Jack Smith Pushes The U.S. Supreme Court To Reject Trump’s Claims Of Absolute Immunity

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A new filing from federal prosecutors with the U.S. Supreme Court shreds the argument from former President Donald Trump that the court should declare him free from even the possibility of criminal prosecution in a key case because of imagined legal protections covering the presidency.

The case, tracing to Special Counsel Jack Smith, accuses Trump of criminal acts perpetrated amid his widely publicized ambitions after the last presidential election of staying in power despite his comprehensively documented election loss to Joe Biden, who became president. And Trump claims that he holds general immunity from even the possibility of criminal consequences for actions taken amid his official responsibilities in the presidency, a category where he groups what he was doing after the last presidential race ended.

“No presidential power at issue in this case entitles the President to claim immunity from the general federal criminal prohibitions supporting the charges: fraud against the United States, obstruction of official proceedings, and denial of the right to vote,” prosecutors told the court. “The President’s constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed does not entail a general right to violate them.”

Trump has cast his claims of immunity as supposedly supportive of the effective carrying out of the powers of the presidency… a sweeping, authoritarian vision of what the presidency should entail.

Among other points in their lengthy arguments, prosecutors also pointed to history and the procedural safeguards providing for the rigorous examination of any criminal case before it results in the most lasting consequences potentially threatened for a defendant.

“Federal criminal law applies to the President,” prosecutors contended in court. “Petitioner suggests that unless a criminal statute expressly names the President, the statute does not apply. That radical suggestion, which would free the President from virtually all criminal law—even crimes such as bribery, murder, treason, and sedition—is unfounded. That rule finds no support in this Court’s decisions.” Check out the full filing here.