Jack Smith Urges SCOTUS On Trump, Says No One Above Law

Prosecutors from special counsel Jack Smith’s office on Monday urged the Supreme Court to reject Donald Trump’s claim of immunity from federal prosecution, arguing that his efforts to overturn the 2020 election frustrated “core constitutional provisions that protect democracy,” CBS News reported.

In its opening brief to the Court, the special counsel’s office argued that Trump’s “novel and sweeping immunity” claim would exempt him from criminal laws that all US citizens must obey. It maintained that contrary to Trump’s claim, his actions to undermine the election fell outside of his duties as president.

The special counsel’s office argued that there were no presidential duties involved in the case that would entitle Trump to claim presidential immunity against the charges. It argued that the constitutional duty of the sitting president to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed” did not include “a general right to violate them.”

The prosecution also assured the justices that there were safeguards to ensure that prosecutions are “screened under rigorous standards. It argued that a president would not be prevented from fulfilling his duties in office simply because he, like every other citizen, would be subject to criminal prosecution if he committed a federal crime.

The special counsel’s office also noted that there was no evidence that Congress intended for the president to be exempt from federal criminal statutes.

The filing presented the arguments the special counsel’s office is planning to make during oral arguments later this month.

The defense submitted its opening brief in March urging the Supreme Court to grant former presidents broad immunity from criminal prosecution for any acts taken while in office.

Trump’s legal team argued that a sitting president would be unable to function if he could face criminal prosecution for actions taken in office once he leaves.

Prosecutors told the justices that the defense’s argument that federal criminal law should not apply to the president was a “radical suggestion.” It said the lack of previous criminal prosecutions of former presidents did not mean presidents were immune from prosecution. Instead, it underscored “the unprecedented nature” of Trump’s alleged conduct.

The justices are scheduled to hear oral arguments on April 25 with a decision expected by the end of June.