The Supreme Court has declined special counsel Jack Smith’s request for an expedited hearing on the dispute over Trump’s immunity.

    Supreme Court

    The Supreme Court has declined a request from special counsel Jack Smith to expedite the consideration of whether Donald Trump holds any immunity from federal prosecution for alleged offenses committed during his tenure as president. This decision is anticipated to introduce a delay to Trump’s trial, as the immunity question must be resolved before proceedings can proceed.

    Supreme Court Rejects Expedited Hearing on Trump’s Immunity

    The Supreme Court did not provide an explanation for its decision, and there were no recorded dissents. While both parties can appeal the ultimate ruling by the DC Circuit Court of Appeals to the Supreme Court, observers consider this move a substantial victory for Trump. Trump’s legal strategy involves deliberately prolonging the criminal case by engaging in an extended legal battle over the immunity matter.

    The DC Circuit is already expeditiously reviewing the immunity issue, with oral arguments scheduled for January 9. Meanwhile, the alleged election subversion trial is slated to commence in March.


    Steve Vladeck, a CNN Supreme Court analyst and professor at the University of Texas School of Law, posed the key question resulting from the Supreme Court’s decision: What happens next? If the Court of Appeals denies Trump’s immunity claim, uncertainty lingers regarding whether the trial will be paused for further Supreme Court review or proceed, leading Trump to request a stay from the Supreme Court. Although a March 4 trial start remains possible, the Supreme Court’s apparent willingness to let the DC Circuit take the lead introduces some uncertainty and potentially diminishes the likelihood of an immediate trial commencement.

    Legal Strategies Unveiled: Trump’s Victory and Delay Tactics

    In their plea to dissuade the court from accepting the case, Trump’s legal representatives contended that the special counsel was attempting to hastily adjudicate the issues without due consideration. They emphasized the politically charged nature of the case, urging caution rather than expedited decision-making, stating, “The fact that this case arises in the vortex of a political dispute warrants caution, not haste,” as outlined in court documents.

    Following the Supreme Court’s refusal to hear the case, Trump continued to assert his immunity from federal prosecution, expressing this stance on social media. In a Friday post, he stated, “I was President; it was my right and duty to investigate and speak on the rigged and stolen 2020 presidential election. Looking forward to the very important arguments on presidential immunity in front of the DC Circuit Court of Appeals!”

    Supreme Court

    Earlier in the month, Trump’s legal team submitted a petition to the appeals court, seeking a review of the immunity ruling issued by District Judge Tanya Chutkan, who oversees his criminal case. Chutkan rejected arguments from Trump’s attorneys, asserting that the criminal indictment should be dismissed. Their claim argued that Trump, in allegedly undermining the 2020 election results, operated within his official capacity as president to “ensure election integrity,” warranting protection under presidential immunity. The judge, awaiting the appeal’s resolution, temporarily suspended all procedural deadlines in the case.

    Smith vehemently contested Trump’s assertion that prosecutors were unfairly attempting to expedite his trial in March, emphasizing that such claims were baseless and inaccurate. According to Smith, the former president “stands accused of serious crimes because the grand jury followed the facts and applied the law.” He urged the justices to address the immunity claim promptly, enabling a swift resolution of the charges, regardless of the outcome.

    Trump’s Fundraising Response and Anticipation of Continued Legal Challenges

    In response to the Supreme Court’s decision, Trump promptly launched a fundraising campaign, showcasing his ongoing legal struggles and criticizing the Justice Department. The fundraising message stated, “The Supreme Court just DENIED the Biden prosecutor’s emergency request to ROB me of my right to presidential immunity.” It additionally underscored Trump’s expectation of enduring legal challenges in the Appeals Court, alleging that the Biden Special Counsel would make every effort to expedite an allegedly unjust trial to secure a conviction before the 2024 election.

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