December 11, 2023

Jack Smith argues it's "of imperative public importance" that the Supreme Court decide Trump's claim of immunity as quickly as possible.

I'm reading "Special Counsel Asks Supreme Court to Decide Whether Trump Is Immune From Prosecution/The request was unusual in two ways: Jack Smith asked the justices to rule before an appeals court acted, and he urged them to move with exceptional speed" (NYT).

Why the big rush? 

If the trial were to be put off until after the 2024 election and Mr. Trump were to win, he could have his attorney general simply dismiss the charges. Holding a trial after the presidential race would also mean that voters would never hear any of the evidence that prosecutors have collected about Mr. Trump’s expansive efforts to reverse the results of the last election before weighing in on whether to re-elect him.

We'd never hear it in the context of that particular criminal trial, but haven't we heard it all before — again and again? If there is more that we should hear, there are other ways to disseminate information to voters than by conducting a criminal trial. (By the way, Smith opposes the effort to get cameras in the courtroom for Trump's trial.)

Even if Mr. Trump’s legal team is unable to postpone the trial until after the presidential race was decided, they are hoping to push it off until the heart of the campaign season in August or September. That would present Judge Chutkan with a difficult decision: Should she conduct the trial at a time when Mr. Trump should be holding rallies and meeting voters and suffer what is sure to be his vociferous complaints or make the decision herself to delay the trial until after the race is over?

Smith is asking the Court to use what is a special procedure — certiorari before judgment — which bypasses the Court of Appeals.

84 comments:

Dave Begley said...

Not going to happen. It will go to the Court of Appeals. And then, maybe, to SCOTUS.

n.n said...

There is a deplorable climate change in Georgia and Michigan that may color the forward-looking viability of the Democrats' Trump hunt.

Brooke Price said...

It’s not about a crime that has been committed, it is about committing the crime of interfering in the current election.

Joe Smith said...

Smith (no relation) is a fascist. This is what they do.

Dude1394 said...

The corruption and POLITICAL PERSECUTION continues. This shite is so corrupt that it make Russia look good.

TickTock said...

Its of "imperative public importance" to weaponize the Justice Department as much as possible before the election. Apparently. Voters' own sense of public importance may vary.

Jupiter said...

"That would present Judge Chutkan with a difficult decision:"

From what I've heard, you don't want to ask much of Judge Chutkan. She's not the sharpest tool in the shed. Although she is certainly a tool.

mccullough said...

Jack Smith is scared shitless.

If Trump wins then Smith is out of a job.

And then Smith’s investigation gets investigated.

Smith was born in a Crossfire Hurricane.

Wince said...

Yeah, right, Smith is an unbiased, dispassionate prosecutor.

Ampersand said...

Smith sees that adherence to conventional procedure will prevent him from achieving his political goals. It's not about guilt or innocence. It's about the 2024 elections.

rcocean said...

Hello? I thought nobody was above the law - or below the law. Why is Trump being treated as something special?

There's no valid reason for a rushed SCOTUS Judgment.

And Why NOT have video or audiotape in the court? Who is paying the salary of the Judge and Jack Smith? It we the people. Why shouldn't we see it. After all, he's trying to put Biden's likely opponent in Jail but we can't see the trial? Outrageous. Even Joe Stalin broadcast his show trials.

Its astounding how authoritarian and even totalitarian Biden's DOJ is. Biden's using a showtrial to put an Ex-POTUS in jail in order to avoid facing Trump in an election. But nobody in the MSM or DC (even Republicans) thinks this is insane or against every USA tradition!

If the SCOTUS follows their pattern they will refuse to grant Smiths request and let this play out through the appeals court. BUT.. as we all know John Roberts HATES Trump and he's let his hatred and bias effect his decisions before. ANd of course, kavanaugh is the new Anthony Kennedy and is always a wild card. Meanwhile all the Liberal justices will vote to hurt Trump - as always.

Maynard said...

I wonder when Trump gets suicided once they put him in jail.

Gusty Winds said...

Oh come on! The cowardly Supreme Court who passed on Texas vs. PA is now supposed to weigh in on Trumps truthful claims of voter fraud? What a joke. The United States could have hashed this out four years ago the right way.

