A US federal judge postpones Trump’s trial on charges of conspiring to overturn the 2020 election
A US federal judge in Washington formally postponed Donald Trump’s trial in March on charges of conspiring to overturn the 2020 election, as the former president’s main legal appeal continues its way through the courts.
U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan on Friday vacated a scheduled March 4 trial date in the case brought by Justice Department Special Counsel Jack Smith, but did not immediately set a new date.
The move creates an opportunity for a separate case in New York, accusing Trump in connection with a secret payment to a porn actor, to move forward first.
The postponement comes at a time when the Federal Court of Appeals has not yet decided the pending appeal from Trump, arguing that he enjoys immunity from prosecution due to the actions he took in the White House.
It’s not clear when the three-judge panel might rule, but Trump’s team is expected to appeal the ruling in favor of prosecutors that allows the case to move forward, which would likely lead to additional delays.
For both sides, timing is of the essence.
Trump, who faces four indictments and 91 felony charges, is looking to postpone his criminal cases as he enjoys front-runner status in the race for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.
Meanwhile, Smith’s team hopes to be able to prosecute Trump this year before the November election.
Washington’s case was expected to be heard first, but was delayed for weeks due to Trump’s appeal of immunity grounds.
The Court of Appeal heard arguments on January 9, and although it said it intends to act quickly, it has not yet issued a ruling.