CNN’s senior legal analyst Elie Honig explained Wednesday why special counsel Jack Smith’s Jan. 6 case against former President Donald Trump could take significant time to conclude.
Although the Washington, D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals may rule on Trump’s election interference before January ends, Trump’s right to ask for a review and Supreme Court ruling will likely slow it down, Honig stated. The Supreme Court rejected Smith’s request Friday for it to promptly consider a crucial question in the case without letting the lower court weigh in first.
“I think it’s very likely that the court of appeals will rule by the end of January,” Honig asserted. “Now, the problem for Jack Smith is then Donald Trump can ask for what’s called a banc review. That takes a few weeks. Then he can ask the Supreme Court to take the case. That takes months. Trial date here is March 4th. I think that’s very much in jeopardy.”
Trump’s strategy will likely be to wait to appeal rulings until the last minute, Honig said.
The Supreme Court’s Friday decision creates an obstacle for Smith, who has been pushing to salvage Trump’s scheduled March 4 trial date. District Judge Tanya Chutkan paused proceedings in Trump’s case pending his appeal of whether he has presidential immunity after Chutkan ruled he does not.
Chutkan decided not to throw out Trump’s case Dec. 1, asserting the presidency “does not confer a lifelong ‘get-out-of-jail-free’ pass.” Trump then appealed her decision to the D.C. Circuit.
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