Special counsel Jack Smith called former President Donald Trump’s opposition to having the Supreme Court quickly consider a central question in his election interference case “misguided” in a Thursday court filing.
Trump’s lawyers opposed Smith’s request for the justices to rule on his bid to dismiss the case based on presidential immunity before allowing the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals to weigh in, writing in a filing Wednesday that the special counsel’s rushed timeline gives the appearance of “partisan motivation.”
Smith replied in a 14-page filing Thursday by again appealing to the public’s interest in a “prompt resolution” of the issue by the Supreme Court.
“This case involves, for the first time in our Nation’s history, criminal charges against a former president based on his actions while in office,” the special counsel said in the filing.
“And not just any actions: alleged acts to perpetuate himself in power by frustrating the constitutionally prescribed process for certifying the lawful winner of an election,” he said.
“The Nation has a compelling interest in a decision on respondent’s claim of immunity from these charges—and if they are to be tried, a resolution by conviction or acquittal, without undue delay,” Smith continued.
The former president and leading 2024 GOP presidential contender was indicted on four felony charges related to his challenge of the 2020 election and the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol incursion.
Fully briefed, the court could now decide on Smith’s request at any time.
District Judge Tanya Chutkan declined to dismiss Trump’s case based on presidential immunity on Dec. 1.
The former president appealed her ruling to the D.C. Circuit, which he wants to consider the question before the Supreme Court.
Trump’s lawyers argued Wednesday that Smith “confuses the public interest with a partisan interest of his superior, President Biden.”
“The current potential trial date of March 4, 2024, falls the day before Super Tuesday, one of the most critical dates of the Republican primary calendar,” they wrote.
“Further, the Special Counsel’s insistence that this Court decide the immunity question ‘during its current Term,’ reflects the evident desire to schedule President Trump’s potential trial during the summer of 2024 — at the height of the election season,” they said.
Smith also dismissed Thursday an argument that he lacks authority as special counsel to petition the court or prosecute Trump in the first place, which was raised by former Attorney General Edwin Meese and other law professors in an amicus brief.
He said the court does not “generally entertain arguments that were not raised below and are not advanced in this Court by any party.”
“Those actions can be taken only by persons properly appointed as federal officers to properly created federal offices,” the amicus brief filed Wednesday argued.
“Neither Smith nor the position of Special Counsel under which he purportedly acts meets those criteria,” it said.