Supreme Court tells Jack Smith to respond to Trump's petition

 February 14, 2024

This week saw the Supreme Court issue an order to Special Counsel Jack Smith regarding his prosecution of former President Donald Trump. 

According to The Washington Times, Smith was instructed to offer a response to Trump's request that America's highest judicial body review his presidential immunity claim.

Trump appeal's lower court ruling

While Smith has indicted Trump for actions which he took following the 2020 election, his attorneys argue that the former president is immune from prosecution for actions he took in accordance with his official duties.

That contention was rejected by Judge Judge Tanya Chutkan as well as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. circuit in a ruling earlier this month.

Trump reacted to the decision by asking the Supreme Court to put his case on hold while he files an appeal of the matter.

The former president maintains that should his immunity claim be rejected then it would "collapse our system of separated powers."

Trump's lawyers warn that future presidents will be targeted

"President Trump's claim that presidents have absolute immunity from criminal prosecution for their official acts presents a novel, complex and momentous question that warrants careful consideration on appeal," Trump's attorneys wrote in his petition.

"If the prosecution of a president is upheld, such prosecutions will recur and become increasingly common, ushering in destructive cycles of recrimination," they added.

"The president’s political opponents will seek to influence and control his or her decisions via effective extortion or blackmail with the threat, explicit or implicit, of indictment by a future, hostile administration, for acts that do not warrant any such prosecution," the lawyer asserted.

Trump's defense team went on to contend that such concerns are not limited to their client but "will hang like a millstone around every future president’s neck."

Matter may not be resolved until after election

The Times noted that should the Supreme Court decide to take up Trump's case, the justices will then have to agree upon a time frame.

One option would be to fast-track the matter, an approach the Court took in addressing efforts to remove Trump from Colorado's ballot.

However, if the justices put Trump's case on their regular calendar then it may not be adjudicated until after this year's election.

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