Former President Donald Trump’s legal team has launched a fresh appeal to the Supreme Court, seeking to extend the delay in the trial related to Special Counsel Jack Smith’s 2020 election interference case.
Trump’s attorneys argue that he deserves presidential immunity from prosecution, a move they believe is crucial to safeguard the integrity of the presidency itself.
In a statement, Trump’s legal counsel emphasized the potential repercussions of allowing criminal prosecution against a former president, highlighting concerns about future political vendettas and the erosion of presidential decision-making independence.
“If immunity is not granted to a President, every future President who leaves office will face the prospect of being wrongfully indicted by the opposing party,” a Trump spokesperson asserted. “Without complete immunity, the President of the United States will not be able to function properly.”
The emergency appeal, filed just days after a D.C. appeals court rejected Trump’s immunity claim, aims to secure temporary relief to block the appeals court mandate. This would provide Trump’s legal team with additional time to present their case to the Supreme Court on the merits of presidential immunity from criminal prosecution.
The crux of the argument lies in the perceived threat posed by potential future prosecutions against former presidents. Trump’s attorneys warn that such actions could disrupt the normal functioning of the presidency and undermine the ability of future leaders to execute their duties without fear of legal repercussions.
The appeal comes amidst a backdrop of political tension, with the trial’s delay now looming over the Super Tuesday primary contests. The trial, initially scheduled for March 4th, has been put on hold pending the Supreme Court’s decision on its jurisdiction over the matter.
Jack Smith’s charges against Trump include conspiracy to defraud the United States and obstruction-related offenses, stemming from investigations into the Capitol riot on January 6, 2021, and alleged interference in the 2020 election.
Trump, who pleaded not guilty to all charges in August 2023, continues to assert his innocence while his legal team wages a high-stakes battle for presidential immunity before the nation’s highest court.