Judge rejects Trump bid to hold special counsel Jack Smith in contempt in election case

Special Counsel Jack Smith delivers remarks on a just lately unsealed indictment alleging 4 felony counts towards former U.S. President Donald Trump on August 1, 2023 in Washington, DC.

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A federal decide Thursday rejected an effort by former President Donald Trump to hold special counsel Jack Smith in contempt for submitting courtroom filings in Trump’s legal election interference case whereas the case is paused.

The order to keep the case pending Trump’s attraction of an unfavorable ruling “didn’t clearly and unambiguously prohibit” Smith’s actions, Judge Tanya Chutkan wrote in a Washington, D.C., federal courtroom order.

“Staying the deadline for a submitting isn’t the identical factor as affirmatively prohibiting it,” she wrote.

But Chutkan granted Trump’s request that Smith and different events should get her permission earlier than submitting any extra pretrial motions.

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Attorneys for Trump accused Smith of violating a courtroom order by producing proof and submitting a movement in the federal election case after its deadlines had been stayed.

Smith has sought to expedite the case in which Trump is accused of illegally conspiring to overturn his 2020 election loss to President Joe Biden. The case is at the moment set to start trial in early March.

The case in federal district courtroom was routinely placed on hold final month whereas Trump appealed Chutkan’s refusal to dismiss his legal fees on the grounds of presidential immunity.

A panel of federal appeals courtroom judges heard oral arguments final week on Trump’s declare of “absolute immunity” for official presidential acts.

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