US Supreme Court refuses to quickly address Trump’s immunity issue

In the dispute over former US President Donald Trump’s possible immunity from charges of election manipulation, the US Supreme Court has refused to take up the case shortly. The court on Friday rejected special counsel Jack Smith’s request that it quickly resolve the issue of immunity. The Supreme Court did not explain its decision in its one-sentence communication.

The Supreme Court’s decision represents a milestone victory for Trump: It likely means that the start of his trial in a Washington federal court on allegations of election manipulation will be delayed. So far, this process is scheduled to begin on March 4th, right in the middle of the Republican presidential primaries. However, the procedure cannot take place without prior clarification of the issue of immunity.

Trump has repeatedly demanded that the trial not begin until after the presidential election on November 5th. His lawyers are therefore relying on delaying tactics.

Trump was indicted by the federal judiciary at the beginning of August for his attempts to overturn the outcome of the 2020 presidential election and thus stay in power. The ex-president’s lawyers counter that Trump enjoys “absolute immunity” and cannot be prosecuted for actions that occur during his term in the White House.

However, federal judge Tanya Chutkan rejected this argument on December 1st. Trump’s four years as president “have not given him the divine right of kings to avoid the criminal liability to which his fellow citizens are subject,” she found.

Trump’s lawyers again appealed Chutkan’s decision. Special Counsel White then appealed to the Supreme Court on December 11th. He requested that the Supreme Court deal directly with the immunity question, rather than wait for the decision of the federal court appealed by Trump’s lawyers.

By bypassing the appeals court, White wanted to ensure that the trial could begin as planned on March 4th. However, the current decision of the Supreme Court means that the appeal court must now deal with the case first. Ultimately, the case will probably end up in the Supreme Court.

After the November 2020 election, Trump refused to acknowledge his defeat against Democrat Joe Biden. Rather, he made allegations of massive electoral fraud, which have often been refuted. Trump’s campaign against his election defeat culminated in the attack on the congressional seat in Washington by radical supporters of the elected incumbent on January 6, 2021.

The current date for the start of the election manipulation trial is one day before “Super Tuesday”, on which primaries to determine the candidates in the presidential election on November 5th will take place in around 15 states. According to the polls, Trump has the best chance of being nominated by the Republicans again.

Trump has already been indicted in four criminal cases this year. A civil lawsuit is currently underway in New York over allegations that the entrepreneur has overstated the value of his real estate for years.