A federal court on Wednesday granted special counsel Jack Smith’s request for an expedited appeal in the election interference case against former President Donald Trump.

A federal court on Wednesday granted special counsel Jack Smith’s request for an expedited appeal in the election interference case against former President Donald Trump.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit set several deadlines for prosecutors and the defense to file briefs laying out their positions on Trump’s argument that the case should be dismissed on presidential immunity grounds. No date for oral arguments has been set.

The decision to take up the appeal threatens to push back the trial’s start date, currently scheduled for March 4. The third of three briefs requested by the appeals court is due Jan. 2.

The appeal will be considered by Judge Karen Henderson, who was appointed by President George H.W. Bush, and Judges J. Michelle Childs and Florence Pan, both Biden appointees. The three-judge panel is the same group who granted the motion to expedite.

A spokesperson for the special counsel declined to comment. A Trump campaign spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The court’s decision to take up the expedited appeal comes after U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan, who is presiding over the federal election interference case, ruled that Trump’s presidential immunity claims did not shield him from the charges. Trump appealed that ruling.

Trump’s lawyers in October had filed several motions to dismiss the case, citing a series of constitutional grounds, including the First Amendment, double jeopardy and due process.

In an effort to prevent delays in the case, Smith filed a motion to expedite appeals court proceedings that he said “will avoid undue delay.”

Trump’s attorneys opposed the special counsel’s request for an expedited process which they said would impair Trump from fully developing and presenting his arguments.

“A rushed schedule, as the prosecution demands, would vitiate these constitutional rights and irreparably undermine public confidence in the judicial system,” they wrote in a filing Wednesday.

Chutkan on Wednesday paused all proceedings in the criminal case pending resolution of Trump’s appeal on immunity grounds.

Smith has also asked the Supreme Court to quickly step in on the immunity claim. The Supreme Court has asked Trump’s legal team to respond to that request by Dec. 20.

Trump’s first brief with the appeals court is due three days after he is expected to submit his opposition to Smith’s petition to the Supreme Court. The timeline means the Supreme Court could grant or deny Smith’s petition before the appeals court resolves the matter.

Trump faces four counts of criminal conduct related to conspiracy to defraud the U.S. after he lost the 2020 presidential election. He pleaded not guilty and has both publicly condemned the allegations and repeatedly pushed to postpone various legal challenges against him until after the 2024 election, arguing that earlier trial dates are tantamount to election interference.

Trump made a similar argument on social media Wednesday night after the circuit court’s decision, though he didn’t mention the appeals court.

Criticizing the special counsel, Trump said in a post on Truth Social that Smith “wants to RUSH,RUSH,RUSH to the Supreme Court on the important matter of Presidential Immunity, something which is so basic to America that it should be automatic.” He also claimed that Smith wanted to damage his candidacy against President Joe Biden.

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A federal appeals court rejected Donald Trump’s use of presidential immunity in a bid to dismiss a civil defamation lawsuit brought by former magazine columnist E. Jean Carroll.

The judges found that Trump waived using presidential immunity as a defense by not raising it earlier in the litigation over Carroll’s claim that Trump defamed her when, as president, he denied her allegations of sexual assault. The appeals court also affirmed the lower court’s ruling that rejected Trump’s motion for summary judgement.

“This case presents a vexing question of first impression: whether presidential immunity is waivable. We answer in the affirmative and further hold that Donald J. Trump (‘Defendant’) waived the defense of presidential immunity by failing to raise it as an affirmative defense in his answer to E. Jean Carroll’s (‘Plaintiff’s’) complaint, which alleged that Defendant defamed her by claiming that she had fabricated her account of Defendant sexually assaulting her in the mid1990s.,” the court ruled.

The case is set to go to trial in January.

“We are pleased that the Second Circuit affirmed Judge Kaplan’s rulings and that we can now move forward with trial next month on January 16,” Robbie Kaplan, Carroll’s attorney, said.

Alina Habba, an attorney for Trump, said, “The Second Circuit’s ruling is fundamentally flawed and we will continue to pursue Justice and appropriate resolution. Previously, Habba said the Trump team would seek “immediate review from the Supreme Court.”

Carroll previously sued Trump separately in 2022 for sexual assault and defamation under the Adult Survivors Act for statements he made after he left office. The case went to trial and a jury found Trump liable and awarded Carroll $5 million in damages.

