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US presidential election: Supreme Court calls for urgent ruling on Trump’s immunity

The timing of the ex-president’s trials is critical in the race for the White House. Federal prosecutor Jack Smith asked the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday to urgently rule on Donald Trump’s immunity request to prevent the former president from disrupting the 2020 election trial schedule.

Lawyers for the Republican primary favorite are systematically demanding that his various trials take place as late as possible, and in no case after the November 2024 presidential election. Judge Tanya Chutkan, who will preside over debate in Donald Trump’s federal trial for allegedly illegally trying to overturn the 2020 election, rejected his request for immunity on Dec. 1, finding that no text shields the former president from criminal prosecution.

But his lawyers’ appeal, filed Dec. 7, “stays the proceedings” against him, the special prosecutor prosecuting the case, Jack Smith, said in his request for a direct appeal to the Supreme Court. However, “if the appeal procedure had followed the usual rhythm of the Court of Appeal, the final decision might not have come for many months,” and the trial is due to begin on March 4, 2024, he emphasizes. “It is imperative to the public interest that a defendant’s request for immunity be resolved as quickly as possible, and if he does not have immunity, that he be tried in a fair and speedy trial,” the special prosecutor argues. It’s an “exceptional request,” he admits, adding, “It’s an exceptional file.”

Nixon case law

Accordingly, Jack Smith is asking the Supreme Court to review the matter and schedule a hearing as soon as possible to hear arguments from both sides so that it can reach a decision by the end of the hearing, which ends June 30. “While no precedent supports the defendant’s claim of criminal immunity as a former president, the State acknowledges that this court has never ruled” on the issue, he adds.

At the same time, the prosecutor clarifies that he is submitting a request to the Court of Appeals for an urgent review in case the nine Supreme Court justices, six of whom were appointed by Republican presidents and three by Democrats, reject his request. Donald Trump’s lawyers say he has “absolute immunity” for his actions while in the White House. They cite a 1981 Supreme Court case law involving civil suits against former President Richard Nixon.

They also argue that because of his acquittal during parliamentary impeachment proceedings against him for the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol by hundreds of his supporters trying to stop the certification of Joe Biden’s election, he should not be tried for his maneuvers to reverse the move. results.

In her decision, Judge Chutkan concluded that the Nixon precedent does not apply to criminal proceedings against a former president and that impeachment proceedings do not constitute criminal proceedings. “The defendant’s four years as commander-in-chief did not grant him the divine right of kings to avoid the criminal liability to which his fellow citizens are subject,” she said.

Donald Trump is also being prosecuted in southeastern Georgia courts for related election interference efforts and will also face federal charges for alleged mishandling of confidential documents after he leaves the White House. As he campaigns to retake the White House, Trump attributes his legal troubles to President Joe Biden’s Democratic administration, which he could face in 2024 to avenge the 2020 election.

Source: Le Parisien

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