Trump wants election subversion case paused while he appeals judge’s ruling on presidential immunity

Donald Trump will appeal the decision by a federal judge in Washington, DC, to reject his attempts to dismiss the election subversion case against him.

Trump’s attorneys also asked for the judge to pause all proceedings in the case until the appeal is resolved. They notified the court Thursday of his intent to appeal.

Once they filed the notice, Trump’s attorneys wrote that the move “deprived this Court of jurisdiction over this case in its entirety pending resolution of the appeal.” They argued that a stay on further proceedings is “mandatory and automatic.”

Various arguments that the case should be tossed failed at the trial court level. For instance, Trump’s attorneys have argued that, as president, Trump was immune from the criminal prosecution brought by special counsel Jack Smith. They say Trump’s alleged actions over the 2020 election results were part of his official duties at the time.

His lawyers also argued that a president can only be indicted if he was convicted by the Senate during impeachment proceedings, which Trump was not.

The question about presidential protections that Trump hopes to use as part of his defense will need to be settled before Trump goes to trial, which is currently scheduled for March 2024. It is also likely that any ruling by the appeals judges will be brought before the Supreme Court.

“The Constitution protects Presidents in their work to make sure laws are followed, especially as it relates to elections,” Trump campaign spokesman Steven Cheung said in a statement Thursday.

“Consistent with binding Supreme Court case law, the unconstitutional prosecution must be stayed while President Trump appeals this vital issue.”

Judge Tanya Chutkan, who will preside over Trump’s election interference trial in DC, refused to throw out the charges against the former president. In a ruling last week, Chutkan said that Trump does not enjoy absolute immunity for what he said and did after the 2020 election.

“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,” Chutkan wrote in her ruling.

She added that Trump’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.”

This story has been updated with additional information.

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