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Trump Trial Vultures Bully Appellate Court for Immunity Decision - Julie Kelly


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To the joy of winter-weary Americans, Punxsutawney Phil did not see his shadow on Groundhog Day, supposedly indicating the arrival of an early spring this year.

But the encouraging news out of Gobbler’s Creek, Pennsylvania stood in stark contrast to the brooding reaction by the corporate news media and legal “experts” in the Acela corridor as a creature of a different species cast a long shadow on the much-anticipated trial of Donald Trump. On February 2, U.S. District Court Judge Tanya S. Chutkan finally pulled the trigger on what some have predicted for weeks: she officially vacated Trump’s March 4 trial date in Washington.


Chutkan’s brief order sank the hope of political reporters, opinion columnists, and former federal prosecutors who had planned to beat the winter doldrums by giving a blow-by-blow account of the lead-up to the history-making clash between Trump and Special Counsel Jack Smith. 

Instead, the commentariat is left with little to do but hit the refresh button on the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia’s website. It is there, after all, that Andrew Weissmann’s dream of his own version of “Springtime for Hitler” went to die—at least for now.

After agreeing to expedite Trump’s appeal of Chutkan’s order denying his claims of presidential immunity from criminal prosecution, the appellate court is now under public pressure to reach a hasty decision on the unprecedented matter. (The Supreme Court denied Smith’s rare motion to skip the appellate court altogether and resolve the issue more quickly.)

Chutkan, an Obama appointee, published her historic opinion on December 1; Trump’s lawyers filed an appeal a few days later. On December 13, Chutkan put on hold the existing pretrial schedule, which involved a protracted jury selection process in the most Democratic city in the country, pending resolution of the appeal.

The once-active court docket for USA v Trump in the District of Columbia largely went idle.:snip:

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