The public calendar no longer displays the scheduled start date for former President Donald Trump’s federal 2020 election obstruction trial, reports noted on Friday.
U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan, overseeing the case, had originally set the trial date for March 4. Trump has pleaded not guilty to four charges related to Special Counsel Jack Smith’s inquiry into the events leading up to the January 6 attack.
It was widely anticipated that the trial would commence at a later date than originally planned, as the case is currently on hold. The D.C. Circuit is deliberating whether Trump should be granted immunity from prosecution, given that the charges against him are related to his tenure in office.
The timing of the decision from the three-judge panel at the appeals court remains uncertain, even though arguments were heard on January 9 concerning whether the former president can claim absolute immunity to have Smith’s case dismissed.
As reported by The Washington Post, the federal court in Washington, D.C., after removing the previous court date from its public calendar, indicated that the trial is likely to be postponed while the immunity appeal process is ongoing.
“Donald Trump’s March 4 trial on election fraud charges has been dropped from the court calendar. In December, Judge Tanya Chutkan agreed to freeze the case while Trump appealed the indictment on presidential immunity grounds. Its removal from the court calendar signals that the case will likely not begin for several more months, pushing it closer to the presidential election in November. The Washington, D.C., Court of Appeals is now considering the case, and it will likely go to the U.S. Supreme Court after that,” Newsweek reported.
Various political figures on social media speculated that this could imply the potential for the case to be dropped altogether.
Bill Shipley, a lawyer for defendants accused of involvement in the Capitol riot, responded by calling it “idiotic” to believe that Smith’s case would be dropped.
“Tomorrow was the day the Juror questionnaires were supposed to be returned to the Court by prospective jurors and given to the parties. Was a questionnaire ever prepared? No—the case has been stayed. So no questionnaires will be received,” Shipley posted on X.
“One of the first questions is ‘Do you have any plans that would make it impossible for you to be a juror from March 3 to May 3?’ Well, you can’t send that out until you know what the start date will be,” he added. “So all you supposedly ‘in the know’ X-sters, just stop posting nonsensical conspiracy theories about why the Court—NOT JACK SMITH—removed the trial from the March 4 calendar.”