Republished with permission from Lucian K. Truscott IV
On the first day of Christmas, Donald Trump’s true love gave to him, a lick on the face from his puppies and lapdogs on the Supreme Court: They made their first move to delay his trial on four felony counts of attempting to overturn the election of 2020 by interfering with and defrauding the United States government.
Yes, Trump’s six Supreme Court justices, three of them hand-picked, today refused to hear Special Counsel Jack Smith’s emergency request that the Supreme Court settle the issue Trump raised: that he has “absolute immunity” from prosecution for anything he did as president or afterwards for that matter.
Judge Tanya Chutkan, who will preside over the trial of the four-felony count indictment against Defendant Trump, had ruled against Trump’s initial claim of “absolute immunity,” telling him, memorably, that serving as president did not automatically give him a “get out of jail free card.” She set the trial date for March 4. Smith then made his emergency appeal, telling the court, “The public importance of the issues, the imminence of the scheduled trial date and the need for a prompt and final resolution of respondent’s immunity claims counsel in favor of this court’s expedited review at this time.”
On the second day of Christmas, Trump’s true love gave to him, two Harvard lawyers and a partridge from a Stanford pear tree. With one of his previous lawyers, Sidney “Kraken” Powell, copping a guilty plea in Georgia, and another, Rudy Giuliani, still facing charges and as of this week in Chapter 11 bankruptcy, Trump hired a new crack legal team from Missouri to represent him in the Jan. 6 federal case in Washington D.C. D. John Sauer is a former Rhodes Scholar who clerked for the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, because of course he did. The other Harvard Law grad is Will Scharf, who worked for the Judicial Crisis Network, the right-wing Koch-funded advocacy outfit that supported Trump’s Supreme Court appointees Bret Kavanaugh and Amy Comey Barrett and fought to keep Merrick Garland from even getting a confirmation hearing. With the help of the third show-me-state legal eagle from Stanford, Michael Talent, the new Trump team had this to say to the court in their answer to Smith’s emergency appeal:
“Importance does not automatically necessitate speed. If anything, the opposite is usually true. Novel, complex, sensitive and historic issues—such as the existence of presidential immunity from criminal prosecution for official acts—call for more careful deliberation, not less.” Because, of course, to have their client convicted of multiple felonies before election day might cost him the presidency.
All of which adds up to Trump’s puppies and lapdogs taking their time to listen to every little calling bird and turtle dove they can find before they get around to risking taking us to what will be very dark places in history if they ensure that a convicted criminal moves into the White House.
Trump’s new team had already filed an appeal of Judge Chutkan’s initial ruling against Trump’s “absolute immunity” claim with the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia in Washington D.C., which has ordered expedited briefs and will hear oral arguments on Jan. 9. The D.C. appeals court will rule on Trump’s claim, and then the case will be taken up by Trump’s nine ladies dancing on the Supreme Court, which will no-doubt lead to a delay in the 1/6 trial date set for early March.
On the third day of Christmas, Trump’s true love gave to him a third chance to defame E. Jean Carroll, whom he has already been found liable of defaming not only once, but twice. Late in the day on Thursday, Trump’s New York team of lawyers filed a motion with the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, asking for a stay of his upcoming trial for damages in Carroll’s case against him. The court of appeals has previously rejected yet another of Trump’s claims of “absolute immunity,” this time as a defense against charges of defamation for statements he made accusing Carroll of being a liar while he was president. The Second Circuit found he enjoyed no such immunity and ordered the case to go to trial, which it did, resulting in a multi-million dollar judgement against him.
This time, Trump is trying to stave off another such award of damages in the millions for his second defamation of Carroll. The New York lawyers asked the Court of Appeals for time to “give President Trump an opportunity to fully litigate his entitlement to present an immunity defense in the underlying proceedings, including pursuing the appeal in the Supreme Court if necessary.”
Of course, they did, because Donald Trump is immune from everything, don’t you know. He was immune from the allegations of sexual assault and harassment by 26 women preceding his descent on the escalator in Trump Tower in July of 2015. He was immune from “grabbing them by the pussy,” as he told Access Hollywood in an infamous tape recording that was released just before election day in 2016. He was immune from his “perfect phone call” with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, when he attempted to extort him into investigating Joe Biden by withholding congressionally appropriated military aid. And he was immune from being impeached and convicted for inciting the riot that overran the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021 in an attempt to halt the counting of electoral ballots that awarded the presidency to Joe Biden.
Trump’s new legal team hasn’t filed a claim of immunity in the classified documents case in Florida being heard by his robed swan-a-swimming, Judge Aileen Cannon, but give them a chance. They’ll be claiming any minute now that Defendant Trump is “absolutely immune” from charges that he endangered national security when he stored top-secret documents in one of the public restrooms and atop a public ballroom stage in his resort/club Mar a Lago. Cannon will probably agree with that claim, and it will be appealed by Jack Smith’s prosecutors to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, and from there to Trump’s six geese a-laying on the Supreme Court.
It’s all a bit much, isn’t it, Trump’s 12 immunities of Christmas? But here we are, waiting for his fawning pets on the Supreme Court to bail out their master by finding that there is no law in the land that applies to Donald Trump, because in the immortal words of Richard Nixon, “When the president does it, that means it’s not illegal.”
Lucian K. Truscott IV
Lucian K. Truscott IV, a graduate of West Point, has had a 50-year career as a journalist, novelist and screenwriter. He has covered stories such as Watergate, the Stonewall riots and wars in Lebanon, Iraq and Afghanistan. He is also the author of five bestselling novels and several unsuccessful motion pictures. He has three children, lives in rural Pennsylvania and spends his time Worrying About the State of Our Nation and madly scribbling in a so-far fruitless attempt to Make Things Better.