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Smith gets short deadline from Supreme Court on challenging Trump trial delay

By Jake Beardslee · February 13, 2024

In brief…

  • The Supreme Court gave Special Counsel Jack Smith one week to respond to Trump's request to delay his January 6th trial.
  • Trump wants to delay the trial further to appeal claims of presidential immunity from indictment.
  • The one week deadline is longer than timelines in some other emergency cases, suggesting the court isn't viewing Trump's request urgently.
The Supreme Court gave Special Counsel Jack Smith a week to respond to Donald Trump's attempt to further delay his January 6th trial on claims of immunity.  Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia

Special Counsel Jack Smith has been given one week to respond to former President Donald Trump’s latest attempt to delay his January 6th trial. In a brief order on Tuesday, the Supreme Court requested that Smith file a response to Trump’s emergency motion by February 20th.

Trump had filed the emergency motion on Monday, urging the high court to block a lower court ruling that found he does not have presidential immunity from indictment, according to The Hill. Trump has used appeals of this issue to delay his upcoming trial, which was originally scheduled for March 4th.

If allowed to delay the trial further, Trump hopes to take the immunity question to the full D.C. Circuit Court and potentially the Supreme Court. However, the court did not appear to view Trump’s case with special urgency, as the one week deadline for Smith’s response is longer than timelines set in some other recent emergency cases.

For his part, Special Counsel Smith has aimed to hold a speedy trial for Trump to avoid any possibility of him pardoning himself should he win another term.

In the indictment, Trump faces four federal felony charges related to his alleged efforts to subvert the 2020 election results. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.