The petition argued that Trump had met the basic tests for the Supreme Court to grant a stay because there was a strong likelihood that the Supreme Court would hear the case and that Trump would suffer "irreparable harm" if a stay was not granted.

"President Trump's claim of immunity is premised on his right not to be tried at all and to avoid the burdens of litigation pending review of his claim," the petition said.

Trump has made no secret that his strategy for all upcoming trials is to postpone them, ideally until after the 2024 elections in November, in the hope that winning a second presidency might lead him to pardon himself or instruct his attorney general to drop the charges. 

For months, Trump has tried to assert a sweeping view of executive authority - that the conduct accused by special counsel Jack Smith falls within the "outer perimeter" of his duties as president and therefore enjoys absolute immunity from prosecution. This argument was quickly rejected by US district judge Tanya Chutkan, who is hearing the case in Washington.

The man who changed his name to "Really One of You" is running for the US elections! The man who changed his name to "Really One of You" is running for the US elections!

But Trump's lawyers have long seen the immunity issue as a tool to prevent the case from going to trial, rather than an argument to win on the merits. 

How the court acts next could determine whether Trump goes to trial in a federal election interference case before the 2024 presidential election. Recent polls show that if Trump is convicted in this case, voters would be more inclined to vote for Joe Biden, the Democratic candidate who defeated Trump in 2020.