Supreme Court Hands Jack Smith A Major Defeat In Trump 2020 Election Case

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The Supreme Court declined special counsel Jack Smith’s request Friday for it to quickly consider a key question in former President Donald Trump’s election interference case without letting the lower court weigh in first.

Smith asked the justices last week to hear former President Donald Trump’s bid to have his election interference case dismissed based on presidential immunity without allowing the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals to first consider the issue. In an unsigned order Friday, the justices shot down his request.

District Judge Tanya Chutkan declined to dismiss Trump’s case Dec. 1 in a decision that said the presidency “does not confer a lifelong ‘get-out-of-jail-free’ pass.” Trump then appealed her decision to the D.C. Circuit. (RELATED: Trump Urges SCOTUS To Decline Jack Smith’s ‘Partisan’ Bid To Rush Judgement On Key Election Interference Case Question)

The Supreme Court’s decision puts an obstacle in the way of Smith, who has been making every effort to salvage Trump’s scheduled March 4 trial date. Chutkan paused proceedings in Trump’s case pending his appeal of the immunity question.

Trump’s attorneys told the justices in a filing Wednesday that they should reject Smith’s request, which they alleged had a “partisan motivation,” and to not “rush to decide the issues with reckless abandon.”

“This Court’s ordinary review procedures will allow the D.C. Circuit to address this appeal in the first instance, thus granting this Court the benefit of an appellate court’s prior consideration of these historic topics and performing the traditional winnowing function that this Court has long preferred,” Trump’s lawyers wrote Wednesday.

His lawyers said Smith “confuses the public interest with a partisan interest of his superior, President Biden.”

“Further, the Special Counsel’s insistence that this Court decide the immunity question ‘during its current Term,’ reflects the evident desire to schedule President Trump’s potential trial during the summer of 2024— at the height of the election season,” they wrote.

Oral arguments at the D.C. Circuit are scheduled for Jan. 9, 2024. The question will likely come back to the Supreme Court after the appeals court issues a ruling.

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