Supreme Court Deals Major Blow To Biden DOJ
Jack Smith won’t be happy about this.
The Supreme Court issued a directive on Tuesday, granting Special Counsel Jack Smith one week to provide a response to former President Trump’s plea to keep his federal trial stemming from the January 6th events on pause while he contests his immunity assertions.
In a concise order, the apex court stipulated that Smith must furnish his response by Tuesday, February 20th, setting a timeline that’s not notably swift.
Trump swiftly lodged an emergency petition on Monday, urging the justices to halt a prior ruling that rejected his claim of presidential immunity from prosecution. This contention has allowed Trump to postpone his trial as the legal appeals unfold.
The Supreme Court’s impending ruling on Trump’s petition holds significant sway over whether the trial will proceed before the upcoming elections. Originally slated for March 4th, the trial was deferred as Trump pursued the immunity dispute.
Smith’s objective has been to expedite Trump’s trial to forestall the possibility of Trump returning to the presidency and potentially absolving himself or directing his Justice Department to drop the charges.
By the specified deadline, the special counsel must counter Trump’s latest maneuver: a plea to suspend the trial until he can seek a full review of his immunity claims from the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals, and if necessary, the Supreme Court.
Though the response timeline for Smith isn’t as expeditious as the handling of some recent emergency cases by the Supreme Court, indicating a lack of urgency in Trump’s case.
Last month, in a case challenging the U.S. Military Academy at West Point’s affirmative action policies, the court demanded a response within four days. Similarly, in an emergency case concerning Michigan’s state legislative maps, the response deadline was set six days after the initial filing.
In Trump’s scenario, the court’s order grants Smith a lengthier eight-day window to respond following Trump’s filing, encompassing the President’s Day weekend.
However, Smith could elect to act more promptly and submit his response before the stipulated deadline.
Trump faces four federal felony charges related to allegedly conspiring to undermine the 2020 election results in this case. It is one of four criminal cases he is embroiled in, and he has pleaded not guilty to all charges.