Politics

Jack Smith ‘Shot Himself In The Foot’ With Supreme Court Move: Prosecutor

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.


A former federal prosecutor is taking Special Counsel Jack Smith to task over the way he worded a filing to the U.S. Supreme Court in requesting justices not delay his obstruction trial in Washington, D.C., by taking up his immunity appeal.

Bill Shipley, who currently represents some of the defendants charged in connection with the January 6 riot, implied that Smith may have “shot himself in the foot” when he informed the court that the nation holds a “compelling interest” in swiftly bringing Trump to trial.

Trump has pleaded not guilty to four charges, alleging that he unlawfully attempted to overturn the results of the 2020 election. The former president is presently seeking to dismiss the case, arguing that he is immune from prosecution due to the charges stemming from his actions as president. Trump, who is leading the pack for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, has been accused of trying to postpone the start of the federal trial until after the election, as he could potentially order the Department of Justice to drop the case if he wins, Newsweek reported.

On Wednesday, Smith requested in a filing with the Supreme Court that the justices uphold a prior decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, which dismissed Trump’s assertions of absolute immunity and proceed with trial proceedings. The initial trial date of March 4 has already been canceled, and no alternative date has been proposed yet.

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“Delay in the resolution of these charges threatens to frustrate the public interest in a speedy and fair verdict—a compelling interest in every criminal case and one that has unique national importance here, as it involves federal criminal charges against a former President for alleged criminal efforts to overturn the results of the Presidential election, including through the use of official power,” Smith wrote.

“The public interest in a prompt trial is at its zenith where, as here, a former president is charged with conspiring to subvert the electoral process so that he could remain in office. The nation has a compelling interest in seeing the charges brought to trial,” he added.

Shipley wrote on social media that Smith may have angered justices by implying they wouldn’t be serving the public interest unless they abide by his timeline.

“I don’t think SCOTUS will be patient with a lecture about how to perform its Constitutional role in a way that is ‘In the public interest,’” Shipley posted on X.

“Smith has shot himself in the foot by creating the impression in the minds of the lefties that if SCOTUS doesn’t adopt his preferred timing, SCOTUS is not acting ‘in the public interest,’” he added.

Meanwhile, former Deputy Assistant Attorney General Harry Litman said that Smith’s request was a “dramatic, but expected” move.

“Everything about the opposition, including urging the court to deny stay, speaks to the great need for speed. The court will take notice,” Litman posted on the X platform.

“On the other hand, whether the court takes the case won’t fundamentally depend on what Smith says. It will come down to whether it thinks, being the Supreme Court, it has to rule, n/w/s that the ruling would be to affirm the DC circuit,” he added.

In December, the Supreme Court dismissed Smith’s plea, ruling that the U.S. Court of Appeals should initially address the immunity decision for the District of Columbia Circuit. Trump’s legal team is currently petitioning the Supreme Court to pause the trial proceedings.

At the same time, they pursue a reconsideration of the ruling at the appeals court or for the Supreme Court to directly review the lower court’s decision through a “Cert petition.”

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“It makes it sort of hard to oppose a cert petition now, doesn’t it?” Shipley wrote on X while sharing Smith’s previous court filings. “Pretty much an admission that the panel’s decision is not where this question needs to be resolved.”

 

 

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