The judge overseeing the federal election subversion case against Donald Trump laid out some pre-trial deadlines and procedures for jury selection, as the former president tries to put the brakes on the entire case.
On Thursday, Judge Tanya Chutkan handed down two orders, one setting up filing deadlines for prosecutors to respond to Trump’s long-shot dismissal motion and another outlining how jury questionnaires in the case will be handled.
The trial is currently scheduled to begin on March 4, 2024, in Washington, DC.
Jurors will be summoned to complete the questionnaires – which are generally designed to flag any issues a potential juror might have in the case – in early February.
Chutkan made it clear that while prosecutors and defense attorneys can conduct open-source research on potential jurors, they can’t directly contact anyone or pass along any information that could identify a juror to a third party, including “the defendant’s campaign.”
The judge’s orders came after Trump’s attorneys on Wednesday asked her to pause the entire case against him, arguing that he is immune from prosecution for his actions as president. At the same time, Trump’s attorneys have asked a different judge overseeing the classified documents-handling case in Florida to delay that trial until after the November election.
In the election case in Washington, DC, prosecutors have raised concerns over Trump’s potential to taint the jury pool in the district through his social media posts attacking the city – concerns they noted when originally asking for a gag order on the former president.
Chutkan issued a narrow gag order following a hearing last month and – following a stay on the order after Trump’s attorneys appealed the decision – re-imposed the order on Sunday. Among other things, the order limits what Trump can say about potential witnesses.
For more CNN news and newsletters create an account at CNN.com