George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley said Tuesday a federal appeals court ruling was trying to “shortcut the process” for former President Donald Trump.

A three-judge panel from the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled against Trump’s arguments that he enjoyed immunity from prosecution for his efforts to contest the results of the 2020 election Tuesday. Turley noted that the court issued a short deadline for Trump to appeal to the Supreme Court in its decision.

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“They really put this poison pill in their order that says that even though you are entitled to go for what’s called en bancreview, which is to have the whole court, that would take 45 days. The court said if you don’t file with the Supreme Court on Monday, we’re going to return the mandate to the trial court,” Turley told “Special Report” host Bret Baier. “What that means is that the trial court judge can start pre-trial proceedings, but that also means that Trump is essentially being leapfrogged over part of his appeal that most people are entitled to.”

“Now, he is going to do a number of things,” Turley continued. “He could put in a motion to stay this and ask Chief Justice Roberts, and ultimately the court, to simply stay that part of the ruling, go back and do his full appeal, but the panel is clearly trying to get him to shortcut this process.”

Special counsel Jack Smith secured a four-count indictment against Trump in August. In December, the Supreme Court denied Smith’s request to provide expedited review of an appeal of a district court ruling by United States District Judge Tanya Chutkan of the District of Columbia that rejected a motion by Trump’s attorneys to dismiss the charge.

“Time is of the essence to all parties. You know, you have special counsel Smith, who has been telling courts we must try this person before the election,” Turley told Baier. “So far, courts, except this one, haven’t felt that urgency. But he has the perfect judge, the perfect jury pool, he does not have the perfect calendar if this goes too long.”

Harold Hutchison on February 6, 2024

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