The March 4 trial date of former President Donald Trump on charges of conspiring to overturn the results of the 2020 election has been removed from the public calendar of the federal courthouse in Washington, prompting a long-anticipated waiver of presidential immunity. He claims criminal prosecution would delay his trial while it remains on appeal.
The change did not come up in the official criminal case before U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan, who has made clear since Trump filed his appeal on Dec. 7 that all trial deadlines will be suspended until the case is challenged. On appeal, Trump is arguing that the government does not have the authority under the Constitution to bring charges against him for actions he committed while he was president, including during the Capitol attack on January 6, 2021, after the 2020 election, when He tried to stop Congress from ratifying it. Joe Biden’s election victory.
Delays in the D.C. case raise the possibility that the first of Trump’s four criminal trials could be held this spring in Manhattan on New York state business fraud charges in connection with hush money payments during the 2016 election. That trial is nominally set for March 25, but in that case the court has signaled deference to Trump’s federal election subversion case. New York Supreme Court Judge Juan Merchan has scheduled a pretrial hearing in two weeks — Feb. 15 — and is expected to decide after that whether the trial will proceed as planned.
At least as of Thursday, the March 4 hearing date had been removed from the date-searchable calendar on the public website of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. It was not immediately clear when it was removed. An internal master court trial calendar distributed as of Jan. 26 showed Trump’s hearing date, according to a federal official who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss an internal document, suggesting the change was recent. Happened in.
Chutkan also acknowledged that Trump’s March trial was botched. For example, on January 24, Chutkan scheduled a new trial for April 2, when Trump’s anticipated six to eight week trial would have been underway. On Wednesday, Chutkan set a March 18 hearing for another defendant and said, “I suspect I will not be able to stand trial in March.”
Chutkan’s next trial has been scheduled for July 2. The judge set that date for December, a sign that he believes Trump’s trial will be over by then.
While how — and when — a federal appeals court panel might rule on Trump’s appeal, it has been a subject of intense speculation among court watchers whether special counsel Jack Smith will bring Trump to trial before the November election. However, DC delay may have a more immediate effect.
A spokesman for Smith said the office had no comment, and spokespeople for Trump and the court did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Trump’s other criminal cases are in South Florida, where he is accused of mishandling and retaining classified documents after leaving the White House and obstructing government efforts to recover them from his Mar-a-Lago home, and in a state election in Georgia. Faces federal charges of obstruction. Case.
In his federal election interference case in DC, Trump is arguing that he cannot be prosecuted for trying to overturn the 2020 election results because the Senate acquitted him of inciting the 2021 Capitol attack, doubling down Impeachment was carried out only while arguing under the constitutional doctrine of jeopardy. And removed presidents can be criminally prosecuted.
A three-judge panel of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit heard oral arguments on Jan. 9 after an expedited hearing of the case, but it has not yet issued an opinion.