Appeals Court to Fast Track Trump Immunity Case


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Defense attorneys argue that this is an improper rushing of proceedings.

A federal appeals court on Wednesday agreed to special prosecutor Jack Smith’s request to expedite former President Donald Trump’s appeal to dismiss his Washington, D.C., election case based on presidential immunity.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia issued an order outlining a streamlined briefing schedule and calls for oral arguments, with the date to be set later.

According to the order, President Trump’s opening brief is due by Dec. 23. The order emphasized that issues and arguments should be raised in the opening brief, discouraging new points in the reply brief for consideration.

“The court ordinarily will not consider issues and arguments raised for the first time in the reply brief,” reads the order (pdf).

This decision follows statements by the attorneys representing President Trump, accusing the special counsel’s office of election interference in a recent appeals court filing after Mr. Smith requested to expedite the appeal so that the case can go to trial on March 4, 2024. March 4 is Super Tuesday, the U.S. presidential primary election day.

“The prosecution has one goal in this case: To unlawfully attempt to try, convict, and sentence President Trump before an election in which he is likely to defeat President Biden,” the defense attorneys wrote.

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“This represents a blatant attempt to interfere with the 2024 presidential election and to disenfranchise the tens of millions of voters who support President Trump’s candidacy.”

In response, prosecutors swiftly filed a court document asserting that President Trump’s legal team failed to present any valid reasons for the appeals court not to proceed on an expedited schedule. They argued that further delays in the case would “entail serious costs to the judicial system.”

This week, prosecutors already asked three separate courts to affirm a March 4 trial date. Prosecutors are arguing that it’s in the interest of the public to settle this case quickly, as it pertains to issues “at the heart of our democracy.”

“The court 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,” she wrote. “The court hereby stays the deadlines and proceedings scheduled by its Pretrial Order.”

Judge Chutkan clarified that this would pause the pretrial deadlines, not vacate them.

This is a developing story.

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