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Judge pauses deadlines in Trump classified documents case over immunity questions : NPR

Former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a rally at Greenbrier Farms on June 28 in Chesapeake, Va. The judge in the classified documents case against him has paused some deadlines.

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The federal judge overseeing the classified documents case against former President Donald Trump has paused a few deadlines after Trump’s legal team requested a review of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on presidential immunity.

On Friday, Trump’s legal team presented a filing to the court that said this week’s ruling from the nation’s high court means he has blanket immunity from prosecution for his “official acts.” As part of an effort to have the case dismissed, attorneys for the former president asked Judge Aileen Cannon to rule whether or not the conduct involved was official.

Trump’s legal team had also asked to argue the immunity issue before Cannon between now and early September, which would have effectively delayed all aspects of the case for at least two months.

Cannon’s order issued Saturday does not give a date for any discussion of the immunity issue to be held, but does allow for a short pause related to two deadlines for Trump’s lawyers and one deadline for prosecutors. The order gives federal prosecutors until July 18 to respond to Trump’s request for an extended delay. Trump’s legal team will then be due to reply to the prosecution on July 21.

Trump has argued that his removal of classified documents from the White House and then relocating them to his Florida resort home at Mar-a-Lago constituted an official act — and that the Supreme Court’s ruling should translate to charges brought by Special Counsel Jack Smith being dropped.

In Friday’s court filing, attorneys for Trump also pointed to Justice Clarence Thomas’ concurring opinion in the immunity decision, which questioned Smith’s appointment and authority in the classified documents case. Trump’s team also has sought to have the case dismissed on those grounds, arguing that Smith’s appointment is unconstitutional.

Smith has said the Supreme Court’s decision does not apply to the classified documents case because the documents were taken as Trump was leaving office — and that the former president obstructed FBI investigators from recovering them from Mar-a-Lago once he was no longer president.

Cannon has yet to set a date for a trial in the case. The Trump appointee has been criticized for indefinitely suspending the start date for the trial after announcing she needed more time to examine pretrial motions from the former president’s legal team requesting that the case be dismissed.

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