Posts tagged with "Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit"

Justice Department asks Supreme Court to end delays of Trump’s January 6 trial

February 15, 2024

On Wednesday, February 14, federal prosecutors urged the Supreme Court not to delay Donald Trump’s trial for his coup attempt any further—calling a quick resolution of those criminal charges a matter of utmost importance for the country, reports The Huffington Post.

“The charged crimes strike at the heart of our democracy,” Special Counsel Jack Smith wrote in a 39-page brief filed with the court Wednesday evening. He called Trump’s actions an “effort to perpetuate himself in power and prevent the lawful winner of the 2020 presidential election from taking office.

“The national interest in resolving those charges without further delay is compelling,” he wrote.

The former president on Monday asked the high court to freeze that prosecution through two more rounds of appeals—a request that, if granted, could put Trump in a position of ordering the Department of Justice to dismiss all federal cases against him, should he win back the presidency this autumn.

Trump is arguing to the Supreme Court that his riling up his followers with lies about a “stolen” election that culminated in the violent assault on the Capitol on January 6, 2021, to keep him in power was, in fact, an “official” act of the presidency for which he cannot be prosecuted. He also claims he cannot be prosecuted for his actions because the Senate failed to hit the two-thirds supermajority needed to convict him on that impeachment. What’s more, he argues that the Founders always intended for presidents to enjoy total immunity.

All those arguments were previously rejected by both trial Judge Tanya Chutkan as well as the three-judge panel of the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. That appellate court ruled that the case would return to Chutkan for trial unless the Supreme Court granted him a delay while it considers Trump’s request.

Smith wrote in his new filing that Trump had no grounds to seek another delay at this point. “He has no entitlement to a further stay while seeking discretionary review from this court,” Smith said. “Delay in the resolution of these charges threatens to frustrate the public interest in a speedy and fair verdict―a compelling interest in every criminal case and one that has unique national importance here; as it involves federal criminal charges against a former president for alleged criminal efforts to overturn the results of the presidential election, including through the use of official power.

Further, Trump had not shown any historical or legal basis for his claim that he is immune from prosecution. “A president’s alleged criminal scheme to overturn an election and thwart the peaceful transfer of power to his successor should be the last place to recognize a novel form of absolute immunity from federal criminal law.”

Trump’s lawyers have gone beyond merely asking the Supreme Court to review the case and are demanding that Trump first be allowed to appeal to the full appellate court before coming to the high court—all while the January 6 case remains on hold.

But Smith asked the court to treat Trump’s request for a delay as a request for the court to review the three-judge panel’s ruling—thereby eliminating one of the steps Trump was asking for. Smith also asked the justices to decline taking the case at all, given the appellate court’s detailed ruling; but that if did take it, to do so on an expedited basis that would produce a ruling by the end of the court’s term this summer.

“The public interest weighs heavily in favor of this court’s issuance of its decision without delay,” Smith wrote.

The January. 6 case is one of two federal prosecutions Trump could end if he becomes president again. The other is based on his refusal to turn over secret documents he took with him to his South Florida country club upon leaving the White House.

Trump also faces a Georgia state prosecution for his attempt to overturn his election loss there and a New York state indictment accusing him of falsifying business records to hide a $130,000 hush money payment to a porn star in the days before the 2016 election.

Research contact: @HuffPost