Trump Lawyers Urge Supreme Court to Reject Fast-Tracking Immunity Decision

Trump Lawyers Urge Supreme Court to Reject Fast-Tracking Immunity Decision – On Wednesday, legal representatives of Donald Trump urged the US Supreme Court to dismiss the special counsel’s request for a prompt determination on Trump’s immunity from prosecution regarding his actions to challenge the 2020 election results. They argued that prosecutors lacked the standing to file the petition.

The former president’s stance was that prosecutors lacked grounds to challenge a favorable lower court decision and should wait for a federal appeals court to issue its judgment before intervening in the case. “This Court’s ordinary review procedures will allow the DC Circuit to address this appeal in the first instance, thus granting this Court the benefit of an appellate court’s prior consideration,” Trump’s lawyers wrote in the 35-page filing.

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“The Special Counsel urges this Court to bypass those ordinary procedures, including the longstanding preference for prior consideration by at least one court of appeals, and rush to decide the issues with reckless abandon. The Court should decline that invitation at this time.” Trump’s legal documents essentially aimed to put the case on hold, seeking an indefinite delay of the March 2024 trial date. 

This move followed prosecutors’ attempt to expedite resolution by directly approaching the nation’s highest court, bypassing the potentially lengthy appeals process. Trump’s primary argument for requesting the Supreme Court to postpone the petition was procedural. He asserted that the limited circumstances allowing prosecutors to appeal a favorable lower court ruling applied only when the government had suffered harm, a condition he argued did not apply to the special counsel Jack Smith.

The filing emphasized that the court should follow standard practice, allowing the DC circuit to render a judgment first, especially given their commitment to expedite the matter. The outcome of Trump’s arguments remains uncertain, as he repeatedly referred to the precedent set in Camreta v Greene (2011), where the court affirmed its jurisdiction despite the appellant being the prevailing party.

Trump accused the special counsel’s office of conflating the “public interest” in a swift trial with “partisan interest,” alleging that prosecutors aimed to proceed to trial before the 2024 election for political reasons during his presidential campaign. The Supreme Court is expected to swiftly decide on whether to grant the special counsel’s appeal. If accepted, oral arguments could be scheduled in January, with a decision issued within weeks. 

Otherwise, the case would revert to the jurisdiction of the DC circuit. Earlier this month, Trump petitioned the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit to overturn a trial judge’s decision denying his motion to dismiss the indictment, asserting absolute immunity for actions related to his official duties as president. The Trump legal team, aware that the motion might not succeed, strategically filed it, anticipating potential appeals before trial and, importantly, causing a pause in the case pending the appeals process.

Trump’s legal team anticipated that the DC circuit would likely take months to schedule oral arguments and deliver a ruling. Their plan involved taking the matter to the Supreme Court only after a potential loss, a process that could also extend over months to determine whether Trump could face prosecution. However, prosecutors disrupted Trump’s strategy, seeking certiorari from the Supreme Court before the DC circuit issued a judgment. 

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They also separately urged the DC circuit to expedite its consideration. The federal 2020 election interference trial is currently slated for March 4, the day before Super Tuesday, a crucial date for 15 states holding Republican primaries or caucuses. Trump, the GOP frontrunner, has been vocal about avoiding courtroom entanglements. Trump openly acknowledges his overarching legal strategy across all his criminal cases is centered on pursuing procedural delays. 

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If the cases don’t reach trial before the next election and he secures a second term, he could direct his chosen attorney general to drop all charges. Even if the case goes to trial before November, Trump’s preference, as suggested by sources, would be for the trial to occur as close to the election as possible. This timing could provide his 2024 campaign with the narrative to portray the criminal case as politically motivated.

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