Special Counsel Jack Smith urges Supreme Court to reject Trump immunity claims: ‘No person is above the law’

Special Counsel Jack Smith asked the Supreme Court on Monday to reject former President Trump’s argument that he cannot be prosecuted for allegedly trying to overturn the 2020 election.

Smith’s team argued that lower courts were correct to reject Trump’s immunity claims in prosecutors’ final briefs before the justices hear arguments in Trump’s case on April 25.

“The president’s constitutional duty to see to the faithful execution of the law does not entail a general right to violate the law,” they wrote.

playing cardsThe presumptive Republican presidential nominee faces criminal charges for allegedly conspiring to prevent Congress from certifying the results of the 2020 election after losing to Democrat Joe Biden. He denied any wrongdoing.

President Trump tells the Supreme Court in his first brief that denying immunity will ‘neutralize all future presidents.’

Republican presidential candidate and former President Donald Trump speaks on the phone while watching play during the final round of LIV Golf Miami at Trump National Doral Golf Club on Sunday, April 7, 2024 in Doral, Florida. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

The case is on hold until the Supreme Court rules on Trump’s argument that his actions constitute official presidential conduct and should be immune from prosecution. Judge Tanya Chutkan, who is presiding over the case, and a three-judge federal appeals panel in Washington both forcefully rejected that argument.

Trump appealed, and the Supreme Court agreed to hear his arguments. Trump’s lawyers said in a prepared statement that denying Trump’s claims would “effectively incapacitate all future presidents with intimidation and extortion while in office” and would result in “post-inauguration trauma at the hands of political opponents.” He argued that it would produce.

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special prosecutor jack smith

U.S. Special Counsel Jack Smith speaks at a press conference in Washington, D.C. (Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Smith’s prosecutors said the lower court’s ruling should stand, repeating their argument that “federal criminal law applies to the president.”

“The effective functioning of the office of president does not require that a former president be exempt from responsibility for these alleged violations of federal criminal law,” prosecutors said in Monday’s filing. “On the contrary, a fundamental principle of our constitutional order is that no one, including the president, is above the law.”

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supreme court building

Oral arguments on President Trump’s immunity claim will be held on April 25th at the Supreme Court Building in Washington, DC. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

They argue that the framers of the Constitution “never supported impunity for former presidents,” and that all former presidents can be criminally prosecuted for their actions while in office even after they leave office. He said he knew.

Prosecutors also said that even if the Supreme Court granted certain immunity for the president’s official conduct, the justices would still be unable to decide whether to proceed with the case because much of the indictment focuses on Trump’s private conduct. He said it should be allowed to proceed.


Mr. Smith and his team suggested the court could rule against Mr. Trump narrowly, without setting a broader precedent that could apply to other cases.

“While a finding that the complainant is not immune from a criminal charge is sufficient to resolve the case, if other facts are presented, there are more difficult issues to decide.” “may occur,” they said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.