Special Counsel Smith's efforts to prosecute Trump likely upended by SCOTUS immunity decision

 May 24, 2024

Special Counsel Jack Smith's dual prosecutorial efforts to convict and imprison former President Donald Trump are almost certainly not going to plan and could even end up backfiring on him by exonerating Trump of any wrongdoing -- if either of his two cases even make it to trial.

Smith had a really bad day last month when the Supreme Court heard oral arguments on Trump's claim of presidential immunity from prosecution and a majority of the justices signaled they may at least partially side with the former president, according to a Wall Street Journal op-ed at the time.

That Supreme Court case threatens to delay the aggressive anti-Trump prosecutor's 2020 election-related case in Washington D.C., potentially pushing a trial back until after the 2024 election, which would be a huge loss for Smith's overt plans to try and convict Trump before voters cast their ballots.

Smith's D.C. case likely delayed until after election by eventual Supreme Court immunity ruling

The Wall Street Journal's Editorial Board observed that one of Special Counsel Smith's top prosecutors, Michael Dreeben, found a rather skeptical audience at the Supreme Court for his argument that former presidents lack any immunity from prosecution whatsoever after leaving office.

Justice Neil Gorsuch, who quipped that the court would be "writing a rule for the ages" with the immunity case, shared with the prosecutor how he was "concerned about future uses of the criminal law to target political opponents based on accusations about their motives."

That concern was similarly shared by some of the other jurists, such as Justices Samuel Alito and Brett Kavanaugh, as well as Chief Justice John Roberts, who all expressed in various ways how negatively consequential it would be on future presidents if they faced a constant threat of partisan prosecution after their term in office was finished.

SCOTUSblog also reported at the time that a majority of the justices seemed inclined to rule that former presidents retain at least some measure of immunity from prosecution for "official" acts committed during their tenure in office.

If that turns out to be true, the most likely scenario is that Smith's election-related case against Trump will be kicked back down to the district court with instructions for that judge to hold hearings and issue rulings on whether Trump's alleged criminal acts constituted "official" or "private" acts -- any of which could be appealed, inevitably delaying the case until after the election in November.

Classified documents case indefinitely delayed, Smith's "prosecutorial misconduct" exposed

Meanwhile, with the D.C. case now in limbo and likely delayed once the Supreme Court issues its ruling, Newsweek reported earlier this month that Special Counsel Smith was also potentially facing a "game over" for his classified documents case against former President Trump in South Florida.

The main problem for Smith there is that presiding Judge Aileen Cannon has indefinitely delayed an eventual trial as she works to settle numerous pre-trial motions and deal with complex procedures and requirements for handling classified materials in a courtroom setting -- all of which takes substantial time to adequately address.

That isn't the only issue for the anti-Trump prosecutor, however, as the Washington Examiner just reported this week on newly filed and unsealed motions from Trump's defense team that exposed Smith's overly aggressive and possibly unlawful tactics in his concerted effort to "get Trump" for allegedly retaining classified documents after leaving the White House in 2021.

Those filings accuse Smith of prosecutorial misconduct, including grossly violating Trump's constitutional rights, and allege with evidence a previously undisclosed level of improper "collusion" between the Biden White House, the National Archives, the Justice Department, and the FBI, among other damning revelations.

Smith likely won't be prosecuting Trump this year, if ever

Special Counsel Smith may eventually get his day in court against former President Trump, though that almost certainly won't happen soon.

Meanwhile, as more evidence of what has occurred behind the scenes in Smith's zealously partisan efforts to "get Trump" is publicly exposed, that serves to virtually exonerate the embattled Republican in the eyes of many Americans and may, in fact, result in him spending the next four years in the White House instead of a prison cell.

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