courts carefully and thoughtfully considering these weighty issues with the utmost care and diligence.

Additionally, the attorneys wrote, keeping the current schedule intact would require attorneys and support staff to work around the clock during the holidays, which would inevitably disrupt family and travel plans.

“It’s as if the special counsel is growling, his Grinch fingers drumming nervously: I have to find a way to prevent Christmas. But how?’ the lawyers wrote, referring to the fictional character created by children’s book author Dr. Seuss.

The Supreme Court has indicated it would decide quickly whether to hear the case and ordered Trump’s lawyers to respond by December. 20. The court’s short order did not indicate what it would ultimately do.

A Supreme Court case typically takes several months, from the time the justices agree to hear the case to a final decision. Smith asks the court to act with unusual, but not unprecedented, speed.

Nearly fifty years ago, the justices acted within two months of being asked to compel the president


Nixon to Turn Over Oval Office Recordings of the Watergate Scandal. The tapes were later used in the 1974 corruption prosecutions of Nixon’s former aides.

It took the Supreme Court just a few days to effectively decide the 2000 presidential election for Republican George W. Bush over Democrat Al Gore.

If the justices decline to intervene on this point, Trump’s appeal would proceed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. Smith said even a quick appellate decision may not reach the Supreme Court in time for review and final word before the courts’ traditional summer break.

Trump faces four criminal charges in four different cities. He is accused in Florida of illegally keeping classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago estate and faces a state prosecution in Georgia accusing him of subverting that state’s 2020 presidential election, and a case in New York in which he is accused of falsifying company records in Florida. in connection with a hush money payment to a porn actress.


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