Special Counsel Urges Supreme Court to Reject Trump’s Request for Delay in Immunity Case

Credits: ABC News

Special counsel Jack Smith has urged the Supreme Court to uphold a lower court ruling denying former President Donald Trump immunity from prosecution, emphasizing the urgency to commence the trial in his election subversion case quickly.

Smith argued that the charged crimes are a direct threat to democracy, and a president’s alleged criminal scheme to overturn an election and obstruct the peaceful transfer of power should not grant absolute immunity from federal criminal law.

This response from Smith is in opposition to an emergency request filed by Trump on Monday, seeking to pause proceedings and appeal a DC Circuit decision that denied him the ability to claim presidential immunity. Trump contended that the “presidency as we know it will cease to exist” if the lower court’s ruling stands.

Trump (Credits: NBC News)

Smith emphasized that delaying the resolution of these charges could frustrate the public interest in a speedy and fair verdict. If the court orders a delay, Smith requested it be considered an appeal, with the case set for expedited briefing and argument, ideally next month.

In his response, Smith drew heavily on historical references, quoting Alexander Hamilton and other founding-era leaders to underscore the accountability of presidents for their conduct.

He argued that Trump couldn’t point to any Founding Era suggestion of absolute immunity, highlighting the remote possibility of the court agreeing with Trump’s unprecedented legal position.

The DC Circuit’s unanimous opinion last week allowed Trump to face charges for actions undermining the 2020 election, dismissing his claims of immunity for former presidents.

Trump’s request to the Supreme Court seeks a temporary block of that decision to allow for an appeal. The timing of the Supreme Court’s handling of this request is critical, with Trump’s desire to delay the trial until after the November election, and Smith’s determination to proceed promptly.

Chief Justice John Roberts has given Smith until February 20 to respond to Trump’s emergency request, after which the justices will decide on further actions.

Smith stressed the public interest in a prompt trial, particularly when a former president is charged with conspiring to subvert the electoral process.

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