Jack Smith asks Supreme Court to swiftly weigh in on Trump’s immunity claims

December 11, 2023

Special counsel Jack Smith asked the Supreme Court on Monday to decide if former President Trump is immune from prosecution in his 2020 election interference case. 

Smith has asked for an exceptionally speedy ruling from the Supreme Court—before an appeals court acts on the matter. 

U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan has set a March 4 trial date in the case. 

Earlier this month she rejected a series of arguments from Trump attorneys to have the case dismissed, including that Trump can’t be prosecuted for alleged actions surrounding his efforts to overturn his 2020 election loss because those actions were “at the heart of his official responsibilities as President.” 

Smith’s team countered that there nothing in the Constitution, or in court precedent, to support the assertion that a former President cannot be prosecuted for criminal conduct committed while in the White House—and Chutkan agreed, ruling that “former Presidents enjoy no special conditions on their federal criminal liability.”

“Defendant may be subject to federal investigation, indictment, prosecution, conviction, and punishment for any criminal acts undertaken while in office,” she wrote.

By going directly to the Supreme Court, Smith has argued that a delay in the decision is untenable and that the high court should resolve the matter as quickly as possible.

“The United States recognizes that this is an extraordinary request. This is an extraordinary case,” federal prosecutors told the Supreme Court in its filing Monday. “The court should grant certiorari and set a briefing schedule that would permit this case to be argued and resolved as promptly as possible.”

Trump has pleaded not guilty to four criminal counts surrounding attempts to overturn the 2020 Presidential election, including conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, obstruction of and attempt to obstruct an official proceeding and conspiracy against rights.

PHOTO: Jack Smith, per Justice.gov

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