Jack Smith’s 2024 Plans Ruined

The Supreme Court accepted a case Wednesday that could further complicate special counsel Jack Smith’s timeline for bringing former President Donald Trump to trial in Washington, D.C., on charges stemming from his alleged efforts to overturn the 2020 election.

The justices agreed Wednesday to take up a case challenging the scope of an obstruction law that has been used to charge hundreds of Jan. 6 defendants — along with the former president. The statute, Section 1512(c)(2), is connected to two of the four counts Smith levied against Trump in his indictment.

With two key charges in question, Trump’s March 4 trial date appears increasingly unlikely, despite Smith making every effort to maintain it.

“The decision by SCOTUS today to take up the appeal on the 1512 ‘obstruction of an official proceeding’ case means the Trump DC case will not be going to trial,” lawyer and former federal prosecutor Bill Shipley wrote on Twitter. “This is the easy way to make that happen without directly acting on the Trump case on an expedited basis.”

The indictment alleges Trump perpetrated “a conspiracy to corruptly obstruct and impede the January 6 congressional proceeding at which the collected results of the presidential election are counted and certified.”

Smith has fought over the past week to keep the schedule on-track amid Trump’s appeal of Judge Tanya Chutkan’s refusal to dismiss his case based on presidential immunity. After appealing to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, Trump motioned to freeze all proceedings in the district court, which Smith opposed in a filing that urged Chutkan to maintain the March 4 date.

Smith also asked the Supreme Court Monday to take up the question before the D.C. Circuit decides. The high court agreed to fast-track its consideration of his request, asking Trump’s lawyers to weigh in by Dec. 20.

U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C. (Image by Mark Thomas from Pixabay)
U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C. (Image by Mark Thomas from Pixabay)

Trump’s lawyers wrote Tuesday that Smith’s filings in opposition to pausing proceedings reveal his only aim is to prevent Trump from winning the 2024 election by rushing an “unconstitutional and fundamentally unfair trial.”

Trials for charges Trump faces in other cases also appear increasingly unlikely to conclude before the election. District Judge Aileen Cannon, who is overseeing Trump’s federal trial for alleged mishandling of classified documents in Florida, has signaled a willingness to put off the May 2024 trial date, setting a scheduling conference for March 1 to revisit the former president’s request to postpone it. Smith, who also brought the indictment against Trump in this case, has similarly opposed Trump’s efforts to delay the trial date.

Likewise, the judge overseeing Trump’s Manhattan trial for allegedly falsifying business records sent a letter to Trump’s lawyers in September stating he would consider moving the date, currently set for March 2024, in February, according to the New York Times.

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, who brought a sprawling indictment under Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization (RICO) Act against Trump and 18 co-defendants, has said the trial may not conclude until early 2025.

via wnd

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