Supreme Court refuses Jack Smith's request to review Trump's immunity claim

 December 22, 2023

Special Counsel Jack Smith recently asked the Supreme Court to quickly decide whether former President Donald Trump is immune from prosecution over actions he took following the 2020 election.

Yet in a crushing defeat for Smith, the nation's highest judicial body just moved to decline his request. 

District judge denied Trump's motion to dismiss

According to Fox News, the Supreme Court announced its decision on Friday afternoon without providing any explanation or vote count.

The network reported earlier this year that Smith indicted Trump on charges of conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, obstruction of an attempt to obstruct an official proceeding, and conspiracy against rights.

Meanwhile, CBS News noted earlier this month that U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan rejected Trump's motion to dismiss on the grounds that he was immune from prosecution.

"Whatever immunities a sitting President may enjoy, the United States has only one Chief Executive at a time, and that position does not confer a lifelong 'get-out-of-jail-free' pass," the federal judge was quoted as saying

Smith argued that quickly resolving issue is "of imperative public importance"

That led Trump's legal team to file an appeal of Chutkan's ruling with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

Such a move is likely to delay the trial's March 4 start date, and Smith responded by attempting to have the Supreme Court quickly decide the matter.

"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," CBS News quoted Smith as stating in his filing.

"Respondent's claims are profoundly mistaken, as the district court held. But only this Court can definitively resolve them," he added.

Legal expert calls decision "a tremendous victory for Trump"

In an article published on Friday, Vox contributor and legal expert Ian Millhiser called the Supreme Court's rejection of Smith's request represents "a tremendous victory for Trump."

Millhiser maintained that by dragging out his trial, Trump may be able to delay any verdict until after next year's presidential election.

"If Trump is elected president this November, he will gain command and control over the Justice Department, and can order it to drop the criminal charges against him," the Duke University School of Law graduate wrote.

Millhiser went on to stress that "Friday’s Supreme Court order advances Trump’s goal of delaying his trial into oblivion."

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