Dec 7, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Trump seeks pause on proceedings in 2020 election interference case

Former U.S. President Donald Trump sits at the defense table while waiting for proceedings to begin in his civil business fraud trial in New York State Supreme Court on December 7, 2023 in New York City.

Former President Trump sits at the defense table during his civil fraud trial in New York State Supreme Court on Dec. 7 in New York City. Photo: Eduardo Munoz Alvarez-Pool/Getty Images

Former President Trump filed a motion on Thursday seeking to pause proceedings in his federal 2020 election interference case.

Why it matters: The request for a stay — and subsequent court battles over the appeal — could delay the former president's trial, currently set to begin in March, over his alleged 2020 election interference.

Driving the news: Trump's team argued in the Thursday motion for an "automatic stay of all district court proceedings."

  • "Concerns regarding judicial resources and costs from continued litigation during the pendency of the appeal—including financial, reputational, and political costs to President Trump and this country—are significant," his legal team wrote.

The big picture: The former president has argued that presidential immunity shields him from prosecution for actions that were performed in the "outer perimeter" of his official duties, as a basis for the case to be dismissed.

  • U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan rejected that argument, writing in a filing last week: "Whatever immunities a sitting president may enjoy, the United States has only one chief executive at a time, and that position does not confer a lifelong 'get-out-of-jail-free' pass."

What to watch: Trump's team indicated Thursday that it plans to seek a stay from the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals if Chutkan does not grant one.

  • "As a result of these authorities, all current deadlines must be held in abeyance until, at minimum, this motion is resolved," Trump's team wrote.

Go deeper: Court dates disrupt his campaign calendar

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