Trump asks judge to halt documents case after Supreme Court ruling

Washington — Former President Donald Trump and his legal team asked the federal judge overseeing the case involving his handling of sensitive government documents to pause proceedings until she resolves his pending requests to toss out the charges based on presidential immunity and the constitutionality of special counsel Jack Smith’s appointment.

The motion from Trump and his lawyers was among filings they submitted to U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon on Friday, which cite the Supreme Court’s decision Monday that found former presidents are entitled to immunity from federal prosecution for official acts taken while they occupied the Oval Office.

Trump and his legal team argued that the partial stay is warranted based on the high court’s reasoning in that case, which arose out of Trump’s prosecution by Smith in Washington, D.C., related to the 2020 election.

“Resolution of these threshold questions is necessary to minimize the adverse consequences to the institution of the presidency arising from this unconstitutional investigation and prosecution,” lawyers Todd Blanche, Emil Bove and Chris Kise said in the filing. “A partial stay is also appropriate to prevent further exploitation of judicial institutions and resources by Executive Branch personnel in connection with the shameful ongoing lawfare campaign.”

Trump asked Cannon in February to toss out the charges brought against him on the grounds he is entitled to presidential immunity and that Smith’s appointment violates the Constitution’s Appointments and Appropriations Clauses. She has yet to rule on either of his requests.

The former president is facing 40 charges related to his alleged mishandling of documents marked classified after leaving office in January 2021 and efforts to obstruct the Justice Department’s investigation. He has pleaded not guilty.

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