Smith's case against Trump is put on hold - indefinitely

 February 3, 2024

One of the criminal cases that special counsel Jack Smith has brought against former President Donald Trump has been put on hold, indefinitely. 

Fox News reports, "Washington, D.C., federal Judge Tanya Chutkan on Friday formally vacated the March 4 trial date, saying the court will 'set a new schedule if and when the mandate is returned.'"

The is regarding the case that Smith has brought against Trump in Washington, D.C., alleging that Trump committed various crimes following the 2020 presidential election, when he attempted to challenge the election's results.

Trump has pled "not guilty" to the charges, and the former president maintains that Smith is essentially running election interference for President Joe Biden, given the fact that Trump is expected to be Biden's challenger in the 2024 presidential election.

What's going on?

Trump claims that the doctrine of presidential immunity protects him from the claims that Smith has brought against him.

For those unfamiliar with the doctrine, it essentially immunizes the president from prosecution for certain actions that he took while in office. The doctrine is far from fleshed out.

Trump's presidential immunity claim is currently being considered by an appellate court, and, in the meantime, the proceedings at the district court - before Chutkan - have been put on hold.

Chutkan, in the order that she released on Friday, made it clear that Trump's trial will not start on time.

This could be a big blow to Smith and the Democrats' effort to stop Trump.

Looking ahead

Fox reports that this particular trial was set to begin on March 4.

Per the outlet:

The trial was set to begin on March 4 — a day before the critical Super Tuesday primary contests, when Alabama, Alaska, American Samoa, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Vermont vote to select a GOP nominee.

Smith has not attempted to hide the fact that he is trying to get a criminal conviction of Trump before the 2024 presidential election. The March 4 trial date proves this.

Now, there is no real telling when the case could begin. The appellate court has not given any indication about when it will issue its ruling in the case. And, on top of this, it is extremely likely that, no matter what the appellate court decides, the issue is going to be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Accordingly, there is a very real possibility, now, that this trial will not take place until after the 2024 general election. The Washington Times reports, "The delay makes it likelier that Mr. Trump‘s first brush with a criminal trial this year will be in New York," which legal experts claim is the weakest case Trump is facing.

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