March 1, 2024

Donald Trump asked the Supreme Court for another pause on his January 6 election conspiracy case today, as his attorneys work on an appeal of a decision that soundly rejected his claims of presidential immunity.

Last week, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Trump is not shielded from prosecution on federal charges that he conspired to remain in power after the 2020 presidential election. The three-judge panel gave him until today to ask for a stay of the ruling. Without one, the case will restart and proceed to trial.

His attorneys wrote in their brief to the high court today that “the D.C. Circuit’s judgment seemingly authorizes the district court to conduct a criminal trial of President Trump based on his official acts before this Court concludes its review of this momentous question—thus subjecting the Presidency to the most intrusive possible ‘examin[ation] by the courts,’ id., and inflicting one of the gravest wounds to the separation of powers in our Nation’s history.”

The trial in the case was originally scheduled for March 4, but that was taken off the calendar as Trump pursued his claim that he was immune from prosecution because the alleged acts took place while he was president. Among other things, Trump is claiming that he is being indicted for official acts as president.

Trump now can ask for an en banc review of the D.C. circuit or for the Supreme Court to review the case.

The appellate judges wrote in their decision, “Former President Trump’s alleged efforts to remain in power despite losing the 2020 election were, if proven, an unprecedented assault on the structure of our government. He allegedly injected himself into a process in which the President has no role — the counting and certifying of the Electoral College votes — thereby undermining constitutionally established procedures and the will of Congress. To immunize former President Trump’s actions would ‘further … aggrandize the presidential office, already so potent and so relatively immune from judicial review, at the expense of Congress.’”

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