Has it been clearly decided the trial will not be televised? If Smith thinks might be televised, then maybe he DOESN'T want it to move forward. Trump gets a defense, and Smith is prosecuting a lie to protect voter fraud. He knows the voter fraud was real and so does the judge.

Courts passed on voter fraud cases in 2020 over bullshit procedural grounds and "standing". That allowed TDS liberals and the media regurgitate the lie that the courts decided there was no voter fraud, and 60 cases were "lost". That's a LIE.

THE COURTS DIDN'T DECIDE SHIT! THEY DID LISTEN TO ANYTHING. Only dumbass liberals don't understand that simply because they don't want to understand it.

Now we're supposed to jump the appeals process for the prosecution?

In 2020 why couldn't the voter fraud / integrity challenges jump to the Supreme Court where they belonged? They did it in 2001 when the liberal FL Supreme court was going to allow endless recounts in targeted areas only, until Al Gore could find a way to win.

In 2020 when the voter fraud was carried out in front of the entire nation, our courts failed everyone.

GatorNavy said...

Jack Smith has no hand to play and so he must run this bluff.

Real American said...

Smith is in a rush because he wants to prevent Trump from getting elected again, which is the entire purpose of the prosecution in the first place. If he can't get Trump before the election then the whole exercise is moot, Trump would have the charges dismissed, and Smith will lose his cushy job and big budget.

Narr said...

Make-it-up-as-you-go-along lawfare.

Brian said...

Doesn’t this then presuppose a federal issue worthy of the federal courts (district, appellate, and finally, SCOTUS)?

The district court now has to take up the case of SCOTUS says “follow the normal process”.

Bill Harshaw said...

If memory serves, which it often doesn't these days, Leon Jaworski bypassed the Appeals Court in at least one Nixon case?

Owen said...

"Mommy, I made a big mess. Please help me!"

rhhardin said...

There wouldn't be this trouble if special prosecutors ran elections.

CJinPA said...

"The Legal Dos and Don'ts of Prosecuting A Presidential Candidate" will be an important document for U.S. government lawyers in coming years.

What a time to be alive.

Mr Wibble said...

Holding a trial after the presidential race would also mean that voters would never hear any of the evidence that prosecutors have collected about Mr. Trump’s expansive efforts to reverse the results of the last election before weighing in on whether to re-elect him.

I wasn't aware that it was the job of publicly-funded Federal Prosecutors to use the powers of their office to influence elections.

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

I'm in favor of getting SCOTUS to act expeditiously. I do not think it will go the way Mr. Smith wants it to. Time to pop some popcorn.

tim in vermont said...

So the evidence can't come out:

New J6 footage shows unarmed, peaceful protestor with his “lip blown off” by concussive grenade

Pretty sure that when you throw explosives into peaceful crowds, that’s police brutality

Readering said...

Hard to see Respondent opposing the writ. I can see him objecting to the briefing schedule or seeking to add questions, such as the constitutionality of the gag order.

Rich said...

No one should be above the law. The Supreme Court must uphold this principle. Presidents are not kings. Any ruling that holds all elected officials more accountable is something I support wholeheartedly.

hombre said...

There is a rush because Smith is in a hurry to get his bogus January 6th charges before a biased DC jury and Trump sentenced by his biased DC judge.

Both are sure things for Smith. Otherwise there would be no DC prosecution.

Gusty Winds said...

What is the outcome of the decision?

1) Trump is not immune so they can push a speedy trial. Hide the proceedings from the public, and try to lock him up prior to the 2024 election.

2) They grant Trump his claimed immunity and the trial is over?

mikee said...

This is certainly more entertaining than, say, the Dole campaign.

Static Ping said...

Smith is corrupt as they come. All logic flows from that assumption.

rehajm said...

Standinglachesmoot.

Temujin said...

Why the big rush? Because with each week, Trump is moving farther and farther away from his competitors in the Republican field, and farther and farther away from Joe Biden. Gavin Newsom has already canceled his Presidential run this cycle based on his debate with Ron DeSantis and the newly published 2023 financials for the State of California (especially when compared with Florida), and Kamala Harris has less popularity among Democrats than Trump has.

