Special Counsel Smith Rushes Trump Case To Supreme Court
In a move to bypass the traditional appeals process, special counsel Jack Smith on Monday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to break with procedure, and the court agreed.
Smith requested that justices quickly consider and determine whether former President Donald Trump may be prosecuted for acts allegedly committed while in office. This particular Democratic persecution relates to accusations the 45th president attempted to overturn the 2020 election.
For his part, Smith is attempting to ensure a trial over election interference allegations is not pushed back until after next year’s presidential election.
Justices agreed to hear arguments, announcing later on Monday that Trump’s lawyers must respond to Smith’s action by Dec. 20.
A federal judge previously allowed the case to proceed, but Trump then indicated he would ask the federal appeals court in Washington to step in. The special counsel is trying to skirt that process and take the issue directly to the high court.
JUST IN – FEAR ON THE LEFT: CNN's Elie Honig warns that Jack Smith, by going directly to the Supreme Court, may be making a HUGE mistake, as this could instantly end two of the most serious Trump trials. WATCH pic.twitter.com/yf4cvuiF82
— Simon Ateba (@simonateba) December 11, 2023
Prosecutors claim the case concerns a fundamental constitutional question. Can a former president be prosecuted for alleged crimes committed while in office or is he constitutionally protected?
Trump’s campaign blasted Smith’s move to bypass the appeals court. “There is absolutely no reason to rush this sham to trial except to injure President Trump and tens of millions of his supporters. President Trump will continue to fight for justice and oppose those authoritarian tactics.”
The next private meeting of the nine justices is on Jan. 5, and it is uncertain whether they will gather before then to consider Smith’s request.
The issue surrounding the case is a Dec. 1 ruling by U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan. The controversial jurist rejected Trump’s argument that he is immune to federal prosecution over actions taken while serving as president.
Her simplistic response was that holding that office “does not confer a lifelong ‘get-out-of-jail-free’ pass.” Chutkan further declared that Trump is subject to “federal investigation, indictment, prosecution, conviction and punishment.”
Justice Department policy bans prosecution of a sitting president. Now the Supreme Court has the opportunity to determine whether a former president may be held criminally liable for actions taken while in the White House.