A three-judge panel for the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled on Tuesday that former President Trump does not have immunity from prosecution related to his efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election.
“We have balanced former President Trump’s asserted interests in executive immunity against the vital public interests that favor allowing this prosecution to proceed,” the judges wrote in a 57-page opinion reported by CNBC. “We conclude that ‘[c]oncerns of public policy, especially as illuminated by our history and the structure of our government’ compel the rejection of his claim of immunity in this case,” the judges continue, upholding a trial judge’s previous ruling.
🚨 BREAKING: US Court of Appeals has rejected Donald Trump’s claim of presidential immunity in his federal election interference case. pic.twitter.com/8rQJrW9M2a
— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) February 6, 2024
Special Counsel Jack Smith brought the election interference case against Trump in US District Court in Washington DC, where the chances of him receiving a fair trial are slim to none.
Trump is charged in the case with four counts of crimes including conspiracy to defraud the United States and conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding. He has pleaded not guilty.
Defense lawyers, seeking to dismiss the case, had argued to Judge Tanya Chutkan that Trump has “absolute immunity” from prosecution because the charges relate to official acts performed while he was president.
After Chutkan declined to dismiss the charges, Trump’s attorneys brought the immunity argument to the appeals court. That move put the case on hold in Chutkan’s court. -CNBC
Trump’s legal team is expected to quickly ask the Supreme Court to overturn the decision, in which the former president’s legal team put forth three separate immunity arguments “both as a categorical defense to federal criminal prosecutions of former Presidents and as applied to this case in particular.”
“For the purpose of this criminal case, former President Trump has become citizen Trump, with all of the defenses of any other criminal defendant,” wrote the panel.
“But any executive immunity that may have protected him while he served as President no longer protects him against this prosecution.”
Donald Trump Jr. took to X to rail against the decision, posting: “If POTUS doesn’t have immunity they’ll be incapable of action for fear of future partisan reprisal. That endangers the United States and sets a terrible precedent. If this becomes the norm would a Trump DOJ prosecute Obama for droning an American? If not why not?”
No one who’s been watching is shocked by this partisan hackery but here we go.
DC appeals court has ruled that Trump does not have presidential immunity that would shield him in the J6 case
Time for SCOTUS to step in.
If POTUS doesn’t have immunity they’ll be incapable of…
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) February 6, 2024
Trump has called the case a “witch hunt.”