What happens next in Trump’s DC election case after the Supreme Court’s immunity decision

The biggest question now that the Supreme Court has decided Donald Trump is entitled to some immunity from prosecution: What happens next in special counsel Jack Smith’s election interference case against the former president?

Assuming Smith stays the course, written arguments and even proceedings with witness testimony and evidence are likely to be next before US District Judge Tanya Chutkan in Washington, DC.

The special counsel’s office has not responded yet publicly to the decision, and there is nothing at the moment on Chutkan’s docket indicating what next steps will be taken in the trial court.

Those are likely to come in the days after the Supreme Court hands the opinion down formally to the federal courts in DC. The mechanism for sending a case back down usually takes as a long as a month, but the high court could act more quickly – particularly if a party asks it to.

Once Chutkan works through the legal issues, it’s possible that more appeals could put the case on hold again. This is why it may be unlikely for Trump to go to trial this year, if at all. But courts can be hard to predict.

What Trump is and isn’t immune for

The Supreme Court put one set of allegations against Trump – regarding his and his allies’ efforts to weaponize the Justice Department – in the bucket of absolute immunity.

For the several other categories of allegations, Chief Justice John Roberts’ majority opinion said that the lower courts will have to go through a process of “fact-specific” and perhaps “challenging” analysis.

The Supreme Court said that that Trump’s pressure campaign on Vice President Mike Pence to help him overturn the election is “presumptively” immune, and put the burden on the prosecutors to rebut the presumptive immunity.

As for Trump’s state-level efforts to overturn the results, including the fake electors scheme, the high court told lower courts to analyze what of that conduct was an official act and what was not.

Roberts said that analysis will require an “assessment of numerous alleged interactions with a wide variety of state officials and private persons.”

The lower courts will also have to parse what conduct was an official presidential act when it comes to Trump’s January 6-related behavior and his comments that egged on the Capitol riot. Roberts said the lower courts may need to look “what else was said contemporaneous to the excerpted communications, or who was involved in transmitting the electronic communications and in organizing the rally” in deciding which of those communications are immunized.

If Chutkan does rule on on what is an official act and what is not, it’s possible that Trump would appeal those rulings to the DC Circuit court and ultimately to the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court’s ruling strongly suggests that those appeals would need to be resolved pre-trial, making it unlikely this case goes to a jury before Americans cast their ballots for president.

Jack Smith’s options going forward

It’s also possible that Smith’s office winnows down his case to bring it in line with the Supreme Court’s opinion. That could mean cutting out some parts of what they want to present to the jury, or even refiling the indictment against Trump so it doesn’t allege violations related to the official work of the presidency.

The special counsel’s office will also have to grapple with the Supreme Court’s decision to cut out any evidence from that case that would be official actions of the President – throwing another wrench in how the case will be prosecuted.

Still, with Chutkan, the timeline could move quickly – potentially as quickly as a few weeks for briefing and hearings.

For more CNN news and newsletters create an account at CNN.com