Donald Trump’s claim of presidential immunity against Jack Smith’s federal charges related to the Jan. 6 Capitol riot may have failed in an appeals court, but it succeeded at the time-tested legal strategy of stalling for time, MSNBC acknowledged in a Tuesday report.
A three-judge appeals panel ruled Tuesday that Trump can face trial on charges that he plotted to overturn the results of the 2020 election, denying his assertions that his status as a former president grants blanket immunity. But the maneuver put Smith’s case on ice for a month, forcing a trial-start postponement that surely won’t be the last.
Originally scheduled for March 4, the ambitious trial-start was bumped last week, and has yet to be officially rescheduled. Multiple delays and reschedules are common in complex legal cases – even when the defendant doesn’t have the added incentive of barreling toward an election that could potentially give him self-pardon powers.
Smith, the special prosecutor pursuing the case, initially asked the Supreme Court to bypass the federal panel and take the matter directly, perhaps as a way to cut down on process time. Now the case could be headed there anyway – just with one less month to work with.
That wasn’t lost on MSNBC reporter Vaughn Hillyard, who appeared Tuesday from Washington to weigh in just as the 57-page decision was released.
“I’m digesting this in real time with you as well,” Hillyard said on “MSNBC Reports.”
“We should note that the Trump team already indicated they intend to appeal this decision to the U.S. Supreme Court,” Hillyard continued. “You’ll recall that special counsel Jack Smith had intended and requested that the Supreme Court be the initial ones to hear Donald Trump’s appeal and bypass the appeals court. That did not happen. That has all but effectively slowed down this case.”
Watch the entire report in the video above.