March 20, 2024

Trump Asks Supreme Court To Dismiss Election Interference Case

Attorneys representing Donald Trump urged the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday to dismiss an indictment accusing the former president of conspiring to overturn the results of the 2020 election, reviving their argument that he is immune from prosecution for actions taken while in office.

Lower courts have twice rejected the immunity claims, but Trump's legal team will have an opportunity to present their case before the Supreme Court during arguments scheduled for April 25.

The high court's decision to review the matter has halted the criminal proceedings pending the outcome of the appeal, casting uncertainty on whether special counsel Jack Smith will be able to proceed with the trial before the November election.

In a brief submitted Tuesday, Trump's lawyers reiterated many of the arguments previously dismissed by judges, asserting that subjecting a president to criminal prosecution for official acts after leaving office would impair the functioning of the presidency and jeopardize its essential independence.

The legal team contended, "A denial of criminal immunity would incapacitate every future President with de facto blackmail and extortion while in office, and condemn him to years of post-office trauma at the hands of political opponents."

Smith's team has countered that former presidents do not enjoy absolute immunity, and the actions Trump is accused of in attempting to maintain power after losing the election do not qualify as official presidential acts.

Both U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan and a federal appeals panel have concurred with Smith's position, but the case, originally slated for trial on March 4, remains in limbo pending the outcome of the appeal process.

Trump's attorneys also urged the justices to remand the case to Chutkan for further fact-finding if they reject the immunity arguments, potentially leading to additional delays before a trial can proceed.

Support for Trump's position was expressed in separate briefs filed with the Supreme Court, including one from 18 Republican-led states.

The case is one of four criminal prosecutions Trump faces as he pursues a return to the White House.

His legal team has sought to postpone the trials, with varying degrees of success, and only one of the cases, involving hush money payments in New York, is currently on track to begin in the coming months.

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