Washington, DC — As a crucial legal appeal from the ex-president is still pending resolution, a federal judge in Washington has rescheduled Donald Trump's March trial on allegations of attempting to annul the 2020 election.
On Friday, U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan did not immediately set a new trial date; but, she did vacate the March 4th date in the lawsuit that was brought by Justice Department special counsel Jack Smith.
With this change, a second case in New York against Trump for hush money payments to a porn performer can move forward. Given the gravity of the other three allegations against Trump—including conspiracy to undermine an election or mishandling confidential documents—that case has long been considered as one of the least legally dangerous.
The Washington postponement occurs because Trump's current appeal to a federal appeals court, in which he claims immunity from prosecution for activities taken while in office, remains unresolved.
Although the exact timing of the three-judge panel's decision is uncertain, the Trump administration is certain to appeal any decision that allows the lawsuit to proceed, which may further postpone the proceedings.
Time is crucial for all parties. Trump is attempting to delay the resolution of his criminal proceedings while he maintains his lead in the Republican presidential primary contest for 2024. He is facing four indictments and 91 felony counts
In the meanwhile, Smith's group is working toward the goal of prosecuting Trump this year, in the time leading up to the November election. The lawsuit is still pending, but if Trump is elected, he might try to get a pardon for himself and maybe even tell the Justice Department to dismiss it.
The Washington case was supposed to go first, but Trump's appeal, which he says protects him from prosecution but which Smith's team has strongly denied, has put it off for weeks. During their Jan. 9 hearing, the appeals court showed signs of being suspicious of the Trump lawyer's case. The court has promised to move swiftly, but it has yet to do so as of this writing.
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