The judge presiding over the case against former President Donald Trump and his alleged efforts to overturn the 2020 election acknowledged she does not have jurisdiction over the matter while it is pending before the Supreme Court, and put a pause on the case against the Republican 2024 frontrunner until the high court determines its involvement.
Special Counsel Jack Smith on Monday asked the Supreme Court to rule on whether Trump can be prosecuted on charges relating to his efforts to overturn the 2020 election results.
A federal judge ruled the case could go forward, but Trump said he would ask the federal appeals court in Washington, D.C., to reverse that outcome. Smith is attempting to bypass the appeals court — the usual next step in the process — and have the Supreme Court take up the matter directly.
Late Monday, the Supreme Court asked Trump’s lawyers to respond to the special counsel’s motion by Wednesday, Dec. 20 — two days later than Smith had requested.
Lawyers for Trump filed a motion Tuesday urging Judge Tanya Chutkan to pause proceedings against Trump in the Jan. 6 case while his appeal is pending.
Chutkan, in a filing Wednesday, said she ‘agrees with both parties that Defendant’s appeal automatically stays any further proceedings that would move this case towards trial or impose additional burdens of litigation on Defendant.’
‘Accordingly, and for clarity, the court hereby stays the deadlines and proceedings scheduled by its Pretrial Order, as amended,’ Chutkan wrote.
Chutkan added that if Trump ‘asks the court reviewing his immunity appeal to also take a temporary jurisdiction over the enforcement of those measures, and that court agrees to do so, this court of course will be bound by that decision.’
The trial was set to begin March 4, but now that start date could be delayed. Chutkan said that she would reconsider the trial date at the completion of the appeals process.
In August, Trump pleaded not guilty in federal court to all four federal charges stemming from Smith’s investigation into 2020 election interference and the Capitol riot on Jan. 6, 2021.
Trump is charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, obstruction of and attempt to obstruct an official proceeding and conspiracy against rights.
The Supreme Court’s next scheduled conference day for consideration of such matters is Jan. 5. The court’s brief order did not signal what it ultimately would do.