Judge postpones Trump’s trial in DC elections until appeal

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Former US President Donald Trump speaks to supporters, as he leaves for his second civil trial after Jane Carroll accused Trump of raping her decades ago, outside Trump Tower in Manhattan, New York City, US, January 26, 2024.

Eduardo Munoz | Reuters

A judge on Friday indefinitely postponed former President Donald Trump’s criminal trial over election interference, which was scheduled to begin March 4 in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C.

The postponement comes as a result of a pending appeal from Trump challenging the Justice Department’s right to charge him in the case, where he is accused of illegally trying to overturn his 2020 election loss to President Joe Biden.

Trump says he has presidential immunity from prosecution because the alleged crimes relate to actions he took while in the White House.

This appeal has not yet been decided by the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

Trump will almost certainly ask the Supreme Court to hear his appeal if the circuit court rules against him, as will special counsel Jack Smith if the appeals court rules against that attorney general.

If the Supreme Court accepts an appeal on the issue, it could take longer than March 4 to decide how to rule.

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Judge Tanya Chutkan’s decision to postpone Trump’s trial in Washington may pave the way for his trial starting in late March in another criminal case in New York.

He is accused in a Manhattan Supreme Court case of falsifying business records related to a hush money payment that his then-personal attorney, Michael Cohen, made to adult film star Stormy Daniels before the 2016 election.

Trump, the front-runner to win the Republican presidential nomination, is charged separately in two other criminal cases.

Smith charged him in Florida federal court with crimes related to maintaining secret government records after leaving office, and obstructing officials’ efforts to recover those records.

He is also charged in Atlanta state court with conspiracy for his efforts to undo his 2020 election loss to Biden in Georgia.

Trump has pleaded not guilty in all of his criminal cases.

This article originally appeared on www.cnbc.com

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