In a recent appearance on Fox News’ America Reports, legal commentator Jonathan Turley expressed his belief that Special Counsel Jack Smith is driven by an obsession to convict former President Donald Trump before the 2024 election. Turley suggests that Smith fears Trump may pardon himself if he regains the White House, thus evading potential criminal charges.
Earlier the same day, Smith requested the Supreme Court to expedite their ruling on whether Trump is immune from criminal prosecution. This move was aimed at accelerating the proceedings against Trump, who has been indicted for alleged mishandling of classified information and interference in the 2020 presidential election.
When asked for his thoughts on Smith’s request, Turley described it as “not the regular order of things.” He pointed out that the case had recently been filed before the D.C. Circuit, yet Smith decided to bypass the Court of Appeals and directly approach the Supreme Court. Turley suggests that the urgency behind this action is solely driven by Smith’s singular focus on trying Trump during the current campaign and securing a conviction before the election.
Turley questioned whether the Supreme Court would share Smith’s sense of urgency. Typically, the court prefers to hear from multiple Courts of Appeals and at least one on the relevant issues before taking up a case. Turley implies that the Supreme Court might not share Smith’s unyielding dedication to trying Trump before the election.
Fox’s John Roberts then inquired if there were any reasons, apart from politics, for Smith’s desire to expedite the case. Turley responded by highlighting a tactical motive. He explained that if Trump were to win the election, he could pardon himself, effectively preventing Smith from ever bringing the case to trial. Turley suggests that Smith’s urgency stems from the fear that if Trump prevails in the election and remains unconvicted, he could issue a preemptive pardon for himself without waiting for the trial to take place.
As the legal battles surrounding Trump continue, the motivations and tactics of those involved will undoubtedly shape the course of events. The Supreme Court’s response to Smith’s request for an expedited ruling will provide further insight into the importance and urgency they attach to this case. Only time will tell how these legal proceedings unfold in the coming months.