Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Chutkan Gives Anti-Trump Prosecutors a Pass for Ignoring Hold Order

'[T]he case was paused to relieve Trump 'from the burdens of preparing for trial and other pretrial litigation'...'

(Luis CornelioHeadline USA) The federal judge overseeing the 2020 election indictment against former President Donald Trump declined to hold federal prosecutors in contempt for their ongoing motion filing, despite the case being paused pending appeal. 

On Friday, U.S. Judge Tanya Chutkan, an Obama appointee, ordered Special Counsel Jack Smith to stop submitting court filings without her approval following Trump’s request. However, she refused to hold Smith and his prosecutors in contempt of court, citing no wrongdoing. 

Trump argued that the filing of documents burdens his attorneys, requiring them to determine whether the filings are part of the appeal process, leading to constant negative headlines for Trump. 

Chutkan’s order followed Trump’s claim of presidential immunity from prosecution, asserting that his efforts to question and probe allegations of voter irregularities in the 2020 election were part of his official duties as president.  

Chutkan previously rejected these assertions, prompting Trump to appeal to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. Such an appeal ignited Chutkan to pause the case pending the appeals court’s decision. 

In response, Smith unsuccessfully attempted to bypass the appeals court by asking the Supreme Court to determine whether presidents are immune from criminal prosecution, but the justices denied the emergency filing. 

As the appellate court reviews Trump’s defense, Smith persistently submitted documents in the lower court. 

According to New York Times, Chutkan claimed that Smith did not violate the “clear and unambiguous terms” of the order pausing the case. However, she warned prosecutors that the case was paused to relieve Trump “from the burdens of preparing for trial and other pretrial litigation.” 

The appeals court is still weighing the case. 

The federal indictment is part of broader legal troubles facing Trump, the front-runner for the Republican nomination for president.

The cases are all led by left-wing prosecutors (Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, New York Attorney General Letitia James) or appointed by Democrats (Smith). 

Trump has long accused these cases of being part of a left-wing plot to undermine his candidacy for president. 

During an interview, Attorney General Merrick Garland, who appointed Smith to investigate Trump, agreed that the cases against Trump must undergo “speedy trials,” likely before the 2024 presidential election.

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