Former President Donald Trump’s federal election interference trial in Washington, D.C., will no longer begin on March 4, Judge Tanya Chutkan wrote in a court order released Friday.

Former President Donald Trump’s federal election interference trial in Washington, D.C., will no longer begin on March 4, Judge Tanya Chutkan wrote in a court order released Friday.

It is unclear when exactly the trial will now start, but the case has been on pause for nearly two months — Trump’s team requested a stay on Dec. 7, and it was granted on Dec. 13 — which would mean the soonest the trial could start would likely be late April or early May.

A start date in early May could easily mean the trial won’t conclude until after the Republican National Convention, scheduled for July 15-18 in Milwaukee.

In a previous order, Chutkan reiterated that a total of seven months was “sufficient time” for Trump to prepare for trial, not including the time the case has been on pause.

Friday’s ruling comes as the D.C. Circuit Court has not yet decided on whether the former president is immune from prosecution. A panel of federal appeals court judges heard oral arguments on Jan. 9, and the case is on an expedited schedule.

“The court will set a new schedule if and when the mandate is returned,” said the court order from Chutkan.

A lawyer for Trump and a spokesman for the special counsel both declined to comment.

There were previous hints that the March 4 start date would not go ahead as scheduled. Chutkan was set to oversee trial proceedings in a separate case on April 2, according to court schedules, which could have overlapped with Trump’s case if March 4 had still been the start date. As recently as Thursday, D.C.’s court calendar also did not list Chutkan as overseeing a case on March 4.

Special counsel Jack Smith’s office has previously estimated that the prosecution would need “no longer than four to six weeks” to present its case, and potential jurors were told the trial “may last approximately three months after jury selection is completed.”

The original March 4 trial start date put the high-profile case amid the Republican primary, just one day before voters in 16 states cast their ballots on Super Tuesday.

One of Trump’s lawyers, D. John Sauer, has argued before the D.C. Circuit Court that a president can be prosecuted for private conduct, but he says that Trump has immunity from prosecution because of the Constitution’s separation of powers principle. Sauer has said that when Trump questioned the 2020 election results and pushed for Congress to block certification, he was acting in an official capacity as president.

The president has embraced the argument in social media posts.

“A president of the United States must have full immunity, without which it would be impossible for him/her to properly function,” Trump said in a post to Truth Social in January.

The elimination of the March 4 start date increases the chances that Trump’s New York case involving allegations of hush money payments to adult film star Stormy Daniels will be the former president’s next trial. That case is currently set to start on March 25.

A federal judge canceled Donald Trump’s March 4 trial date on charges he conspired to overturn the 2020 election while awaiting an appeals decision on whether he is immune from the charges.

In the brief order Friday, U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan vacated her order setting a schedule for questioning potential jurors in the case and said she would set a new date after decisions by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals and potentially the Supreme Court.

+++++

The delay could have a ripple effect on other cases pending against the former president. The change in Washington makes it likely that Trump’s first criminal trail will be in New York, where he is charged with falsifying business records in a scheme to pay hush money to an adult film star and a former Playboy model. That trial tentatively set for March 25.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has said the judge was waiting to see what happened in other jurisdictions. He said in December he would have a better idea of the schedule after the next hearing in the case Feb. 15.

Chutkan set the tentative trial date in August, weeks after the former president was indicted on three conspiracy charges and one obstruction charge. But Trump’s claim of immunity muddied the waters.

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals is considering his argument and the decision has no deadline, but could come at any time.

Whatever the decision, the case is expected to be appealed to the Supreme Court, which could take weeks or months longer to decide.

Trump, the likely Republican presidential nominee, has sought to delay four criminal cases until after the election. He has also argued he is immune to the federal election charges because he was president when the alleged criminality took place.

Chutkan had tried to stick to her schedule. But other issues must also be debated before trial, such as what evidence might be excluded and what questions will be asked of potential jurors.

The delay in the federal trial, which is expected to last six weeks, could have a domino effect on the other criminal cases pending against Trump.

The delay might provide an opening for a New York trial on 34 counts of falsifying business records to cover up hush money payments before the 2016 election. Trump has pleaded not guilty.

New York Justice Juan Merchan tentatively set the trial to start March 25. A hearing is scheduled Feb. 15.

In December, Bragg declined to predict the timing of the case. He said the judge was right to wait to see what happened in other jurisdictions.

“We have not forgotten about it,” Bragg said. “We are at the ready with our team that’s got more than 100 years of experience working.”

Trump’s lawyer in the case, Susan Necheles, didn’t immediately responded to a request for comment about the trial date.

Depending on the length of the Washington trial’s delay, and when the New York trial is held, Trump’s federal trial in Florida on charges he hoarded national security documents after leaving the White House could also be postponed.

The documents trial is tentatively scheduled May 20. But prosecutors and defense lawyers are still arguing about how to handle classified documents in that case.

A Georgia trial on charges Trump and others conspired to interfere with the 2020 election hasn’t been scheduled yet.

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis has asked for an Aug. 5 trial date. But that would mean the expected five month trial could overlap with the election.

Fulton County Superior Judge Scott McAfee hasn’t set a date yet.

After one of Trump’s co-defendants, Mike Roman, complained about Willis’ relationship with one of her prosecutors, McAfee set a hearing Feb. 15 to determine whether the accusation will upend the prosecution of the case. Willis is set to file a written response to the charges Friday.

WASHINGTON – A federal judge canceled Donald Trump’s March 4 trial date on charges he conspired to overturn the 2020 election while awaiting an appeals decision on whether he is immune from the charges.

In the brief order Friday, U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan vacated her order setting a schedule for questioning potential jurors in the case and said she would set a new date after decisions by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals and potentially the Supreme Court.

The delay could have a ripple effect on other cases pending against the former president. The change in Washington makes it likely that Trump’s first criminal trail will be in New York, where he is charged with falsifying business records in a scheme to pay hush money to an adult film star and a former Playboy model. That trial tentatively set for March 25.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has said the judge was waiting to see what happened in other jurisdictions. He said in December he would have a better idea of the schedule after the next hearing in the case Feb. 15.

Chutkan set the tentative trial date in August, weeks after the former president was indicted on three conspiracy charges and one obstruction charge. But Trump’s claim of immunity muddied the waters.

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals is considering his argument and the decision has no deadline, but could come at any time.

Whatever the decision, the case is expected to be appealed to the Supreme Court, which could take weeks or months longer to decide.