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Supreme Court Agrees To Hear Trump’s Immunity Case

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


Former President Donald Trump, the leading 2024 GOP contender, caught a break this week when the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear his case regarding presidential immunity.

The high court announced that it would hear oral arguments on April 25 and render a decision by June.

Trump’s team will argue that he is immune from prosecution in a case filed by Special Counsel Jack Smith in Washington, D.C., on allegations of election interference. That criminal trial, filed in U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan’s court, has been put on hold pending the Supreme Court’s decision.

In requesting the review, Trump’s team argued in court documents that “if the prosecution of a President is upheld, such prosecutions will recur and become increasingly common, ushering in destructive cycles of recrimination.”

“Criminal prosecution, with its greater stigma and more severe penalties, imposes a far greater ‘personal vulnerability’ on the President than any civil penalty,” the request continues, according to Fox News. “The threat of future criminal prosecution by a politically opposed Administration will overshadow every future President’s official acts — especially the most politically controversial decisions.”

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Trump’s request also says that the president’s “political opponents will seek to influence and control his or her decisions via effective extortion or blackmail with the threat, explicit or implicit, of indictment by a future, hostile Administration, for acts that do not warrant any such prosecution.”

Fox noted further:

Smith charged the former president with conspiracy to defraud the United States; conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding; obstruction of and attempt to obstruct an official proceeding; and conspiracy against rights. Those charges stemmed from Smith’s investigation into whether Trump was involved in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot and any alleged interference in the 2020 election result.

Trump pleaded not guilty to all charges in August.

Former federal prosecutor Andy McCarthy said during a TV appearance on Monday that many people “miss” the case that would “blow up” Smith’s prosecutions of Trump.

In recent weeks, the U.S. Supreme Court also agreed to hear a case called Fischer v. United States, which centers on an obstruction statute that Smith used to charge Trump, scheduling oral arguments for April, the Daily Caller reported.

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“The case to keep your eye on is the obstruction case,” McCarthy told “America’s Newsroom” co-host Bill Hemmer. “We miss it because Trump is not a party to that case. They are looking at the same statute that is key to Smith’s prosecution of Trump in Washington, and if they — as I expect they may, if they — if they say the Justice Department has not been correctly applying that statute, that’s going to have a catastrophic impact for Smith on his indictment.”

The Department of Justice has brought charges against numerous individuals involved in the January 6, 2021 riot at the Capitol building for violating 18 USC Section 1512(c)(2), obstructing or impeding an official proceeding. This offense carries a potential sentence of up to 20 years in prison.

“The D.C. Circuit’s expansion of Section 1512(c)(2) beyond evidence impairment to protests at the seat of government thus conflicts with the interpretations of other courts of appeal limiting the scope of the same statute,” attorneys for Joseph Fischer, who was charged in connection with the Capitol riot, wrote in a brief submitted to the Supreme Court.

Other legal experts have agreed with McCarthy.

Jeffrey Rosen, a law professor at George Washington University who discussed the case on CNN last month, also linked it to one being pursued by the former president’s legal team regarding presidential immunity.

He said that if the nation’s highest court rules in favor of Trump, Smith’s case will be infinitely more difficult to prosecute and win.

“There’s a centrally important case in the Supreme Court where the Court’s going to decide whether the core of Jack Smith’s charges involving obstruction of justice are consistent with Constitution and the law or not,” he told CNN.

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