Former President Donald Trump’s attorneys accused special counsel Jack Smith Monday of “unlawfully” trying to move his 2020 election case forward after the judge paused proceedings.
District Judge Tanya Chutkan, who denied Trump’s bid to dismiss his case based on presidential immunity earlier this month, agreed to pause proceedings in his case pending the appeal of her decision to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Yet prosecutors continued to take actions Monday in accordance with the pre-trial deadlines Chutkan suspended, a move Trump’s lawyers slammed as a violation of the court’s order.
“Over the last two days, the prosecution has improperly and unlawfully attempted to advance this case by serving thousands of pages of additional discovery, as well as a purported ‘Draft Exhibit List,’” his attorneys wrote.
Prosecutors wrote in a filing Monday that their actions were taken “to help ensure that trial proceeds promptly if and when the mandate returns.”
“Such maneuvers are exactly what the Stay Order forbids, and impose a significant and prohibited burden on President Trump,” his lawyers continued. “As the Court has recognized, this case may not proceed in absentia, but rather must stop.” His lawyers wrote that neither they nor the former president would review the prosecution’s material until the court lifts its order pausing the case.
The efforts continue Smith’s pattern of attempting to speed the process along and salvage the scheduled March 4 trial date, which looks increasingly unlikely with the case on hold.
Shortly after Trump appealed Chutkan’s presidential immunity decision to the D.C. Circuit, Smith asked the Supreme Court directly to take up the question without waiting on the lower court. The Supreme Court asked Trump’s attorneys to respond to Smith’s request by Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals has scheduled oral arguments to consider Trump’s appeal for Jan. 9, 2024.
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