Federal judge adjourns hearing in Trump's DC election meddling case


Washington
CNN

WASHINGTON, D.C. – A trial date in a federal election sabotage case against former President Donald Trump has been postponed as appeals of the president's authority continue, according to a new court order in the case.

A trial date was originally set for March 4, but on January 6, 2021, the case was put on hold after a federal appeals court considered Trump's arguments that he should be immune from the case because of his role as president leading up to the attack on the United States. Capital. The Court of Appeals has yet to issue a ruling on the immunity issue.

Although U.S. District Judge Tanya Sudkan's order wasn't official until Friday, the possibility of a March trial date was less likely. In January, Trump's team complained that prosecutors were continuing to submit court filings despite the suspension of the case, and Sutgen warned Smith's team not to proceed without his permission.

The delay is a victory for the former president, who has worked repeatedly to delay the investigation until after the 2024 presidential election, but it remains unclear whether he will succeed in stopping the investigation after the November vote.

Two Trump advisers told CNN that the former president's team will continue to push for further delays, and that its main focus in the latest court order is that Sudhan has not set a new trial date.

A delay was expected by the parties and even court officials — especially as each day went by without a ruling on presidential immunity from the D.C. Circuit. The court heard the case almost a month ago and it may take several weeks to deliver a verdict. The DC Circuit's decision is likely to be appealed to the Supreme Court.

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As part of his order Friday, Sutgen said prospective jurors who were asked to appear in court next week to fill out a written questionnaire will no longer be required to do so.

“If the order is withdrawn, the court will set a new schedule,” Sutkan wrote in the order.

Trump faces four charges stemming from special counsel Jack Smith's election tampering allegations, including conspiracy to defraud the United States and obstruction of an official proceeding. The former president is innocent.

The federal case against Trump will be the first of the criminal charges he faces.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Brock is set to take Trump to trial in late March, accusing him of falsifying business records to hide payments to Stormy Daniels.

Trump's team and legal experts view the hush money case as weaker than others, advisers to the former president told CNN. The campaign feels that holding the Prague trial first will help set the stage for its main argument that the tests are purely political and designed to hurt his chances in the general election, the advisers added.

Court proceedings in his case over the handling of documents after the presidency at Mar-a-Lago now center on the use of classified evidence in the case. A hearing is scheduled for late May, but may have to be moved again because of those proceedings.

The Mar-a-Lago documents show that the judge in the case, Eileen Cannon, a Trump appointee in South Florida, left open the possibility of reconsidering the trial schedule for the March 1 hearing.

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The state-level judge presiding over Trump's 2020 election conspiracy in Georgia has yet to set a trial date.

This story has been updated with additional information.

CNN's Alayna Treene contributed to this report.

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