Former US president Donald Trump
Former US president Donald Trump, pictured on the eve of the 2024 Iowa caucuses, is looking increasingly inevitable as the Republican presidential nominee. AFP

Special counsel Jack Smith is calling on the U.S. Supreme Court to deny former President Donald Trump's request for a delay in his 2020 election interference trial.

Trump's legal team sought the extension earlier this week while the court deliberates on whether the former president is immune from prosecution for official acts during his time in the White House.

Smith's team accused Trump of conspiring to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election, filing charges against him in August. In response, Trump's lawyers assert that he is protected from prosecution for actions performed within the scope of his presidential duties—a legal argument that has not been tested before since no former president has faced indictment.

Both a district court judge and a federal appeals court panel have already rejected Trump's immunity claim, asserting that he should not be shielded from prosecution.

Trump has appealed to the Supreme Court to block these rulings, and Chief Justice John Roberts has given Smith until next week to respond.

In a 40-page filing submitted just two days after the request, Smith argued against Trump's appeal, emphasizing the public's interest in a prompt trial, especially when a former president is charged with conspiring to subvert the electoral process.

"The national interest in resolving those charges without further delay is compelling," it said, as per AP News.

The trial, originally scheduled for March 4, was postponed due to delays caused by Trump's immunity appeals.

The justices are set to discuss pending cases on Friday, and their handling of Trump's request may determine if the trial proceeds in 2024, coinciding with his potential run for a second term.

This is not the first time Smith has sought swift action from the Supreme Court. In December, he urged to address Trump's immunity claim before it was resolved by the appeals court. However, the justices allowed the matter to proceed through the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, which ruled in Smith's favor.

Smith pointed out that the immunity litigation has already derailed the original trial date. If the Supreme Court rejects Trump's position quickly, U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan could restart the process, ensuring the case is resolved promptly.