Special counsel asks Supreme Court to rule whether Trump is immune from prosecution

A federal judge said that the case could go forward, but Trump signaled that he would challenge that.

Published: December 11, 2023 12:51pm

Updated: December 11, 2023 1:15pm

Special counsel Jack Smith on Monday asked the Supreme Court to rule on whether former President Donald Trump can be prosecuted on charges that he allegedly worked to overturn the 2020 election results.

A federal judge said that the case could go forward, but Trump signaled that he would challenge that by asking a federal appeals court to reverse the decision, so Smith is attempting to bypass the appeals court, The Associated Press reported.

Trump had already moved to pause proceedings in the case as he appealed U.S. District Court Judge Tanya Chutkan's ruling that he does not have presidential immunity. 

"This case presents a fundamental question at the heart of our democracy: whether a former President is absolutely immune from federal prosecution for crimes committed while in office or is constitutionally protected from federal prosecution when he has been impeached but not convicted before the criminal proceedings begin," prosecutors wrote in their filing.

Trump pleaded not guilty to all federal criminal charges that he was indicted on related to the 2020 presidential election and subsequent Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot. The trial is still scheduled for March 4.

The earliest that the Supreme Court could consider the case would be Jan. 5, when the justices have their next private conference scheduled.

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