Trump Sets in Motion Fight That May Go to Supreme Court

Separately, he shows up at his New York fraud trial
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 7, 2023 2:00 PM CST
Trump Appeal May Wind Up at Supreme Court
Donald Trump speaks after arriving at New York Supreme Court, Thursday, Dec. 7, 2023, in New York.   (AP Photo/Eduardo Munoz Alvarez)

Thursday saw notable developments in two of Donald Trump's trials:

  • An appeal: Trump is appealing a ruling that he is not immune from criminal prosecution on charges that he plotted to overturn the results of the 2020 election, per the AP. Lawyers for Trump filed a notice of appeal indicating that they will challenge US District Judge Tanya Chutkan's decision rejecting Trump's bid to derail the case headed to trial in Washington, DC, in March. The one-page filing was accompanied by a request from the Trump team to put the case on pause so the appeals court can take up the matter. The appeal had been expected given that Trump's lawyers had earlier signaled their plans to pursue all the way to the Supreme Court, if necessary, what they say is a legally untested question of a former president's immunity from prosecution.
  • Big stakes: The move is a relatively minor one on its own, per the Washington Post. But "how and when the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia and the Supreme Court handle his appeal could have a huge impact on whether Trump—who is again running for president—goes on trial before voters go to the polls in 2024, or ever."

  • Back in court: Trump also returned to his civil fraud trial in New York to spotlight his defense, renewing his complaints that the case is baseless, per the AP. With testimony winding down after more than two months, Trump showed up to watch New York University accounting professor Eli Bartov. Hired by Trump's defense lawyers, Bartov disputed the crux of New York State Attorney General Letitia James' lawsuit: that Trump's financial statements were filled with fraudulently inflated values for such signature assets as his Trump Tower penthouse and his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida. "My main finding is that there is no evidence whatsoever of any accounting fraud," Bartov testified. Trump's financial statements, he said, "were not materially misstated." During a break, Trump declared that "this whole case is a political witch hunt," one "meant to influence an election."
(More Donald Trump stories.)

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