Multiple reports indicate that Thursday’s argument with the Donald Trump case did not go very well at the Supreme Court for Special Counsel Jack Smith. However, quite a few people feel that it was a great outcome for the former U.S. President.

Five Republicans Wanted To Delay Federal Criminal Trial Until After Election

According to the report, a minimum of five of the Republicans within the Supreme Court were interested in delaying Trump’s federal criminal trial until after the upcoming election. Chief Justice John Roberts apparently believes that Trump enjoys a certain degree of immunity from criminal prosecution.

Source: Wikimedia Commons/Joe Ravi

The federal criminal trial is related to Trump’s attempt to steal the 2020 presidential election.

Court’s Republican Majority Wanted To Give Trump Broad Immunity From Prosecution

The report further expressed that the majority of the Court’s Republicans wanted to offer Trump “extraordinarily broad immunity” if he wins the election. For instance, Justice Brett Kavanaugh indicated that a president cannot be charged by exercising his official powers regardless of the federal criminal statute used.

Source: Wikimedia Commons/White House

That is, of course, unless the statute includes language that explicitly states that it applies to the president. The attorney arguing on behalf of the prosecution team led by Jack Smith confirmed that only two federal laws currently meet that standard.

Justice Samuel Alito Claims Prosecuting Trump Would Destabilize Democracy

Justice Samuel Alito has generated and maintained a reputation for being a dyspeptic advocate for the Republican party preference. He argued that allowing Trump to be prosecuted would result in a “cycle that destabilizes our democracy.”

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According to Alito, prosecuting Trump would lead to future presidents that lose elections to mimic his criminal behavior. This would essentially create the precedent that they would still be able to stay in office despite the criminal behavior and not have to face prosecution from their successor.

Justice Barrett Highlighted Distinction Between ‘Official’ Behavior And ‘Personal’ Conduct

Concerns were raised regarding Trump attorney John Sauer’s arguments. For instance, Justice Amy Coney Barrett highlighted the distinction that Sauer made between a president facing prosecution for “official” behavior versus “personal” conduct.

Source: Wikimedia Commons/Office of US Senator Roger Wicker

Sauer reportedly believes that “official” behavior is not allowed. On the other hand, Sauer conceded that “personal” conduct was permitted.

Barrett Argued That Most Charges Against Trump Qualify As Personal Conduct

Barrett argued that most of the charges filed against Donald Trump qualify as personal conduct. These charges include his collaboration with political consultants and private lawyers to overthrow the 2020 presidential election.

Source: Pixabay/Gerd Altmann

If these acts qualify as personal conduct, then they could still force Trump to face prosecution. However, Barrett was still one of the Republican justices that believe the case must return to the trial court to establish which allegations are “personal” versus “official.”

Justice Roberts Expressed Concern That ‘Official’ vs ‘Personal’ Is Difficult To Determine

Chief Justice John Roberts reportedly expressed concern regarding the difficulty of distinguishing between “official acts” and “personal conduct.” He previously asked Sauer during the oral argument about a president that appoints an individual as an ambassador simply because the appointee bribed the president.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

In that scenario, making the actual appointment would be considered an official act. However, taking the bribe attached to it would not receive the same consideration.

Barrett Indicated That Trump Could Still Appeal Trial Court’s Ruling

Justice Barrett also indicated that Donald Trump would still have the opportunity to appeal the ruling of the trial court. This means that his criminal trial would still be delayed.

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The delay could reportedly last for many months. This is because it would have to make its easy through the various appeals courts.

Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson Issued Warning About Granting Trump Immunity

Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson previously made headlines with her comments regarding the possibility of granting Donald Trump presidential immunity. She warned that the risk inherent in providing that to people like Donald Trump would have “emboldened” others to “commit crimes with abandon.”

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Jackson was first appointed as a judge within the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia in March 2013. She served that position until moving to the U.S. Court of Appeals in June 2021 and then later the Supreme Court in June 2022.

Justice Jackson: The Oval Office Would Become ‘Seat Of Criminal Activity In This Country’

Justice Jackson believes that absolute immunity could transform the Oval Office into “the seat of criminal activity” in the United States. She indicated that future presidents would not have any incentives for following the law while serving their respective terms.

Source: Wikimedia Commons/The White House

These remarks came after she reportedly pressed John Sauer regarding presidents acting in an official capacity.

Barrett Referenced Sauer’s Remarks About A ‘Gateway To Criminal Prosecution’

Barrett pressed Sauer on his past remarks regarding why the president should not have to face impeachment before facing criminal prosecution. Sauer confirmed his argument that the “impeachment clause suggests or requires impeachment to be a gateway to criminal prosecution.”

Source: Pixabay/Saurabh Sinha

Barrett stated that “there are many other people who are subject to impeachment” – including the nine Supreme Court justices. However, she indicated that she did not believe “anyone has ever suggested that impeachment would have to be the gateway to criminal prosecution for any of the many other officers subject to impeachment.”

Barrett Got Sauer To Admit Some Of The Charges Are Private Conduct

Barrett reportedly did get Sauer to admit that at least some of the charges against Donald Trump are connected to the former U.S. President’s personal and private conduct. For instance, she highlighted the act of consulting with private attorneys and political consultants to certify fake electors.

Source: Pixabay/Leandro Aguilar

Barrett later shifted the focus to the process required to determine which portions of the indictment could survive. According to Barrett, the trial court would have to distinguish the “official” from the “personal” within the indictment – which would cause additional delays.

Best Case Scenario For Jack Smith May Still Present Victory For Donald Trump

One report claims that even the best case scenario for Jack Smith would still present a major victory for Donald Trump at this point. For instance, if Trump wins the upcoming presidential election, he could potentially order the Justice Department to dismiss the charges against him.

Source: Wikimedia Commons/PLBechly

He could even potentially issue a pardon for himself. Either way, American voters would more than likely head to the voting polls in November without the clarity that would have been provided through a criminal trial to determine whether Trump was guilty.

Justice Clarence Thomas Believed Appointment Of Jack Smith Was Unconstitutional

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas reportedly suggested that the decision of the Justice Department to appoint Jack Smith to investigate Donald Trump was not constitutional. Multiple reports claim that he would likely vote to provide Trump with the immunity that he seeks.

Source: Wikimedia Commons/Earl McDonald

Barrett and Roberts, on the other hand, were not as clearly decided. They did consider sending the case back to the lower courts for an extended delay.

Neil Gorsuch: ‘We’ve Never Answered Whether A President’ Can Pardon Himself

Regarding whether a president can pardon themselves, Neil Gorsuch stated that “we’ve never answered whether a president can do that.” He added that “happily, it’s never been presented to us.”

Source: Wikimedia Commons/US Senate – Office of Dan Sullivan

Gorsuch expressed his concern over the mere idea of needing to decide whether that type of authority could be used in such a way. He noted that he is “not concerned about this case.” On the contrary, he is “concerned about future uses of the criminal law to target political opponents based on accusations about their motives.”