Politics

Supreme Court Agrees To Hear Case That Could Spell End To Jack Smith’s Prosecution of Trump

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


The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear an emergency motion filed by special counsel Jack Smith in a case that not only has major implications for former President Donald Trump but hundreds of Americans arrested on charges related to the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol Building.

According to Politico, “The case, arising from the prosecution of a Jan. 6 defendant accused of pushing against police and inflaming a mob attempting to breach the Capitol, calls into question prosecutors’ handling of an Enron-era obstruction law to punish those who stormed Congress.”

The charge is “obstruction of an official proceeding,” and it is one of the felony counts that Trump himself faces in his so-called ‘election interference’ case filed by Smith. That charge alone carries a maximum prison sentence of 20 years.

On Tuesday, lawyers for Trump leveled charges of “election interference” at Smith after he filed the motion with the Supreme Court.

Smith filed a motion on Monday seeking a quick resolution from the nation’s highest court, asking justices to determine whether Trump has immunity from being prosecuted.

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Trump’s 2024 re-election campaign issued a strongly worded statement criticizing Smith and President Joe Biden, who is also running for a second term, for their efforts to stick with a March 4 trial date in the case, which is one day before the Super Tuesday primaries.

The high court agreed to promptly review Smith’s petition, allowing Trump until December 20 to submit a response.

“Crooked Joe Biden’s henchman, Deranged Jack Smith, is so obsessed with interfering in the 2024 Presidential Election to prevent President Trump from retaking the Oval Office, as the President is poised to do, that Smith is willing to try for a Hail Mary by racing to the Supreme Court and attempting to bypass the appellate process,” a Trump spokesperson said of the filing.

The statement referenced Smith’s oversight of the Department of Justice’s public integrity unit, which secured a bribery and extortion conviction against former Virginia Republican Governor Bob McDonnell in a gift case. However, the Supreme Court later overturned the conviction with an 8-0 decision in 2016.

“Deranged may need to be reminded that the Supreme Court has not been kind to him, including by handing down a rare unanimous rebuke when the Court overturned him 8-0 in the McDonnell case,” the spokesperson added.

After a district court judge rejected Trump’s immunity claims last week, the former president’s legal team quickly filed an appeal, requesting a pause in the court proceedings.

Smith’s team subsequently asked the nation’s highest court on Monday to review the question of immunity before a D.C.-based federal appeals court had the opportunity to rule on the issue, arguing there is precedent from the Nixon Watergate tapes case from the early 1970s.

Smith’s team acknowledged this was an “extraordinary request” in an “extraordinary case,” adding: “It is of imperative public importance that respondent’s claims of immunity be resolved by this Court and that respondent’s trial proceed as promptly as possible if his claim of immunity is rejected.”

The special counsel also submitted a separate filing to the D.C. federal appeals court, requesting expedited proceedings in anticipation that the Supreme Court might not agree to expedite the case before a ruling at the appellate level.

“The only reason for this petition is to seek to guarantee a trial of Trump (and possible conviction) before the election,” George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley opined about Smith’s maneuver in a series of posts to the X platform.

He noted further: “The Supreme Court may not view a trial of Trump during the campaign to be as motivating or urgent as does Smith. This is a novel legal argument that the Court would ordinarily prefer to hear the views of the appellate judges.”

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