The Big Rush is because, unless there is a sudden and dramatic way of putting Donald J. Trump in jail, he will be the next President of the United States. Note: he's not my choice, but it sure seems that virtually all signs are pointing to it, including the multiple national mag articles about what the next Trump administration will be like.

The only other option for the careerists in DC is to do something that would destroy this nation.

tim in vermont said...

Joe Biden explains how he is going to keep the issue of whether Trump should be president out of the hands of the voters.

https://twitter.com/WesternLensman/status/1734300548629692850

It's remarkably similar to the things he said about Nordstream before "the rUssIaNS BLeW uP tHEir oWn pIpELIne!"

tim in vermont said...

I don't see how refusing to see Trump railroaded is "putting him above the law."

Misinforminimalism said...

It's a no-lose tactic. If Crazy Eyes prevails, it's a clear win. And if the Court says no, his lords and masters in the political establishment and the press (but I repeat myself) can add the decision to their arguments about how the Supreme Court needs to be "reformed" into the progressive institution that they believe it is supposed to be.

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

Might as well throw the presidential documents case before the high court as well. Every other SCOTUS ruling has been in favor of 100% total presidential authority to decide what documents the Executive wants to keep or not, whether actual documents or not, so let's just have them weigh in now.

farmgirl said...

How many of the Capitol police have been found dead: either by there own initiative or “looking” like it?

Is it any wonder?
How very sad I am for that man who was injured.

Mark said...

"If memory serves, which it often doesn't these days, Leon Jaworski bypassed the Appeals Court in at least one Nixon case"

Yes, he did.

Funny that Begley and other self proclaimed experts didn't bother to bring it up

Michael K said...

"Rich"

Any ruling that holds all elected officials more accountable is something I support wholeheartedly.

Does that include Hillary and Biden ?

Lem the artificially intelligent said...

He wants to be able to say, look my case against Trump is so good even the Supremes think it should proceed.

Could that be called court shopping?

Joe Biden Is Corrupt said...

No one is above the law?

huh? Joe Biden, his son, and his brother are all being protected by various obedient entities for money laundering thru Barisma for personal profit. (and China)

Biden is above the law.

Wince said...

Jack Smith asked the justices to rule before an appeals court acted, and he urged them to move with exceptional speed" (NYT).

"Well I'm here to tell you that you're probably going to find out, as you go out there, that you're not going to amount to Jack Squat!"

tim in vermont said...

Nixon was railroaded by the FBI too. "Deep Throat" was an FBI official.

tim in vermont said...

Remember when Mark and Rich were very careful to inform us that Hawaii in 1960 sent two slates of electors, for the House to figure out and nobody went to jail?

Dave Begley said...

Mr. Wibble wins the thread.

Enigma said...

What goes around comes around. The SC stayed out of the way during the 2020 election cycle, and now Smith throws a Hail Mary pass to keep his work relevant in 2024. With a 6-3 court split, and with 3 judges appointed by Trump. Ha, HA, HAAAAAA!

I'm also wondering about Letitia James' sanity, given her forced and uncomfortable facial expressions.

https://www.foxnews.com/media/ny-ag-letitia-james-caught-smirking-don-jr-takes-stand-trump-civil-trial

Tags: Grasping at straws; Trump Derangement Syndrome continues to collapse

Joe Biden Is Corrupt said...

Biden is walking talking - prime example of = above the law.

Mattman26 said...

I flipped through Smith's petition to the Court. Nowhere does he really explain why expeditious review is appropriate, other than to say that the public has an interest in prompt disposition, etc.

So he does not say (out loud), as the Times does, that the public needs to hear this before the election (or that we gotta convict this guy before the election).

My guess (without knowing a whole lot about it) is that Trump's claim of immunity (whatever) will not carry the day. But I'll be surprised if the Court wants to stick its head out on this on an expedited basis.

The Nixon precedent, by the way, did not involve criminal charges against Nixon. It was Mitchell and others who were charged, and the appeal involved Nixon's claim that he shouldn't be required to provide documents pursuant to subpoena in those cases.

n.n said...

Kamala Harris has less popularity among Democrats

How many women would take a knee for... uh, social, political, career... her progress? #MeToo, no.

