Former President Donald Trump’s legal team has made a bold move in the ongoing federal election subversion case, filing a motion for an “automatic stay” on court proceedings until their appeal on recent rulings by Judge Tanya Chutkan is resolved.
This development comes as Trump faces charges related to the January 6, 2021, U.S. Capitol riot as per a report by Newsweek on Thursday, December 7.
In August, the Justice Department indicted Trump on four counts, including conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, as part of Special Counsel Jack Smith’s investigation into the Capitol riot.
Despite pleading not guilty to all charges, Trump’s legal battle has intensified with recent rulings by Judge Chutkan.
Central to the legal wrangling is Chutkan’s rejection of Trump’s claims of presidential immunity and double jeopardy as grounds to avoid prosecution.
The judge’s verdict, delivered last Friday, asserted that Trump’s service as Commander in Chief did not grant him immunity from criminal accountability, stating, “Defendant’s four-year service as Commander in Chief did not bestow on him the divine right of kings to evade the criminal accountability that governs his fellow citizens.”
Moreover, Chutkan dismissed Trump’s argument that his Senate acquittal following impeachment shields him from criminal prosecution post-presidency.
The judge clarified, “The Impeachment Judgment Clause does not provide that acquittal by the Senate during impeachment proceedings shields a President from criminal prosecution after he leaves office.”
In response to these setbacks, Trump’s legal team swiftly moved to file an “automatic stay” motion on Thursday.
This maneuver seeks to halt all district court proceedings until the final resolution of the appeals process.
Notably, the motion indicates that unless Judge Chutkan instructs otherwise, Trump’s legal team will disregard upcoming deadlines related to pretrial motions, defense disclosures, CIPA hearings, and jury selection.
Legal experts, such as former U.S. attorney Joyce Vance, have weighed in on Trump’s request for an “automatic stay.”
Vance commented on social media, noting, “Trump has moved to stop any further proceedings in his DC prosecution while he appeals Judge Chutkan’s rulings against him.”
She added a touch of humor, saying, “My favorite bit is where his lawyers say they’ll assume everything is stayed unless they hear back to the contrary. Oh to be the judge who gets to respond!”
This legal tug-of-war raises questions about the potential impact on the trial timeline and the broader implications for the accountability of former presidents.
The motion underscores Trump’s assertion that the appeal process should take precedence before any further legal proceedings.
As the legal drama unfolds, the public awaits Judge Chutkan’s response to Trump’s “automatic stay” motion.
The outcome will likely shape the trajectory of this high-profile case and determine whether Trump’s legal strategy proves successful in pausing the trial proceedings until the appeals process concludes.