Her original lawsuit, brought in 2019, involves similar statements Trump made while president that year. That case is set to go to trial over damages in January.

This story has been updated with an updated statement from Trump’s attorney.

A federal appeals court rejected Donald Trump’s use of presidential immunity in a bid to dismiss a civil defamation lawsuit brought by former magazine columnist E. Jean Carroll.

The judges found that Trump waived using presidential immunity as a defense by not raising it earlier in the litigation over Carroll’s claim that Trump defamed her when, as president, he denied her allegations of sexual assault. The appeals court also affirmed the lower court’s ruling that rejected Trump’s motion for summary judgement.

“This case presents a vexing question of first impression: whether presidential immunity is waivable. We answer in the affirmative and further hold that Donald J. Trump (‘Defendant’) waived the defense of presidential immunity by failing to raise it as an affirmative defense in his answer to E. Jean Carroll’s (‘Plaintiff’s’) complaint, which alleged that Defendant defamed her by claiming that she had fabricated her account of Defendant sexually assaulting her in the mid1990s.,” the court ruled.

The case is set to go to trial in January.

“We are pleased that the Second Circuit affirmed Judge Kaplan’s rulings and that we can now move forward with trial next month on January 16,” Robbie Kaplan, Carroll’s attorney, said.

Alina Habba, an attorney for Trump, said, “The Second Circuit’s ruling is fundamentally flawed and we will continue to pursue Justice and appropriate resolution. Previously, Habba said the Trump team would seek “immediate review from the Supreme Court.”

Carroll previously sued Trump separately in 2022 for sexual assault and defamation under the Adult Survivors Act for statements he made after he left office. The case went to trial and a jury found Trump liable and awarded Carroll $5 million in damages.

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Her original lawsuit, brought in 2019, involves similar statements Trump made while president that year. That case is set to go to trial over damages in January.

This story has been updated with an updated statement from Trump’s attorney.

Chesebro’s optimistic comments immediately created problems by apparently giving Trump renewed hope that he could still somehow stay in office. Former RNC chairman Reince Priebus left the meeting “extremely concerned” about the January 6 conversation. Priebus, a Wisconsin native who served as Trump’s first chief of staff, later warned Troupis and Chesebro not to tell anyone about what happened.

This dramatic account comes from Chesebro, who sat for an interview last week with Michigan state prosecutors investigating the fake electors plot. CNN has exclusively obtained audio of that interview, which includes previously unreported details about the pivotal Oval Office meeting.

The Michigan attorney general already charged the 16 Republican electors who cast sham ballots in Lansing, and CNN recently reported that the investigation is still ongoing. Fifteen of the electors pleaded not guilty; one got his charges dropped in a cooperation deal.

The “photo-op … gone south,” as Chesebro called the December 16, 2020, meeting, reveals a previously unknown instance of Trump hearing directly that he lost – which could factor into his federal election subversion trial. But it also highlights how others in Trump’s orbit leaned into his delusions and aided his quixotic effort to cling onto power.

As often happened, Trump heard what he wanted to, ignoring Troupis and embracing Chesebro’s theories. Trump continued to falsely claim victory in Wisconsin and elsewhere, including on January 6, when he tried to weaponize the illegitimate GOP electors to “disenfranchise millions of voters,” according to his federal indictment.

CNN has previously identified Chesebro as an unindicted co-conspirator in Trump’s federal case. His cooperation in Michigan and other states could boost special counsel Jack Smith’s prosecution, even though it’s currently unclear if Chesebro intends to directly cooperate with Smith.

On December 14, 2020, the Wisconsin Supreme Court rejected Trump’s lawsuit to nullify the state’s election results. Days later, Troupis and other GOP lawyers involved in the case flew to Washington, DC, to participate in a Senate hearing about election issues, and also secured a conciliatory Oval Office photo-op with Trump.

“There was a conscious effort to deflect him from a sense of any possibility that he could pull out the election,” Chesebro told Michigan prosecutors about the thinking going into the meet-and-greet with Trump. “…Our marching orders were: Don’t say anything that makes him feel more positive than the beginning of the meeting.’”

It’s unclear who gave the so-called “marching orders” to the group of pro-Trump attorneys.

Nonetheless, Chesebro told Trump he could still prevail in Arizona. He also spelled out the basics of the fake electors scheme, where Trump supporters in seven critical states cast faux ballots and signed phony certificates claiming they were the rightful electors.