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Ex-Attorney Suggests Strategy for Jack Smith to Accelerate Trump Case

By Jake Beardslee · July 6, 2024

In the wake of a recent Supreme Court decision on presidential immunity, former U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade suggests that Special Counsel Jack Smith may still be able to proceed with the federal election interference case against Donald Trump by amending the indictment.

The Supreme Court's 6-3 ruling on Monday stated that former presidents have immunity from criminal prosecution for official acts, but not for unofficial acts. This decision came after Trump brought his presidential immunity case before the justices more than nine weeks ago.  Steven Hirsch/Pool via USA TODAY NETWORK

Speaking on MSNBC's The Weekend, McQuade explained that while the case might not be completed before this year's election, Smith has options to move forward. "It is not just the defendant, it is also the public that has a right to a speedy trial," McQuade stated. She added, "I think the more progress [Smith] can make before a [potential] president-elect Donald Trump goes into office, the more he can do at the other end."  United States Department of Justice / Wikimedia

McQuade suggested that Smith could amend the indictment to focus on unofficial acts, which may include "organizing false slates of electors, pressuring state officials to flip the outcome of the election and exploiting the chaos at the Capitol on January 6 to try to press legislators to delay the certification."  United States Department of Justice / Wikimedia

The case stems from Trump's alleged attempts to overturn the results of the 2020 election, including charges in Georgia for conspiracy to change the state's election results. Trump has pleaded not guilty to all charges and claims the cases are politically motivated.  Gage Skidmore from Surprise, AZ, United States of America / Wikimedia

In a related move, attorneys representing Trump have launched a fresh attempt to disqualify Special Counsel Jack Smith from overseeing the Florida classified documents case, leveraging the Supreme Court's latest ruling on presidential immunity as justification, Axios reported.  Gage Skidmore from Surprise, AZ, United States of America / Wikimedia

The request leans on Justice Clarence Thomas' concurrence, which questioned the constitutionality of Smith's appointment.  Jack Gruber/USA TODAY / USA TODAY NETWORK

The impact of the Supreme Court's ruling is already being felt in other cases. In New York, where Trump was convicted of 34 felony counts related to hush money payments, his legal team successfully used the ruling to push back sentencing, according to Axios.  Gage Skidmore from Surprise, AZ, United States of America / Wikimedia