The special counsel asked the Supreme Court to allow Trump's case to proceed to trial

WASHINGTON (AP) — Special counsel Jack Smith urged the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday to allow the former president. Donald Trump's 2020 election interference case Proceed with the inquiry without further delay.

The lawyers responded to this A Trump team request from earlier in the week The court continues to seek a stay in the case as it takes up the question of whether the former president is immune from prosecution for official activities at the White House. Two lower courts That position has largely been rejected, prompting Trump to ask the high court to intervene.

Case – One of four criminal cases against Trump — has reached a critical juncture, the next step in the Supreme Court's decision to decide whether Trump goes to trial in Washington this year or is delayed for weeks or months by additional arguments.

Date of hearing, Trump's immunity has already been suspended once by an appeal, is very important to both sides. Prosecutors are expected to bring Trump to trial this year, while defense attorneys are seeking delays in his criminal cases. If Trump is elected while the case is pending, he could use his power as head of the executive branch to order the Justice Department's dismissal or seek to pardon himself.

Reflecting their desire to proceed quickly, Lawyers responded to Trump's appeal Although the court gave them a two-day extension till next Tuesday.

While their filing did not explicitly address the upcoming November election or Trump's status as the Republican primary front-runner, prosecutors described the case as of “unique national importance” and added that “delays in resolving these allegations threaten to frustrate the public interest in a speedy and fair judgment.”

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“The national interest compels resolution of those charges without further delay,” they wrote.

Smith's team indicted Trump in August Including participating in a scheme to tamper with the election count, with a conspiracy to alter the results of the 2020 presidential election. Jan. 6, 2021, Riots in the US CapitolWhen his supporters besieged the building in a violent clash with the police.

“The crimes charged strike at the heart of our democracy. “A president's criminal program should be the last resort to authorize a new form of total immunity from federal criminal law to alter elections and thwart the peaceful transfer of power to his successor,” they wrote.

Trump's lawyers have argued that he is protected from prosecution for acts that fall outside of his official duties as president — an argument that has not been legally tested because no other former president has been indicted.

The trial judge and then a federal appeals court rejected those arguments, and a three-judge appeals panel said last week, “We cannot accept that the office of the president has held its former residents above the law for all time thereafter.”

The proceedings have been effectively halted by Trump's immunity appeal, which US District Judge Tanya Sutgen overturned. March 4 is the hearing date When the Court of Appeal considered the matter. No new date has been set.

Trump's appeal and request to the Supreme Court could cause further delays depending on what the justices decide. In December, Smith and his team urged the justices to take up the immunity issue before the appeals court weighed in. But the court refused.

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The Supreme Court's options include dismissing the urgent appeal, which would enable it Pinching To resume trial proceedings in federal court in Washington. The court can extend the delay while hearing arguments regarding immunity. In that event, the timetable set by the justices could determine how soon the trial could begin if they accept lower court rulings that Trump is not immune from prosecution.

On Wednesday, attorneys urged the court to reject Trump's petition to hear the case, saying the lower court's rulings denying immunity to the former president “underscores how remote this court is likely to agree with his unprecedented legal position.”

But if the court wants to decide the matter, the justices will hear arguments in March and issue a final ruling by late June, Smith said.

Lawyers pushed back against Trump's argument that allowing the case to proceed would chill the actions of future presidents.

“That dystopian vision runs counter to the checks and balances built into the framework of our institutions and constitution,” they wrote. “The statutory process for determining the criminal liability of those guards ensures that they are not held captive by 'political forces' as the applicants predict.”

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