On Saturday, Special Counsel Jack Smith filed a contentious brief challenging President Donald Trump’s legal claims regarding executive immunity. The pleading was filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in advance of the oral arguments scheduled to take place before a panel of appeals judges there on January 9.
Smith’s brief contests the position taken by the Trump legal team that all of the 45th president’s actions in questioning the administration of the 2020 election were within his official capacity as the nation’s chief executive.
Smith had previously asked the Supreme Court to take the appeal of the issue directly from the district court, thereby bypassing ordinary legal procedure that requires the first appeal to be heard by a U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The high court denied Smith’s request on December 22, leaving the matter in its current position.
— Bo Snerdley (@BoSnerdley) December 30, 2023
Smith’s filing alleges that by challenging the election outcome, Trump engaged in activities that “fall well outside the outer perimeter of official Presidential responsibilities.” Smith’s inflammatory rhetoric escalates the highly charged situation, as he goes on to claim that President Trump’s immunity claim could lead to extreme scenarios where a president could misuse his powers with impunity.
Harvard University law professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz is one of several leading legal analysts who have criticized the indictment for potentially infringing on First Amendment freedoms and Trump’s Sixth Amendment right to counsel.
President Trump took to his Truth Social account to express his position. In a Christmas Eve post, Trump asserted his entitlement to total presidential immunity concerning the charges in Smith’s case. He also reiterated his belief that Smith’s actions are politically charged and are aligned with the interests of the Democrat Party and the Biden campaign.
Trump’s public statements summarize his legal team’s arguments in court and the general feelings of America First voters — the DOJ’s prosecution is not a fair administration of justice but a politically driven effort to undermine his 2024 campaign and improperly interfere with the upcoming election.