Chuck said...

Dave Begley said...
Not going to happen. It will go to the Court of Appeals. And then, maybe, to SCOTUS.


Dave the case is already in the DC Circuit. The Special Counsel's office has filed for expedited briefing and review in that court.

The Special Counsel has filed, as an additional prayer for relief, a Petition for Writ of Certiorari Before Judgment in the Supreme Court for the rather obvious reason that Trump would like to game the system by a) pursuing a long appeal in the DC Circuit, then b) a review en banc at the DC Circuit, which will easily take matters c) beyond this term of SCOTUS (ending in June) which would then d) force the matter deep into 2024 or 2025 at a minimum.

Trump is trying his hardest to delay everything. He wants to get to an election, so that if he is lucky enough to get elected, he can shut down the DoJ, and/or close the Office of Sepcial and/or pardon himself.

The immunity question is a basically easy one (Trump isn't immune) but it is a novel one; simply because we've never had a President who has behaved as outrageously and as criminally as Trump. So all this is new in the context of the Preisdency.

Since 1988, there have been about 22 Petitions for Cert Before Judgment. All but three of them have come since Trump was President. The have a pretty fair success rate; far better than ordinary term cert petitions.

NKP said...

This once-great nation will not suffer the sight of Donald Trump in an orange jumpsuit.

The Godfather said...

1. When this lawfare against Trump started VERY early in the "Biden Presidency", the savvy commentators were saying that the purpose was to energize the Trump fanatics to nominate Trump for 2024, because he was sure to lose in the General Election.

2. That worked, but only the first part. Yes, even a good conservative anti-establishment candidate like DeSantis can't get any traction with the GOP electorate (I think DeSantis as the GOP nominee would wipe the floor with Biden). But without Trump even officially campaigning for President he's pulling ahead of Biden. The Dems didn't count on Biden being so obviously ineffectual, or the VP being so unattractive as a fall-back (when the Dems nominate Biden for re-election, they'll have to replace Harris as VP to have ANY chance at all; if they don't, they'll have conceded the election).

Readering said...

USSC has ordered Respondent to file response to cert petition by a week from Wednesday.

Petitioner hired O'Melveny partner with record for most USSC arguments to be counsel of record for the petition.

Rich said...

It is imperative that American voters know whether Trump broke the law in trying to overturn a legally enforced vote before he presents himself to them. If an American President can get away with trying to overturn an election, then where is democracy.

Chuck said...

SCOTUS orders Trump to repond and sets briefing.
Jack Smith wins today. This is like a Third-down-and-one play, where QB Jack Smith called a double reverse which went for 25 yards and a First down.

narciso said...

Of course hes immune there is nothing criminal in insuring laws including electi9n laws are executed faithfully

Joe Biden Is Corrupt said...

Asking questions about an obvious cheating is not "trying to over-turn an election"

Chuck said...

Readering said...
USSC has ordered Respondent to file response to cert petition by a week from Wednesday.

Petitioner hired O'Melveny partner with record for most USSC arguments to be counsel of record for the petition.


Yes!

Michael Dreeben. Former Assistant US Solicitor. Only the seventh lawyer in American history to have argued more than 100 SCOTUS cases.

To continue my earlier Third-and-one football analogy, it is as if Jack Smith obtained through the transfer portal the guy who finished third in the previous year's Heisman Trophy voting.

Iman said...

“It is imperative that American voters know whether Trump broke the law in trying to overturn a legally enforced vote before he presents himself to them. If an American President can get away with trying to overturn an election, then where is democracy.”

You didn’t hear OR get the memo? Democracy died by the hand of Democrat dysfunction.

Big Mike said...

The Supreme Court slapped Jack Smith down 9 - 0 in the McDonnell case. Let's see if they can do it again. Probably 6 - 3 thanks to the two affirmative action hires and the dwarf.

Gusty Winds said...

Blogger Rich said...
It is imperative that American voters know whether Trump broke the law in trying to overturn a legally enforced vote...

I'd say Rich just admitted he knows the absentee voter fraud was real. Freudian slip. Thought he was being clever; technical. Like the dingbat University presidents.

Hey Rich. Is a "legally enforced" fraudulent election still legal?

