A US federal judge has officially postponed the start of the trial of Donald Trump, accused in Washington of plotting to overturn the 2020 election, as a legal appeal by the former president continues to make its way through the courts.
District Judge Tanya Chutkan ruled that the trial will not begin on March 4 as planned, but she did not set a new date.
This postponement means that another case in which Mr. Trump is accused, this time in New York, where he is accused of having paid sums to a pornographic actress, could be processed first.
The delay comes as a federal appeals court has yet to rule on a pending appeal by Mr. Trump, who argues that he is immune from prosecution for actions he took while he was at the White House.
It’s unclear when the three-judge panel might rule, but a ruling in favor of prosecutors allowing the case to proceed would in turn be subject to appeal by the team. from Mr. Trump, which would likely cause additional delays.
For both parties, the timing of the trial is essential. Mr. Trump, who faces four indictments and 91 counts, is seeking to delay the start of the hearings so he can focus on his campaign to win another term as president. .
Special prosecutor Jack Smith’s team, meanwhile, hopes to be able to prosecute Mr. Trump this year, before the November election.
The Washington case was expected to take place first, but it was delayed for several weeks because of Mr. Trump’s appeal. The appeals court heard arguments on January 9 and, although it has assured its intention to work quickly, it has not yet issued a decision.