Supreme Court Drops Deadline On Jack Smith

Special Counsel Jack Smith now has less than a week to respond to the Supreme Court regarding a request from former President Donald Trump for them to hear his claim of presidential immunity.

Earlier this week, the high court set a deadline of February 20 for Smith and his legal team to respond about whether Trump’s request for a stay in his case in lower courts.

On Monday, Trump’s legal team asked the Supreme Court to put his case on hold, as they are working on a full appeal of the ruling that was handed down by the U.S. Court of Appeals in the D.C. Circuit.

Last week, that court denied Trump’s claim that he couldn’t be prosecuted for charges over his role in allegedly trying to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election because, in part, he has presidential immunity.

The appeals court said that if they were to rule in Trump’s favor, it would essentially put him above the law and “collapse our system of separated powers.”

In making their appeal to the Supreme Court, Trump’s legal team said they have a “compelling” reason why the high court should weigh in. As their petition read:

“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.”

They are further asking the high court to consider if a president has immunity from all criminal prosecution for any act that’s performed within the “outer perimeter of his official responsibility.”

At the same time, Trump is asking the Supreme Court to weigh in on the issue of double jeopardy, which prevents people from being prosecuted for the same crime twice.

In Trump’s case, his claim is that he was already acquitted in the Senate for his second impeachment trial for these same charges, so Smith shouldn’t be allowed to proceed with charging him criminally again.

The decision that the Supreme Court justices make in the case will ultimately determine if the case against Trump proceeds in federal court before the upcoming presidential election on November 5.

If the Supreme Court were to deny Trump’s motion, the trial could start within a few months. Under that scenario, Trump wouldn’t be able to claim immunity over the case.

The justices could also grant Trump his request for a stay, and even review his petition fully. In that case, the Supreme Court could fast-track the case and hear it soon, or put in on their regular calendar.

The latter would likely result in the criminal case being pushed back after the November election — which is something that Smith definitely doesn’t want.

In this particular case, Trump is facing four criminal counts — one count each of conspiracy to violate civil rights and conspiracy to defraud the U.S., as well as two counts of attempting to obstruct the vote-certification proceedings.