Top NewsWhat's next in the federal election case against Trump?

What's next in the federal election case against Trump?

A three-judge panel of a federal appeals court in Washington ruled on Tuesday that former President Donald J. Mr. Trump's rejection of immunity claims. And it's a win for special counsel Jack Smith, who has been trying to move the case along quickly enough to allow it to go to trial before Election Day.

But what happens next will have a significant impact on the pressing question of when Mr Trump will face a jury in the case. That answer could go a long way in determining the timing of three other criminal cases brought against him.

Here's a look at how things might play out.

Mr. A spokeswoman for Trump's campaign confirmed that he intends to challenge the appeals court panel's decision, but it was unclear whether he would ask the Supreme Court to hear it directly or take an intermediate step, asking the full appeals court to consider it first. .

In general, seeking review by the full Court of Appeals is a move that eats up extra time and helps delay the start of the trial — something Mr. This is the strategy adopted by Trump.

But in its judgment, a three-judge bench of the court said, to speed things up, Mr. It also included a provision designed to encourage Trump to take his immunity challenge directly to the Supreme Court.

The group said Mr Trump has until Monday to ask the Supreme Court to intervene in the case and continue the ban on all substantive proceedings. The trial judge initially stayed the case in December.

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Going that route would have cost the former president extra days he could have spent seeking review from the full appeals court, which would have had the counterproductive benefit of stalling the underlying case while the justices worked. Five of the court's nine judges must impose a stay.

Mr. If Trump goes ahead and asks the full appeals court to hear the case first, trial Judge Tanya S. The team said it would return to Sudkhan, who could quickly lift the suspension. This means that all hearings and filing deadlines that have now been put on hold will resume.

Whether or not the underlying case remains frozen has a direct bearing on when it goes to trial. Last week, Judge Sutgen, who is overseeing the case in federal district court in Washington, canceled his original trial date of March 4, bowing to the reality that time to act by then had run out.

In recent court documents, Judge Sudkan, in the interest of fairness, said Mr. Trump and his lawyers have said they don't want a break in the case. He suggested that the test should be pushed back by an equal number of days, as they lost each day of test preparation.

The first decision judges face is whether or not to hear the case. If they refuse to hear it and let the appeals court's ruling stand, the case could be sent back to Justice Sudkhan weeks earlier.

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Then, the case would have been shelved for two months. Also, due to paralysis, Mr. If Judge Sutgen follows through on his recommendation that Trump's lawyers lose no time preparing for any trial, that could theoretically mean a new trial date in early May.

However, if the Supreme Court decides to hear the immunity issue, the next big question is how quickly they proceed with scheduling arguments and issuing a decision. Without an accelerated schedule, their ruling may not come until the end of the term in late June or early July.

They are Mr. An appeal against Trump and a speeding up of the ruling could lead to a trial in the summer before the general election in November. But that would pose some problems, such as the proximity to the Republican nominating convention in Milwaukee, which Mr Trump will attend.

Due to his obligations to appear in the courtroom, Mr. It also means Trump may not be able to keep a normal campaign schedule.

But if the justices take their time in deciding the appeal, it will be difficult to begin the trial before the fall, in the middle of the campaign, increasing the odds that it will have to be delayed until after the election. If that happens and Mr. If Trump wins, he would be in a position to ask his Justice Department to dismiss the case or seek a pardon.

On the issue of immunity, Mr. The odds of a court ruling in Trump's favor are slim. But if that happens, the case will be dismissed without proceeding.

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