In a significant twist in the ongoing legal saga surrounding Donald Trump, the Supreme Court's recent decision to not expedite a ruling on the former president's prosecution immunity has sparked speculation among former prosecutors.
This development could potentially delay Trump's trial on charges of election subversion, a situation that ex-prosecutors believe might only be a temporary reprieve. The BBC gathered insights from these legal experts, who opined that Trump's continuous legal challenges might only serve to postpone the inevitable.
They further suggested that this tactic could inadvertently affect the timing of his potential White House election campaign next year.
Supreme Court's Silent Stance
In a move that caught the attention of legal circles, the Supreme Court on Friday chose not to provide an immediate response to whether Trump can claim immunity in this high-profile case.
This decision came in response to a request from special counsel Jack Smith, who sought an expedited review. The Supreme Court, without elaboration, stated simply that Smith's petition was denied. The special counsel's office, which indicted Trump in August for his alleged role in conspiring to overturn the results of the last general election leading up to the US Capitol riot on January 6, 2021, has yet to comment on this latest judicial development.
The delay's duration remains uncertain. This ruling effectively means that the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit will need to review the case before it potentially escalates back to the Supreme Court. Smith had previously argued that navigating the appeals process could push back the trial's start, initially scheduled for March 4.
Currently, the trial proceedings are on hold as Judge Tanya Chutkan awaits the outcome of Trump's legal team's appeal. Trump has consistently claimed immunity, asserting that his actions during the time of the Capitol riot were within his official presidential duties.
Gene Rossi, a seasoned former federal prosecutor, described the Supreme Court's decision as a "huge setback for Jack Smith on the scheduling front," in a conversation with the BBC. This latest development in Trump's legal battles continues to unfold, casting a shadow of uncertainty over the timing and course of the impending trial.