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Trump seeks pause of federal election trial to challenge immunity ruling


President Donald Trump has asked a federal appeals court to pause the trial of a lawsuit challenging his immunity from criminal prosecution, citing the U.S. Supreme Court’s order restoring the immunity of former President Richard Nixon from a lawsuit by the Watergate special prosecutor.

In a filing Monday with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit in New York, Trump’s lawyer, Alan Dershowitz, said the Supreme Court decision made it “clear that the President of the United States is generally immune from civil litigation while in office.”

The lawsuit, filed by an anonymous writer known as “Jane Doe,” contends Trump violated constitutional and common law prohibitions against “intentional infliction of emotional distress” and “unlawful intimidation,” among other things. Trump is accused of making derogatory statements about women on the campaign trail and of using intimidation tactics against women who have accused him of sexual assault.

In December, the 2nd Circuit ruled that the immunity Trump sought did not apply and sent the case back to the district court for further proceedings.

In his filing Monday, Dershowitz argued that the Supreme Court’s order in Nixon’s case should lead the 2nd Circuit to “enjoin the district court proceedings on the present record pending its analysis of the legal impact of the Supreme Court’s ruling in Nixon.”

Dershowitz added that the Supreme Court’s ruling could have the “vital and urgent purpose of maintaining the status quo” in the case until the appeals court can resolve the question.

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