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Trump Asks Supreme Court To Intervene In Presidential Immunity Appeal

  Former President Donald Trump asked the Supreme Court Monday to intervene in his bid to dismiss his election interference case based on pr...

 Former President Donald Trump asked the Supreme Court Monday to intervene in his bid to dismiss his election interference case based on presidential immunity.

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Tuesday that Trump is not immune from prosecution in the case brought by special counsel Jack Smith, but held off on issuing the mandate until Monday to allow time for Trump to ask the Supreme Court to step in. Trump’s request for the Supreme Court to pause the mandate while he files his appeal of the ruling means his trial — which District Court Judge Tanya Chutkan paused pending the former president’s appeal — will be further delayed.

Trump’s trial was scheduled for March 4, but Chutkan vacated the date early in February, noting the court would “set a new schedule if and when the mandate is returned.” Chutkan rejected Trump’s bid to dismiss his case based on presidential immunity in December. When he appealed, she paused proceedings in the case.

Smith sought to keep the trial on schedule in December by asking the Supreme Court to take up the question before the appeals court had a chance to consider it, but the justices rejected his request.

“President Trump’s claim that Presidents have absolute immunity from criminal prosecution for their official acts presents a novel, complex, and momentous question that warrants careful consideration on appeal,” the application states. “The panel opinion below, like the district court, concludes that Presidential immunity from prosecution for official acts does not exist at all. This is a stunning breach of precedent and historical norms.”

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments in January, which Trump attended. During the hearing, Judge Florence Pan, a Biden appointee, questioned Trump’s attorney about whether his immunity argument would allow a president to order SEAL Team Six to assassinate a political rival without facing criminal charges.

“For the purpose of this criminal case, former President Trump has become citizen Trump, with all of the defenses of any other criminal defendant. But any executive immunity that may have protected him while he served as President no longer protects him against this prosecution,” the panel wrote in the Feb. 6 ruling. “Former President Trump lacked any lawful discretionary authority to defy federal criminal law and he is answerable in court for his conduct.”

Trump’s application notes the D.C. Circuit’s decision “appears to authorize the district court to resume criminal proceedings immediately.”

“President Trump is the leading candidate for President in the 2024 election,” his lawyer’s wrote. “Conducting a months-long criminal trial of President Trump at the height of election season will radically disrupt President Trump’s ability to campaign against President Biden—which appears to be the whole point of the Special Counsel’s persistent demands for expedition.”

“The D.C. Circuit’s order thus threatens immediate irreparable injury to the First Amendment interests of President Trump and tens of millions of American voters, who are entitled to hear President Trump’s campaign message as they decide how to cast their ballots in November,” the application continues.

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