Team Trump Slams Jack Smith for Appealing to the Supreme Court

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Special Counsel Jack Smith took Donald Trump’s claims of presidential immunity straight to the Supreme Court on Monday. Smith’s office had petitioned the court to rule on Trump’s central defense against charges of election interference: that his former status as president make him immune to criminal charges related to his attempt to subvert the 2020 election.

In response, the ex-president’s camp issued a statement decrying Smith’s attempt to appeal to the very court Trump helped appointment. A Trump spokesperson accused the special counsel of attempting to “try for a Hail Mary by racing to the Supreme Court and attempting to bypass the appellate process” and lamented that “the Supreme Court has not been kind to [Trump], including by handing down a rare unanimous rebuke when the Court overturned him 8-0 in the McDonnell case.”

Notably, Trump appointed three Supreme Court justices during his time in the White House: Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett — the most since Ronald Reagan, who appointed four.

On Monday, CNN’s Kaitlan Collins (per Joan Biskupic) reported that the Supreme Court would “expedite consideration” of Smith’s petition to challenge Trump’s immunity claim.

Smith has asked the court to rule on the question of 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.” 

Earlier this month, D.C. District Judge Tanya Chutkan ruled against a bid by the former president to have the Justice Department’s case against him thrown out under the guise of immunity. 


“Whatever immunities a sitting President may enjoy, the United States has only one Chief Executive at a time, and that position does not confer a lifelong ‘get-out-of-jail-free’ pass. Former Presidents enjoy no special conditions on their federal criminal liability. Defendant may be subject to federal investigation, indictment, prosecution, conviction, and punishment for any criminal acts undertaken while in office,” Chutkan wrote, adding that his “four-year service as Commander in Chief did not bestow on him the divine right of kings to evade the criminal accountability that governs his fellow citizens.”

Instead of litigating the question through various appeals courts, Smith has taken the drastic step of moving one of the greatest constitutional questions surrounding the presidency directly to the highest court in the land. It would be unprecedented, but then again so is the indictment and arrest of a U.S. president. 

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