Supreme Court Will Not Immediately Hear Presidential Immunity Case Despite Jack Smith’s Plea for Speed

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    AP Photo/Alex Brandon

    The Supreme Court of the United States will not immediately hear former President Donald Trump’s case for presidential immunity, siding with Trump, who argued the court should reject Special Counsel Jack Smith’s request for a speedy review and decision.

    The high court on Friday declined Smith’s request for a quick review, meaning that the case will go through the normal process in the appeals court and likely make its way to the SCOTUS from there.

    This is a significant victory for Trump and a major setback for Smith, who is racing against the clock to put Trump on trial in front of a heavily Democrat jury before the election.

    Polling shows that a conviction could cost Trump several million votes, and if Trump does not have time to get the conviction reversed on appeal before November, there is a chance it could cause damage on Election Day. Trump has denounced the timing of Smith’s prosecution as “election interference,” calling it a political attempt to manipulate the upcoming presidential race.

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    The SCOTUS’s refusal of an immediate review of Trump’s claims of presidential immunity comes less than two weeks after Smith’s original request, in which he asked the justices to quickly determine if Trump could be legally prosecuted over the various charges related to January 6, which contend that Trump supposedly attempted to overturn the 2020 presidential election results.

    “Despite having lost, the Defendant was determined to stay in power,” the indictment asserts. “So for more than two months following Election Day on November 3, 2020, the Defendant spread lies that there had been outcome-determinative fraud in the election that he actually won. These claims were false, and the Defendant knew they were false.”

    Trump was indicted on four counts in that specific case, as Breitbart News reported. They include: “One on conspiracy to defraud the U.S.; one on conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding; one of obstruction and attempt to obstruct an official proceeding; and one of conspiracy against rights.”

    Smith’s request for a speedy review comes as he tries to stick to his March 4, 2024, trial date in the case, fearing that the case could be delayed into 2025, after the presidential election.

    “It is of imperative public importance that respondent’s claims of immunity be resolved by this Court and that respondent’s trial proceed as promptly as possible if his claim of immunity is rejected,” prosecutors pleaded.

    Trump’s lawyers, however, argued against Smith’s request:

    Importance does not automatically necessitate speed. If anything, the opposite is usually true. Novel, complex, sensitive, and historic issues — such as the existence of presidential immunity from criminal prosecution for official acts — call for more careful deliberation, not less.

    They asserted that there is no need for SCOTUS to take the case “before the lower courts complete their review.”

    The case is United States v. Trump, No. 23-624, in the Supreme Court of the United States.

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