Trial date set for March 4 in Trump’s 2020 election lawsuit postponed by judge.

On February 2, 2024, U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan officially postponed the March 4 trial date for former President Donald Trump in the federal case related to the 2020 presidential election. This decision was made as higher courts consider Trump’s claim of immunity from federal prosecution. Chutkan’s order vacated the previous trial date and stated that a new schedule will be set depending on the outcome of the ongoing dispute. This delay was expected, as the trial had been removed from the public calendar earlier in the week. Trump is facing four counts brought by special counsel Jack Smith for his alleged efforts to overturn the election results, to which he has pleaded not guilty. Chutkan had previously rejected Trump’s claim of presidential immunity, stating that presidents do not have a “get-out-of-jail-free” pass for life. Trump appealed this decision, and all proceedings were paused. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has yet to issue a decision on whether Trump can be prosecuted for actions taken while in office. This ruling by Chutkan may complicate the timeline for other cases against Trump, including 40 counts in federal court in South Florida related to his handling of classified documents. The trial for these charges is currently set for May 2024. Additionally, Chutkan’s decision clears the way for a trial on state charges in New York, where Trump is facing 34 felony counts of falsifying business records. These charges are related to an alleged plot to make hush-money payments during the 2016 presidential election. Trump has pleaded not guilty to these state charges, and the trial is scheduled to begin in late March. The office of special counsel Jack Smith declined to comment on Chutkan’s ruling. Robert Legare, a CBS News reporter and producer covering the Justice Department, federal courts, and investigations, was previously an associate producer for the “CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell.” This article was first published on February 2, 2024, at 4:29 PM EST and is © 2024 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. Thank you for reading CBS NEWS. Create a free account or log in for more features.  

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