Donald Trump’s federal election interference case is effectively on hold at the trial court level while his immunity appeal is pending. Still, in the hopes of keeping the case from being further delayed when it gets back to U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan, special counsel Jack Smith and his team have filed a pretrial motion and produced discovery evidence to the defense.
But instead of simply ignoring Smith’s actions, as Trump was well within his rights to do, the former president’s team filed a U.S. District Court motion Thursday in Washington, arguing that prosecutors with the special counsel’s office should be held in contempt; be required to withdraw their motion and “improper productions”; be forbidden from further filings or productions while the appeal is pending; and be assessed monetary sanctions.
Don’t expect this motion to succeed. Per Chutkan’s Dec. 13 opinion and order, Trump’s pending immunity appeal pauses “any further proceedings that would move this case towards trial or impose additional burdens of litigation on Defendant.”
It’s true that Smith took these actions with the intent of getting the case to trial as quickly as possible. But that doesn’t mean his actions have prompted “proceedings” or that they imposed additional burdens on Trump, who remains free to ignore Smith’s filings and productions until the case is back with Chutkan.
Ironically, by undertaking this new motion, Trump may have unnecessarily placed an additional litigation burden on himself.
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