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A federal judge has agreed to put a hold on former President Trump’s election interference case while his appeal is in progress. This decision effectively pauses any further proceedings that would advance the case towards trial.

Judge Tanya Chutkan’s decision to stay the case came after Trump appealed her earlier order that denied his motion to dismiss the January 6 case. In his appeal, Trump argues for dismissal based on presidential immunity and constitutional grounds, including the First Amendment. The delay in proceedings may impact the scheduled trial date of March 4, a move prosecutors say is an attempt by Trump to postpone the case, possibly beyond the 2024 election.

Trump’s campaign hailed the pause as a victory, stating, “This is a big win for President Trump and our rule of law, as it derails Deranged Jack Smith’s rush to judgment strategy of interfering in the 2024 Presidential Election in support of Joe Biden’s campaign.”

In response, Special Counsel Jack Smith appealed to the DC Circuit Court of Appeals and, subsequently, to the Supreme Court, seeking a ruling on Trump’s immunity claim. The Supreme Court agreed to expedite the case, setting a December 20 deadline for Trump’s response.

Despite the stay, Chutkan’s ruling does not affect a gag order in the case or Trump’s release conditions, which include not contacting witnesses or attempting to intimidate them. Although the appeals process might introduce significant delays, the appeals court has agreed to expedite the case. Chutkan acknowledged the potential need to reschedule the trial, stating, “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 had previously dismissed Trump’s argument of retaining presidential immunity, noting, “Whatever immunities a sitting President may enjoy, the United States has only one Chief Executive at a time, and that position does not confer a lifelong ‘get-out-of-jail-free’ pass. Former Presidents enjoy no special conditions on their federal criminal liability.”


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