"You spin me right round baby, right round. Like a record baby right round, round, round."

Hilarious.

Gusty Winds said...

Chuck said...Trump is trying his hardest to delay everything. He wants to get to an election, so that if he is lucky enough to get elected, he can shut down the DoJ, and/or close the Office of Special and/or pardon himself..

Why not let the American voter be the jury Chuck? You're pro-"democracy" right? The public already knows 2020 was a fraudulent scam. So do you and Rich.

Why do you fear leaving Trump's fate to the voters? I know why.

You and Rich are the best. You dudes should transition together.

Icepilot said...

"they'll have to replace Harris as VP" - & piss off blacks, Indians (subcontinent kind) & women? Especially those women serving the sexual needs of CA politicians?
Not likely.

tim in vermont said...

If what Trump was doing was plainly illegal, why did Pelosi pass The Electoral Count Act? To make what he attempted even more illegal? Or was it because it was ackshully not illegal.

Readering said...

Meanwhile, US Court of Appeals sets more expedited briefing on Smith's motion to expedite Trump's appeal of the district court orders (immunity and double jeopardy). Assume Trump will oppose expedited appeal, which might help Smith with his cert petition, except Smith waived right to schedule time for eply on cert petition.

Moondawggie said...

Rich asks (5:21 PM) "If an American President can get away with trying to overturn an election, then where is democracy."

Good question. Maybe Barack and Hillary could explain why Russiagate accusations were any different in 2016, or Al Gore and his Florida "hanging chad" crapola was legit in 2000? Or Harry Reid in the well of the Senate accusing Mitt Romney of never paying his taxes in 2012? Or Joe Kennedy fixing votes in Illinois in 1960?

The truth seems to be simply that modern US presidential elections are extremely dirty. So bitching about the "illegitimate" outcome is as American as apple pie. Live with it, dude.

Tim said...

If Trump has no immunity then no other federal official has either, right? Time ito indict officials for etc etc. not enforcing the law on the border? Etc,

Rich said...

Smith is just trying to move things along so Trump can get a speedy trial to prove his innocence.

gspencer said...

Smith's saying there's great public interest doesn't mean that there's great public interest.

I hope the USSC realize it's being played.

Paul said...

Dems running scared... reap what you sow.

Chuck said...

Althouse: ...
Why the big rush?
...

Is there a serious argument to be made by Trump that SCOTUS cert, or an advanced briefing schedule, is harmful for Trump? The relief Trump seeks is dismissal. As Andrew Weissmann observed tonight on The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell (MSNBC), Trump's first and primary argument is that this prosecution against him should have been barred by certain claimed privileges and immunities. It isn't a discovery-dependent defense. It's a straight, dispositive, pure-legal argument. Trump should be saying that every week, every day, every hour that this improper prosecution against him stands, he is injured and victimized. Trump should want the fastest possible vindication from the Supreme Court. I don't see how Trump can seriously ask, "What's the rush?"

Althouse, is Trump saying, "Let's not rush this," for a legitimate reason? What would it be? I well understand that Trump may be saying, "Let's sort this out in, say, about 2026..." But that isn't for a legitimate reason. It is Trump gaming the system. Hoping to use Executive branch power to kill off the prosecution at some future time.

And let's remember; executive privilege has been decided (pretty much universally against the angle Trump would like to exploit) in the civil context. We don't have a decision from the Supreme Court on executive privilege in the criminal context because we've never had a criminally-charged ex-President like Trump. But the important and interesting thing is that there really ought to be LESS reason for executive privilege in the criminal context. We should be LESS solicitous of executives who are credibly accused of criminal conduct, versus mere civil disputes. While there is a point to be made on Trump's behalf that the issue is a novel one, the ultimate decision is even less likely to be a winner for Trump than past decisions.

Clever lawyers for Trump might well have said, "Sir (they would be very strong men saying 'Sir,' with tears in their eyes), the executive privilege claim is inevitably a loser on substance. But, sir, it could be a terrific way to get this case delayed. So that's what we'll try to do. Push any trial out past 2024."

Jack Smith is beating them.

Dude1394 said...

So he is stating for a fact that potus can direct what the doj does. So Biden is directing the doj to take out the political opponent who is beating him.

