UNITED STATES NEWS

The Supreme Court says no, for now, to plea to rule quickly on whether Trump can be prosecuted

Dec 22, 2023, 12:35 PM | Updated: 12:40 pm

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court said Friday that it will not immediately take up a plea by special counsel Jack Smith to rule on whether former President Donald Trump can be prosecuted for his actions to overturn the 2020 election results.

The issue will now be decided by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, which has signaled it will act quickly to decide the case. Special counsel Jack Smith had cautioned that even a rapid appellate decision might not get to the Supreme Court in time for review and final word before the court’s traditional summer break.

Smith had pressed the Supreme Court to intervene over concerns that the legal fight over the issue could delay the start of Trump’s trial, now scheduled for March 4, beyond next year’s presidential election.

U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan has put the case on hold while Trump pursues his claim in higher courts that he is immune from prosecution. Chutkan raised the possibility of keeping the March date if the case promptly returns to her court.

She already has rejected the Trump team’s arguments that an ex-president could not be prosecuted over acts that fall within the official duties of the job.

“Former presidents enjoy no special conditions on their federal criminal liability,” Chutkan wrote in her Dec. 1 ruling. “Defendant may be subject to federal investigation, indictment, prosecution, conviction, and punishment for any criminal acts undertaken while in office.”

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The Supreme Court says no, for now, to plea to rule quickly on whether Trump can be prosecuted