District Judge Tanya Chutkan has halted former President Donald Trump’s 2020 election trial schedule while his presidential immunity claim is being appealed.
Chutkan denied Trump’s request to have his case dismissed based on presidential immunity in early December, prompting Trump to file an appeal with the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Chutkan agreed on Wednesday to postpone pre-trial deadlines and further proceedings pending the outcome of the appeals court.
“[T]he court agrees with both parties that Defendant’s appeal automatically stays any further proceedings that would move this case towards trial or impose additional burdens of litigation on Defendant,” Chutkan wrote Wednesday.
Special Counsel Jack Smith has asked the Supreme Court to hear the case on Monday before the D.C. Circuit rules.
The Supreme Court agreed to expedite its review of his petition, asking Trump’s lawyers to respond by December 20.
Chutkan said that once the appeal is resolved, she will reconsider whether to keep the March 4 trial date.
She emphasized that the pause does not deprive her of the authority to “enforce the measures it has already imposed to safeguard the integrity of these proceedings,” including the gag order imposed on the former president.
“If jurisdiction is returned to this court, it will—consistent with its duty to ensure both a speedy trial and fairness for all parties—consider at that time whether to retain or continue the dates of any still-future deadlines and proceedings, including the trial scheduled for March 4, 2024,” Chutkan wrote.
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