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Trump asks SCOTUS to block appeals court decision rejecting immunity claims

Smith had initially asked the Supreme Court to intervene ahead of the appeals court, which the justices declined to do.

Published: February 12, 2024 4:46pm

Updated: February 12, 2024 5:00pm

Former President Donald Trump has asked the Supreme Court to temporarily stay a lower court decision that rejected his claims to enjoy presidential immunity in special counsel Jack Smith's election case.

Smith, in August of last year, indicted Trump on charges of conspiracy to defraud, conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, obstruction of, and attempt to obstruct an official proceeding, and conspiracy against rights. He has pleaded not guilty and argued that he enjoys presidential immunity from prosecution, a claim that District Court Judge Tanya Chutkan rejected. Trump appealed to the D.C. Circuit Court where a three-judge panel last week also ruled against him. Chutkan has paused proceedings in the case pending the outcome of the appeal.

Trump's attorneys, in their Monday filing, told the court that the appeals court decision "threatens immediate irreparable injury to the First Amendment interests of President Trump and tens of millions of American voters, who are entitled to hear President Trump’s campaign message as they decide how to cast their ballots in November," according to CNN.

"Conducting a months-long criminal trial of President Trump at the height of election season will radically disrupt President Trump’s ability to campaign against President Biden," they further argued.

The trial was originally slated for early March, though Chutkan officially postponed the case earlier this month. Smith had initially asked the Supreme Court to intervene ahead of the appeals court, which the justices declined to do.

Ben Whedon is an editor and reporter for Just the News. Follow him on X, formerly Twitter.

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