Trump pushes immunity case up to Supremes

 

President Donald J. Trump delivers an update on the COVID-19 Coronavirus vaccine development Operation Warp Speed, Friday, Nov. 13, 2020, in the Rose Garden of the White House. (Official White House photo by Tia Dufour)
President Donald J. Trump delivers an update on the COVID-19 Coronavirus vaccine development Operation Warp Speed, Friday, Nov. 13, 2020, in the Rose Garden of the White House. (Official White House photo by Tia Dufour)

President Trump on Monday pushed a fight over the immunity he held – or did not hold – as president to the U.S. Supreme Court.

A leftist prosecutor has claimed he engaged in election interference during the 2020 election, and Trump has charged that his comments and actions were protected by presidential immunity.

A lower court disagreed with him, setting up Trump’s appeal to the Supremes.

The Washington Examiner explained that prosecutor Jack Smith has been pushing for a trial as soon as possible, in an apparent attempt to obtain a “conviction” before the presidential election in the fall.

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But there is no timetable for the high court to act.

The report noted, “The Supreme Court’s options could include rejecting Trump’s emergency appeal, which would allow U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan to restart the trial proceedings in Washington’s federal court. The trial was initially slated to begin in early March. Justices on the high court could also extend that delay while they hear arguments on the immunity dispute. Given the unprecedented nature of the request, some legal experts have suggested the Supreme Court may not want to give the appeals court the last word over the dispute, even if the nine-member bench ultimately comes to a similar conclusion on Trump’s presidential immunity argument.”

If the justices do take the case, arguments and a ruling aren’t even on the calendar.

Trump’s lawyers have charged that Smith is following a partisan agenda to hold a trial while Trump is campaigning for president.

It’s the second Trump-related case that could come before the court. Last week the justices heard arguments in a decision by Colorado’s all-Democrat state Supreme Court to take Trump’s name off the 2024 ballot, apparently concluding in their own minds and without a conviction, that Trump was guilty of “insurrection.”

The report explained the high court already has held that presidents are immune from civil liability for their official acts, and this question is whether there’s immunity if prosecutors allege criminal acts.

The Washington case being brought by Smith is one of four Trump is facing. Another was brought by Smith in Florida over the papers he apparently kept from his presidency and a state claim of organized crime over his comments about the 2020 election.

The documents case now undoubtedly will be the subject of motions, as a special counsel just concluded that Joe Biden likely violated federal law by keeping such documents from his years as senator and vice president, but he wouldn’t be charged because of his diminished mental capabilities.

The difference with the Trump case is that Biden never had the authority to declassify those documents while Trump, as president, did. Further, Biden has established a record in recent years of lots of mental blunders, flubs and gaffes, displaying for the public a deterioration in his grasp of ordinary events, including how to get off a stage.

And he’s made multiple comments that he’s had talks with people who already are dead.

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