Former President Donald Trump is making legal moves to stall the ongoing election interference case against him.
The ex-president is now seeking to halt the case following a judge's refusal to dismiss it, potentially pushing the proceedings beyond the 2024 election.
Trump recently submitted a motion to halt all activities related to the case while appealing the decision to deny its dismissal. The motions were directed at Judge Tanya Chutkan in an attempt to pause all ongoing proceedings.
The proposed pause in proceedings threatens to postpone Trump's trial date, which was initially scheduled for March 4. This comes after Judge Chutkan declined Trump's motion to have the case dismissed on the grounds of presidential immunity and constitutional claims.
Chutkan's ruling affirms that presidents do not enjoy lifelong immunity from criminal liability. This decision was a blow to Trump's argument that he still carries presidential immunity despite no longer being in office.
Interestingly, Trump's notice of appeal is yet to include any specific legal arguments. His lawyers, however, argue in the motion to stay proceedings that as a former president, Trump is still entitled to presidential immunity.
The former president had earlier posited that the case violated the double jeopardy clause, given that he had already faced an impeachment trial.
Judge Tanya Chutkan had this to say:
"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. Former Presidents enjoy no special conditions on their federal criminal liability."
Trump is currently facing four counts of charges connected to his efforts to remain in power after losing the 2020 election. Prosecutors argue that he is using every available strategy to disrupt the case and delay it past the 2024 election cycle.
In an unrelated but concurrent event, the Colorado Supreme Court shows signs of hesitance in disqualifying Trump using the 14th Amendment. Meanwhile, Trump has reportedly advised his son, Eric, against testifying at his fraud trial.
Trump's attorneys have voiced their discontent with Chutkan's decision:
"The Court incorrectly denied President Trump’s claim of Presidential immunity on the ground that such immunity does not extend to federal criminal prosecution for a President’s official acts."
The defense team also invoked the First Amendment in their argument. They maintain that it is up to individual Americans, not the federal government, to discern truth and falsehood in relation to social and political issues.