Trump Urges Supreme Court to Take Cautious Approach on Immunity Decision

New York – Former President Donald Trump’s legal team implored the U.S. Supreme Court this week to reject special counsel Jack Smith’s request for an expedited ruling on whether presidential immunity protects Trump from prosecution in the federal 2020 election interference case. Trump’s lawyers argued that the high court should take a cautious, deliberative approach in considering the immunity claims rather than rushing to judgment.

The Supreme Court had agreed to fast-track its consideration of Smith’s request for a ruling on whether Trump, as president at the time, has absolute immunity from criminal prosecution for actions related to his official duties. Smith contends it is imperative that the question of immunity be settled promptly so that Trump’s trial in the election interference case can proceed without delay if his immunity claims are rejected.

Trump’s lawyers countered that Smith has failed to justify the need for unusual speed in deciding such a momentous constitutional issue. “In an omission that speaks volumes, the Special Counsel never explains why March 4, 2024 is supposedly the only ‘appropriate timetable’ for this historic prosecution,” the Trump legal filing states. “That date has no talismanic significance.”

March 4th looms large because it falls in the midst of the 2024 presidential primary season, just one day before the critical Super Tuesday contests in which over a dozen states will vote. Trump has already declared himself a candidate for the 2024 Republican nomination and currently leads in early polling. His lawyers maintain the Supreme Court should not allow the criminal case to disrupt the election cycle.

The stakes in the case are high for Trump both legally and politically. He faces charges of conspiracy to obstruct Congress’s certification of the 2020 election results and related allegations. Trump has pleaded not guilty and disputes the Justice Department’s authority to indict and try a sitting or former president for actions tied to official duties.

While Trump claims absolute immunity, his challengers argue no one is above the law. How the Supreme Court rules on that core question will significantly impact not just Trump but the future scope of presidential power. Critics accuse Trump of trying to stall the case to boost his election chances. His lawyers counter that haste could undermine the Court’s judgment.

“This case should be resolved in a cautious, deliberative manner – not at breakneck speed,” the Trump filing implores. Urging the justices to avoid “rushing to decide the issues with reckless abandon,” his lawyers want the Court to follow standard procedure which could push full arguments and a final ruling on immunity past the 2024 election.

Trump faces additional criminal exposure in Georgia for attempted election interference and in Washington D.C. for the January 6th Capitol attack. He is also battling a civil fraud lawsuit filed by the New York Attorney General regarding his family business. The former president maintains that all of the cases against him are politically motivated “witch hunts.”

While critics increasingly question whether someone under indictment should or even can run for president, Trump seems determined to test the legal boundaries. But much may hinge on how quickly the Supreme Court moves on the immunity question. An expedited decision rejecting Trump’s claims could pave the way for a criminal trial or plea deal before primary voting concludes. That might profoundly impact Republican candidate selections.

Conversely, a protracted Supreme Court deliberation with no definitive ruling issued during the 2024 campaign cycle would allow Trump to maintain his innocence while facing voters. It might also encourage Trump to continue adopting an aggressive legal strategy fighting prosecutors at every turn. Some political analysts forecast legal delays enabling Trump to effectively “run out the clock” through the next presidential election. Only time will tell whether that proves a winning formula for the controversial former president as he seeks to return to power.

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