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Donald Trump's lawyers lash out at special counsel Jack Smith as he pushes for speedy trial

Trump's charge came in his final brief before the Supreme Court decides whether to delay Trump's trial while he appeals a lower court's ruling that he's not immune from prosecution.

WASHINGTON 鈥 Former President Donald Trump鈥檚 lawyers on Thursday lashed out at special counsel Jack Smith after he opposed Trump鈥檚 request that the Supreme Court delay a trial into whether he tried to steal the 2020 election.

In Trump鈥檚 final brief before the Supreme Court will consider that delay, his lawyers told the court Smith has created 鈥渢he appearance of partisanship.鈥

鈥淎s before, there is no mystery about the Special Counsel鈥檚 motivation,鈥 they wrote. 鈥淐ommentators across the political spectrum point to the obvious 鈭抰he Special Counsel seeks to bring President Trump to trial and to secure a conviction before the November election in which President Trump is the leading candidate against President Biden.鈥

That goes against the Justice Department鈥檚 longstanding prohibition against prosecutors timing their actions to influence an election, the lawyers said. While Trump has long alleged that the four sets of criminal trials he faces are simply a roadblock for his reelection campaign, there is no evidence federal or state officials are targeting the former president's White House bid.

Trump wants the Supreme Court to keep his trial on hold while he appeals a lower court鈥檚 ruling that found he鈥檚 not immune from prosecution. Unless the court limits the amount of time Trump has to file his appeals, the process is unlikely to be completed in time for a trial before the November election.

Trump, the likely Republican presidential nominee, has sought to delay his four federal and state criminal cases until after the election. If voters return Trump to the White House while the trail is still pending, he could ask the Justice Department to dismiss pending federal cases.

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump speaks at a caucus night rally in Las Vegas, Thursday, Feb. 8, 2024.

In Trump鈥檚 initial request to the court on Monday, his lawyers suggested Smith is answering to Biden, his ultimate boss. They made that charge despite the fact that special counsels are appointed from outside the Justice Department to avoid any such conflicts.

Smith told the court Wednesday the public interest in a timely trial is 鈥渁t its zenith.鈥

"The conduct alleged in the indictment is of unparalleled gravity," Smith wrote. "There is a national interest in seeing the crimes alleged in this case resolved promptly."

Trump has pleaded not guilty to four federal charges聽in the case 鈭 three for conspiracy and one for obstruction 鈭 for falsely claiming election fraud and trying to overturn the legitimate 2020 election results.

While former presidents have broad immunity from civil lawsuits for official actions taken while serving in the White House, Trump has attempted to claim sweeping immunity from criminal prosecution.

Trump lawyer John Sauer has argued a president would have to be impeached and convicted in a Senate trial before he could be charged with crimes, including murdering a political rival, accepting bribes or committing treason.

Without immunity from criminal prosecution, Sauer told the court, the presidency 鈥渁s we know it will cease to exist鈥 because political rivals could seek to punish a president for contentious policy decisions.聽

A three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals this month聽definitively rejected Trump鈥檚 argument聽in a unanimous opinion.

But the panel kept on hold the trial 鈥 originally scheduled for March 鈭 while Trump asked the Supreme Court to weigh in.

He鈥檚 already facing a March trial in New York on charges he falsified business records听迟辞听cover up payments to women.

Trials are also possible on election interference charges in Georgia and on whether Trump mishandled of classified documents after leaving the White House.

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