Bruce Hayden said...

“Smith is just trying to move things along so Trump can get a speedy trial to prove his innocence”

BS. Speedy Trial is solely the prerogative of the defendant. Smith is the prosecutor, and not the defendant. So, what he wants in that respect is irrelevant. Besides, his March trial date is already outside the Speedy Trial window. He wants March because he believes that that will screw up Trump’s chances at election the most. Nothing more.

Mark said...

Hey Tim in Vermont, looks like you and Begley both got it remarkably wrong.

Your sneering response aged poorly, Sherlock. ⁰

Breezy said...

This will be interesting… I’m no expert on Presidential immunity, but I presume any finding against maintaining one would set a precedent that would be fodder for lawfare on both sides. Seems to be a third rail issue with unimaginable consequences.

Also, Trump challenged the election results through the courts and following statutes, although perhaps in a unique manner. (This indictment itself does the same.). It would be insane for SC to say that was illegal and prosecutable, requiring exception to immunity.

gilbar said...

Blogger Icepilot said...
"they'll have to replace Harris as VP" - & piss off blacks, Indians (subcontinent kind) & women? Especially those women serving the sexual needs of CA politicians?
Not likely.

it's probably Already too late to get new names on the ballots. Biden WILL be nominated..
Then, TRAGICALLY, he will pass away (complications from Covid?) and the convention will be FORCED to name a new candidate... Moochelle O'Bama

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

Now that Chuck who is always wrong and often deceptive has weighed in and SCOTUS has asked for arguments as I expected yesterday I am even more confident that the Jack Smith novel theory will end like his McDonnell adventure albeit without the kangaroo konviction first. Hubris.

Todd said...

Chuck said...

The immunity question is a basically easy one (Trump isn't immune) but it is a novel one; simply because we've never had a President who has behaved as outrageously and as criminally as Trump.


Chuck EVEN if you were only born 7 years ago and had never read any actual presidential history, in the time Biden has been in the Whitehouse he has actually committed more crimes than Trump is accused of having done.

The money laundering alone is more than enough to tilt the table in Biden's favor.

Can you name any "actual and real" crimes that Trump has committed? Not made up stuff, not impeachment stuff (you can impeach a ham sandwich) but ACTUAL crimes. What laws has he actually broken and please include links.

Trump has had more investigations against him than any other politician and he is still standing. Anyone that looks objectively at what has and is being done to him can see that it is all crap. There is no "there" there.

Many folks don't like Trump but that is not (at least for now) a crime.

Readering said...

Trump has attacked Smith for the cert petition and the motion to expedite. Weird if he's looking to end the prosecution instead of just delay it.

jim said...

A criminal trial is the way you put the criminal's crimes on record. Someone want desparately to avoid that.

Bruce Hayden said...

”Trump has attacked Smith for the cert petition and the motion to expedite. Weird if he's looking to end the prosecution instead of just delay it.”

Timing is everything here. A conviction in the summer would probably help Trump. One in the fall would almost assuredly do so. Smith is running out of time. He has a March trial date, and desperately needs to make it happen.

Bruce Hayden said...

“The immunity question is a basically easy one (Trump isn't immune) but it is a novel one; simply because we've never had a President who has behaved as outrageously and as criminally as Trump.”

Despite your TDS, I expect that it really isn’t that clear cut. Traditionally, the President has had absolute immunity from prosecution, while in office (and Trump was in office at the time the allegedly criminal acts occurred), as long as his acts were within the scope of his office. Notably, the FJB WH explicitly waived Executive Privilege for Trump, before this suit could proceed, strongly suggesting that Smith, et al knew that it would be preempted by that Privilege.

Jim at said...

Smith is just trying to move things along so Trump can get a speedy trial to prove his innocence.

'Prove his innocence.' Yep. Pretty sure that's how it works.

Readering said...

DC Ct of Appeals has gone ahead and set a briefing schedule for Trump's appeal. His opening brief due just 3 days after his response to cert petition due. Presumably he could file that response sooner to sooner get an answer from USSC whether it is hearing the appeal directly. And his lawyers' work product can always be repurposed. But he might want to find a USSC specialist sooner rather than later.