Trump judge hints at summer trial in election interference case

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The federal judge presiding over former President Trump’s stalled election interference case suggested a summer trial is still possible in the blockbuster case.

Judge Tanya Chutkan told lawyers on a separate case that she plans to be out of the country on vacation in early August, unless the Trump case is back on her plate.

The only reason she would be in the U.S. is because, “I’m in trial in another matter that has not yet returned to my calendar.”

That was reference to the Trump election interference case. Special counsel Jack Smith filed four charges against the former president related to his effort to overturn the 2020 election.

Chutkan has ruled the case cannot go forward until higher courts rule on Trump’s claim that he enjoys blanket immunity from prosecution for actions taken while in the White House.

Chutkan scheduled the case for March 4, but has said she will delay it if the court rules that the trial may proceed.

A three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments in the case last month.

Most observers predicted a quick ruling but that proved incorrect. The case could go either to the full appeals court or the Supreme Court before being potentially returned to Chutkan’s docket.

The first Trump trial now appears likely to be the New York case stemming from hush money payments made to porn star Stormy Daniels, which is scheduled for late March.