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 January 10, 2024

Two major issues could destroy Jack Smith's case against Trump

Fox News contributor and law professor from George Washington University Jonathan Turley highlighted two significant challenges, likened to "torpedoes," that may adversely impact Jack Smith's case against former President Donald Trump.

During the court session on Tuesday, Trump's legal team asserted two key points: first, that he cannot face another trial after being acquitted in his second impeachment, and second, that Trump is immune due to acting within his official presidential capacity.

The details

Addressing these issues, the law professor emphasized the element of time, expressing skepticism about the initially suggested March 4th date and raising concerns about the feasibility of conducting a trial before the upcoming election if that deadline is missed.

The professor noted the motivation of the panel to issue a prompt opinion but also pointed out potential delays caused by the Trump campaign seeking a full court review en banc and, if necessary, appealing to the Supreme Court.

Another complicating factor was brought to light by Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law professor Steven G. Calabresi, along with Boston University School of Law professor Gary S. Lawson and former U.S. Attorney General Edwin Meese. They filed an amicus brief in December challenging the constitutionality of Smith's appointment.

The brief

The brief argues that Smith was unconstitutionally appointed by Attorney General Merrick Garland, rather than being appointed by President Joe Biden or confirmed by the Senate.

According to the brief, Garland allegedly exceeded his authority in appointing Smith, rendering all actions taken by Smith since his appointment null and void.

The professors expressed concern about the potential precedent, suggesting that future attorneys general might similarly empower individuals without proper procedures, drawing parallels to historical eras such as the McCarthy era.

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals indicated an interest in these issues by instructing the parties to be prepared for questions regarding "discrete" matters raised in amicus briefs, hinting at a potential consideration of the constitutional questions surrounding Smith's appointment.

Trump's petition

Former President Trump's legal team has petitioned a judge to hold special counsel Jack Smith and his prosecution team in contempt, contending that they should also face fines.

This request follows the suspension of activity in the election interference case while Trump appeals a decision by U.S. District Court Judge Tanya Chutkan, who rejected his assertion of immunity from prosecution based on his previous presidential role.

In December, Judge Chutkan issued an order that "stays any further proceedings that would move this case towards trial or impose additional burdens of litigation on Defendant."

The conflict continues as Trump seeks to win the GOP nomination in a potential rematch with President Joe Biden in January.

Written By:
Dillon Burroughs

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