Judge pauses Trump election interference case in order that could delay March trial

Donald Trump and Judge Chutkan

Former President Donald Trump and Judge Tanya ChutkanReuters, APCNN — 

The federal judge overseeing Donald Trump’s 2020 election interference case has temporarily paused all procedural deadlines while appeals over a major issue play out – which could lead to his March 2024 trial date being pushed back.

The order from Judge Tanya Chutkan acknowledged that she no longer has jurisdiction over aspects of the criminal case while the DC Circuit Court of Appeals considers whether Trump is immune and can be tried. In a bid to speed that appeals process, special counsel Jack Smith has asked the Supreme Court to step in.

Special counsel Jack Smith and former President Donald Trump

Special counsel goes directly to Supreme Court to resolve whether Trump has immunity from prosecution

Chutkan said in her order that the trial date of March 4, 2024, could be affected, and that she would reconsider that date when the appeals process has concluded.

Chutkan, however, said that the pause does not bar her from enforcing measures she has already imposed to “safeguard the integrity of these proceedings,” including the limited gag order against Trump and his conditions of release.

“(I)f a criminal defendant could bypass those critical safeguards merely by asserting immunity and then appealing its denial, then during the appeal’s pendency, the defendant could irreparably harm any future proceedings and their participants,” she wrote.

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Earlier this week, Smith asked the US Supreme Court to take the rare step of skipping over the federal appeals court to quickly decide fundamental issues to the Trump case – whether the former president has immunity from criminal prosecution for alleged crimes he committed while in office, and whether Trump is protected by double jeopardy because he was acquitted by the Senate during his impeachment trial.

Prosecutors simultaneously asked the DC Circuit to expedite its review of the immunity matter, so that the case can be quickly appealed to the high court under the https://cekikikan.com regular appeals process if the justices don’t agree to immediately hear the case.

Defense attorneys have pushed back against an expedited appeals process, saying that prosecutors are trying to disrupt their holiday travel plans and to “disenfranchise” voters in 2024.

This story has been updated with additional details.

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