Trump wants the Supreme Court to issue a “stay” of the appeals court ruling, an action that would keep proceedings in the lower court frozen. Those proceedings have been delayed for two months while Trump litigates the immunity issue, and the trial date originally scheduled for March 4 has already been postponed.

If the justices quickly deny Trump’s request for a stay, the case would be returned to the lower court and the former president could be tried on federal charges focused on the election as early as this spring.

If, on the other hand, the judges grant a stay, it would likely cause months of delay in any trial in the case, all but guaranteeing a conflict with the Republican National Convention in July or the height of the presidential general election season in the late summer. or autumn.

The support of five judges is needed to grant a stay.

Special prosecutor Jack Smith has already pleaded with the Supreme Court to handle the case urgently, and in December asked the justices to address the immunity issue expeditiously, even before the appeals court reviewed it. The judges denied it, at the time, without any public explanation or dissent.

Trump’s motion also comes just days after the justices heard arguments about efforts by Colorado voters and anti-Trump activists seeking to remove Trump from the ballot for his role in stoking violence at the Capitol on September 6. January 2021. The judges seemed ready to reject that effort.

But the attempt to remove Trump from the ballot is separate from Trump’s criminal cases, and the justices have not indicated how they will address the issue of immunity or other issues related to Trump’s criminal cases that are now before them or that could. end up there in the next few years. few moths.

Trump’s new Supreme Court filing also calls for a step that could produce an additional delay. He asks that the justices grant a stay and postpone further action on the immunity question until the D.C. Circuit decides whether to reconsider the immunity claim before the full 11-judge court. These types of “en banc” hearings are rare, but formal action on Trump’s request for one could take weeks, particularly if any member of the appeals court wants to present an opinion or opinions that disagree with his colleagues. .

“Allowing President Trump to conduct an en banc review in the D.C. Circuit will provide an opportunity for… careful consideration in the lower court before this Court addresses the novel, complex and consequential issues at stake in this appeal “Trump’s lawyers wrote.

Trump’s campaign quickly announced the filing, saying Supreme Court action is essential to ensuring that a president’s political opponents cannot “weaponize the threat of future prosecution, effectively blackmailing and extorting him to influence his decisions.” more sensitive and important.”

By Sam