WASHINGTON (NEWSnet/AP) — Special counsel Jack Smith has asked the Supreme Court to step into litigation and rule quickly on whether Donald Trump can be prosecuted on charges he plotted to overturn the 2020 election results.

A federal judge ruled the case could go forward.

But in response, the Republican ex-president signaled he would ask the federal appeals court in Washington to reverse that outcome.

Smith's request, filed Monday, is attempting to bypass the appeals court.

The request for the Supreme Court to take up the matter directly reflects Smith’s desire to keep the trial, currently for March 4, on track and to prevent delays that might push back the case until after the 2024 presidential election.

“This case presents a fundamental question at the heart of our democracy: whether a former President is absolutely immune from federal prosecution for crimes committed while in office or is constitutionally protected from federal prosecution when he has been impeached but not convicted before the criminal proceedings begin,” prosecutors wrote.

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