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Supreme Court declines Jack Smith’s request to fast-track Trump immunity claims

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(The Center Square) – The U.S. Supreme Court turned down special counsel Jack Smith’s request to fast-track former President Donald Trump’s claims of presidential immunity for his attempts to overturn his 2020 loss to Joe Biden.

Smith had asked the nation’s highest court to decide on whether Trump is immune from prosecution before the March 4, 2024, trial date in the Washington D.C. case.

The Supreme Court denied the request in a one-sentence statement without explanation following court custom.

The high court’s decision leaves the matter to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. That court has agreed to fast-track proceedings.

Arguments before the circuit court are set for Jan. 9. The losing side will likely appeal to the Supreme Court.

Smith wanted the Supreme Court to decide the matter right away.

“This case presents a fundamental question at the heart of our democracy: whether a former President is absolutely immune from federal prosecution for crimes committed while in office or is constitutionally protected from federal prosecution when he has been impeached but not convicted before the criminal proceedings begin,” prosecutors wrote.

Trump posted about the issue Saturday morning on his social media platform Truth Social.

“The Supreme Court has unanimously rejected Deranged Jack Smith’s ‘SUPER SPEEDY’ lawsuit against me,” Trump wrote. “This sick puppies team of Lowlifes and Radical Left Thugs could have brought this ‘case’ 3 years ago, and it would be long over by now.”

Trump has argued that he has presidential immunity from D.C. charges, which accuse him of criminal conspiracies to subvert the 2020 election results.

The Washington D.C. trial is set to start March 4. Smith’s team of federal prosecutors charged Trump with four federal counts related to contesting the 2020 election and the storming of the U.S. Capitol building on Jan. 6, 2021. The charges include conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, conspiracy to defraud the United States, obstruction, and conspiracy against the right to vote and to have one’s vote counted, according to the indictment. Trump has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

That trial starts the day before Super Tuesday on March 5, when 15 Republican primaries and caucuses are scheduled to take place.

Trump has repeatedly said that the federal cases against him amount to election interference. The GOP frontrunner has largely blamed Biden and Democrats for his legal troubles.

Federal prosecutors have previously argued in court filings that Trump has been trying to delay his federal criminal trials until after the 2024 election “at any cost.”

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