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Judge Chutkan Denies Trump’s Request for Contempt Charge in Federal Election Case

A federal judge overseeing the 2020 election interference case against former President Donald Trump has rejected his lawyers’ request to hold special counsel Jack Smith’s team in contempt. The case centers on alleged efforts to interfere in the 2020 election.

Trump Teams Accusations

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The judge’s decision addresses accusations made by Trump’s legal team regarding the handling of evidence and court actions by the prosecutors while the case was put on hold. Here are the key details:

Trump’s Contempt Request Denied

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The judge overseeing the 2020 election interference case against Donald Trump, U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan, has denied the former president’s request to hold special counsel Jack Smith’s team in contempt.

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Allegations of Outrageous Conduct

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Trump’s legal team had accused the prosecutors of “outrageous conduct.” They claimed that the prosecutors violated a court order by turning over thousands of pages of evidence and filing a motion while the case was on hold.

Pause in the Case

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Judge Chutkan had paused the case after Trump appealed a ruling that rejected his claims of presidential immunity from prosecution. The judge’s order stated that Trump’s appeal automatically stayed further proceedings in the case.

Clarification of the Court Order

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In her ruling, Judge Chutkan clarified that her December 13 order, which paused the case, did not explicitly prohibit the actions taken by Smith’s team. Therefore, she did not find grounds for holding them in contempt.

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Restrictions on Pretrial Motions

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Despite rejecting the contempt request, Judge Chutkan sided with Trump in imposing restrictions on the case.

Bar On Other Pretrial Motions

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She has barred all parties involved from filing “any further substantive pretrial motions” without first seeking permission from the court, as long as the case remains on hold.

Trial Scheduled for March 4

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The trial in the 2020 election interference case is currently scheduled to commence on March 4 in Washington’s federal court. However, it is likely to be postponed as Trump’s immunity claim proceeds through higher courts.

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Appeals Court’s Role

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A three-judge panel from the federal appeals court in Washington recently heard arguments related to Trump’s immunity claim. Their ruling on the matter is anticipated in the near future.

Government’s Position

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Prosecutors have acknowledged that the case was paused but emphasized their commitment to meeting deadlines and resuming the pretrial schedule promptly when the case returns to Judge Chutkan.

Ongoing Legal Battles

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The 2020 election interference case is one of four criminal cases facing Donald Trump as he seeks a return to the White House this year.

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