• July 13, 2024

Are Jack Smith And The Crooked Judges Teaming Up Against Trump…

 Are Jack Smith And The Crooked Judges Teaming Up Against Trump…

The judge overseeing special counsel Jack Smith’s 2020 election case in Washington, D.C., issued a nuanced ruling on Thursday in response to former President Donald Trump’s effort to hold prosecutors in contempt, alleging a breach of a court order pausing proceedings during an immunity-focused appeal.

U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan, appointed by Obama, approved Trump’s lawyers’ recommendation to prevent both parties from filing “substantive pretrial motions” without court permission. However, she rejected the remainder of Trump’s motion, which sought an order for Smith to “show cause” why prosecutors shouldn’t face contempt charges.

Trump’s legal team argued that prosecutors violated the judge’s stay last month by submitting filings, including extensive discovery materials, during the appeal. They also accused Smith’s team of exploiting the pause to “weaponize” it for political propaganda, assuming Trump wouldn’t respond fully due to the court relieving him of litigation burdens during the stay.

Prosecutors contended that Trump’s motion should be denied as they prepared for the scheduled trial in early March. Smith’s team asserted that the government hadn’t intentionally violated the court order, dismissing allegations of partisanship and prosecutorial misconduct as baseless. They expressed their commitment to fulfill discovery obligations and meet deadlines voluntarily.

The dispute originated when Chutkan rejected Trump’s attempt to dismiss the case, accusing him of unlawfully plotting to overturn the 2020 election results. She halted proceedings when Trump’s legal team filed an appeal based on presidential immunity and double jeopardy claims. The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, in a three-judge panel, is reviewing the matter since the Supreme Court declined to expedite the question of whether presidential immunity shields Trump broadly from prosecution. Oral arguments took place recently, and the judges seemed skeptical of the immunity claim.

While a trial is set for March 4, one day before Super Tuesday, it may be subject to change based on the resolution of the presidential immunity issue. Chutkan, when pausing the case in mid-December, emphasized that the stay halted further trial-related proceedings or additional litigation burdens on Trump. However, she noted some exceptions, clarifying that stayed deadlines and proceedings weren’t “permanently vacated,” and protective measures, such as the gag order against Trump, would persist unless a higher court ruled otherwise.

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