Donald Trump handed win as Supreme Court rejects fast-track prosecution bid

US

Donald Trump was handed a win in the courts after a proposed fast-track ruling over whether the former president can be prosecuted was rejected.

Mr Trump – leading in the race to be the Republican nominee in 2024 – faces criminal charges over allegations he conspired to overturn the 2020 election.

He has argued he has “absolute immunity” under the constitution on grounds that former presidents cannot face criminal charges for conduct related to official responsibilities. He also denies the charges against him outright.

The landmark election subversion trial was scheduled for 4 March, but the US Supreme Court said it will not immediately take up special counsel Jack Smith’s plea to rule on whether Mr Trump is immune from prosecution, putting the scheduled date in jeopardy.

Mr Smith’s request was turned down in a single-sentence order on Friday and, as is customary, the court gave no explanation for the decision.

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The rejection means that the case will return to the court of appeals for the District of Columbia circuit on 9 January, when a three-judge panel is set to hear Mr Trump’s arguments.

While it signalled it will act quickly, Mr Smith warned that a rapid appellate decision from the court still might not get to the Supreme Court in time for review and final word before the traditional summer break.

In response to Friday’s ruling, Mr Trump called the special counsel’s request a “desperate attempt to short circuit our Great Constitution”.

He added in a Truth Social post that he was “looking forward” to arguments before the appeals court while repeating unsubstantiated claims that the 2020 election was rigged.

The Supreme Court voted against the EPA - dealing a blow to President Biden Pic: AP
Image:
The Supreme Court voted against the EPA – dealing a blow to President Biden Pic: AP

The case against Mr Trump was already frozen by district judge Tanya Chutkan earlier this month, after she denied that it could be dismissed on presidential immunity grounds and constitutional grounds.

The former president then launched an appeal on his immunity claims with the circuit court.

Mr Smith indicted the former president in June on four charges in Washington DC, but it is only one of four criminal cases Mr Trump faces.

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He has been charged by Mr Smith again for illegally hoarding classified documents at his Florida residence Mar-a-Lago, with that case set for trial in May.

Mr Trump is also accused by state prosecutors in Georgia of scheming to subvert that state’s presidential election, and in New York in connection with a hush money payment to a porn actress.

It comes as Colorado’s Supreme Court ruled he is ineligible for the presidency under the constitution’s insurrection clause over the 6 January riots.

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Donald Trump is ineligible for the US presidency under the constitution’s insurrection clause, the Colorado Supreme Court has ruled.

As it stands, voters in Colorado wouldn’t be able to cast their ballot for the former president in the election next year.

The ruling does not prevent him from running across the rest of the US.

Mr Trump’s campaign said it will appeal against the “completely flawed” decision to the state’s Supreme Court in another legal battle before voting starts in November.

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