Supreme Court won't expedite Trump immunity appeal

 December 23, 2023

The U.S. Supreme Court said on Friday that it won't expedite an appeal of an immunity ruling against former President Donald Trump in a Washington, D.C. criminal case against him.

Special Prosecutor Jack Smith asked the nation's highest court to take up the appeal and rule quickly, ostensibly to keep the trial going so it could wrap up before the 2024 election.

Trump's  legal team, which would like to delay the trial until after the election, argued against "rushing" the decision, however.

Trump team urges careful consideration

"This appeal presents momentous, historic questions," the brief stated. "An erroneous denial of a claim of presidential immunity from criminal prosecution unquestionably warrants this Court’s review. The Special Counsel contends that ‘[i]t is of imperative public importance that respondent’s claims of immunity be resolved by this Court.'

"That does not entail, however, that the Court should take the case before the lower courts complete their review. Every jurisdictional and prudential consideration calls for this Court to allow the appeal to proceed first in the D.C. Court."

The D.C. Court of Appeals has said that it will expedite its hearing of the case and set a date of January 4 to do so.

The charges against Trump in the D.C. case include conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, obstruction of and attempt to obstruct an official proceeding, and conspiracy against rights.

The immunity defense

Trump has argued that his actions were part of his official duties as president and should fall under immunity.

Furthermore, he argued that double jeopardy should attach to the case because Congress acquitted him of impeachment charges regarding the events of January 6, 2021.

Motions for these defenses were already filed by Trump and rejected by Judge Tanya Chutkan, laying the groundwork for the appeal.

What Trump actually did--and didn't do

Trump was not directly involved in the January 6 Capitol breach. He told people to go protest at the Capitol, not to enter it, and instructed them to do so "peacefully."

He did advise then-Vice President Mike Pence that he believed Pence was within his rights not to certify the vote totals on that day, but did nothing when Pence disagreed and acted to certify the votes.

Was Trump really attempting to overturn an election he knew hadn't actually been stolen?

Or was he trying to make sure he had done everything he could do to correct what he viewed as an election he might have actually won if it was honest?

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Thomas Jefferson
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