Apr 8, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Jack Smith urges SCOTUS to reject Trump's "novel" immunity claim

 Special Counsel Jack Smith delivers remarks on a recently unsealed indictment including four felony counts against former U.S. President Donald Trump at the Justice Department on August 1, 2023 in Washington, DC.

Special Counsel Jack Smith at the Justice Department in Washington, D.C., last August. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Special counsel Jack Smith in a filing asking the U.S. Supreme Court to reject former President Trump's claims that he's immune from prosecution in the 2020 federal election case said "no person is above the law."

The big picture: "The Framers never endorsed criminal immunity for a former President, and all Presidents from the Founding to the modern era have known that after leaving office they faced potential criminal liability for official acts," Smith said in the brief, ahead of the Supreme Court reviewing the case on April 25.

  • The election subversion case against Trump that was scheduled to begin in D.C. last month is on hold as the court weighs the 2024 presumptive nominee's argument that he has "absolute immunity" in the case.
  • The justices are expected to reach a decision by July.

What they're saying: "The effective functioning of the Presidency does not require that a former President be immune from accountability for these alleged violations of federal criminal law," Smith said in Monday's filing, which calls Trump's immunity claim "novel and sweeping."

  • "To the contrary, a bedrock principle of our constitutional order is that no person is above the law — including the President."
  • Representatives for Trump did not immediately respond to Axios' request for comment, but his legal team's written reply to Smith is due next week.

Read the filing in full, via DocumentCloud:

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