US Judge Pauses Trump 2020 Election Case While He Appeals Immunity Ruling

   A U.S. judge on Wednesday temporarily halted the federal case accusing Donald Trump of attempting to illegally overturn the results of the 2020 election. The pause comes as the former president appeals, claiming immunity from the charges. U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan stated that Trump's ongoing appeal temporarily suspends all activities that would advance the case toward trial. The trial is currently scheduled to commence in March 2024.

Donald Trump is appealing Judge Tanya Chutkan's recent ruling, where she rejected Trump's attempt to dismiss the case. Trump argued that he couldn't be prosecuted for official actions taken during his presidency. Trump spokesperson Steven Cheung called the latest decision a "big win for President Trump and our rule of law." Cheung stated that it derails Special Counsel Jack Smith's "rush to judgment strategy of interfering in the 2024 presidential election."

A spokesperson for Jack Smith declined to comment, and prosecutors have previously refuted allegations of political bias.

Both Donald Trump and Jack Smith have acknowledged that the former president cannot face trial while his appeal is pending. However, Smith aimed to maintain certain aspects of the case, contending that the judge could proceed with specific pretrial matters.

Judge Tanya Chutkan ruled that she could enforce her previous decisions, including the gag order limiting Trump's remarks about prosecutors and witnesses, while the case is on hold. She mentioned revisiting the trial date once the appeal is resolved.

Donald Trump has entered a not guilty plea to four felony counts, accusing him of attempting to defraud the United States and obstruct Congress in efforts to overturn his loss to President Joe Biden.

Trump's appeal is seen as his best chance to delay the trial until after the November 2024 election, where he is expected to be the frontrunner against Democrat Joe Biden. His legal team alleges that Special Counsel Jack Smith is hastening the case to trial to harm Trump's campaign.

Smith has petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to bypass a federal appeals court and promptly rule on the immunity claim, an uncommon move intended to counter Trump's efforts to prolong the case.