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(WASHINGTON) — Attorneys for former President Donald Trump on Wednesday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to stay out of the legal debate over presidential immunity regarding his actions attacking the 2020 election results and reject special counsel Jack Smith’s request for expedited consideration of the issue, which could upend one of Smith’s cases against Trump.

“The Special Counsel contends that ‘[i]t is of imperative public importance that respondent’s claims of immunity be resolved by this Court,'” Trump’s attorneys wrote in a brief to the high court, urging the justices to allow a federal appeals court to consider the matter first.

“Every jurisdictional and prudential consideration calls for this Court to allow the appeal to proceed first in the D.C. Circuit. ‘Haste makes waste’ is an old adage. It has survived because it is right so often,” the attorneys wrote.

The filing comes in response to Smith’s highly unusual petition to the justices last week, seeking a fast-tracked judgment on the question of immunity for Trump in order to clear the way for his federal election subversion case to go to trial as planned on March 4.

Trump in August pleaded not guilty to charges of undertaking a “criminal scheme” to overturn the results of the 2020 election by enlisting a slate of so-called “fake electors,” using the Justice Department to conduct “sham election crime investigations,” trying to enlist the vice president to “alter the election results” and promoting false claims of a stolen election as the Jan. 6 riot raged — all in an effort to subvert democracy and remain in power.

The former president has denied all wrongdoing and denounced the charges as “a persecution of a political opponent,” which Smith and the Department of Justice have rejected.

“It requires no extended discussion to confirm that this case–involving charges that respondent sought to thwart the peaceful transfer of power through violations of federal criminal law–is at the apex of public importance,” Smith wrote in his request.

“The United States recognizes that this is an extraordinary request,” Smith wrote. “This is an extraordinary case.”

Only in rare instances of urgent and sweeping significance does the court bypass appellate review.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has already expedited review of a district court ruling that found Trump is not immune from prosecution. Oral arguments are scheduled for Jan. 9.

The justices are not on a fixed timeline to decide on Smith’s request but are likely to do so before early January.

Trump’s team argued Wednesday that a question of such historic and political weight merited a “cautious and deliberative” consideration “not at breakneck speed.”

“In 234 years of American history, no President ever faced criminal prosecution for his official acts. Until 19 days ago, no court had ever addressed whether immunity from such prosecution exists. To this day, no appellate court has addressed it,” they wrote.

Trump’s attorneys argued in his new filing that the government has no standing to request an expedited high court review because it won in the district court; that public interest warrants a careful resolution of the question, not a rushed hearing because of a “partisan motivation” of the election; and, that a lack of case law around the question should mean more time for lower court judges to weigh in.

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