According to Reuters, Donald Trump went to the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday as he insisted on his claim, rejected by lower courts, that he has full immunity from prosecution for trying to overturn his 2020 election defeat because he was in office when he committed these actions. .

Donald TrumpPhoto: Matt Rourke/AP/Profimedia

Trump asked the justices to stay a decision by a three-judge panel of the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia that denied his request for immunity.

The March 4 start of Trump’s trial in federal court in Washington on a four-count criminal indictment brought by special prosecutor Jack Smith has been postponed without setting a new date.

Trump’s lawyers have asked the justices to stay the trial until they try to get the case reheard by all the judges in the District of Columbia Circuit and, if necessary, an appeal to the Supreme Court.

Trump, the first former president to face criminal charges, is the Republican favorite to face Democratic President Joe Biden in the November 5 US election. Biden defeated Trump in 2020.

A delay in the case could benefit Trump because, if he wins the November election and returns to the White House, he can use his presidential powers to force the charges to drop or possibly pardon him for any federal crimes.

Three of the Supreme Court’s nine justices were appointed by Trump, cementing a 6-3 conservative majority on America’s highest court.

The charges brought against Smith in August 2023 stem from one of four criminal cases currently pending against Trump, including another in a Georgia state court that also involves his bid to overturn his 2020 defeat.

U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan, who is presiding over Smith’s case, rejected Trump’s request for immunity in December, ruling that former presidents “do not enjoy special treatment with respect to their federal criminal liability.”

“No matter what immunities the sitting president enjoys, there is only one executive director in the United States at a time,” Chatkan wrote, “and that position does not grant the right to get out of jail.”

After Trump appealed, a three-judge panel of the District of Columbia Circuit also rejected Trump’s immunity claim on February 6, prompting him to seek relief from the Supreme Court.

“We cannot accept that the office of the president places its former holders above the law for all time thereafter,” the commission wrote in its decision.