Last Posts

Donald Trump urges federal appeals court to grant him immunity from criminal prosecution in election subversion case

Donald Trump urged a federal appeals court to dismiss the federal election subversion criminal case in Washington, D.C., arguing once again in a filing Saturday night that he was protected by presidential immunity.

Trump wants the Washington Court of Appeals to overturn a lower court ruling rejecting his requests for immunity in special counsel Jack Smith's election subversion case. The appeals panel is considering Trump's request, which the Supreme Court on Friday refused to quickly grant, as Smith had requested.

The filing reiterates what the former president's lawyers have repeatedly asserted: that Trump was acting in his official capacity as president to "ensure the integrity of the election" when he allegedly undermined the results of the election. 2020 and therefore enjoyed immunity, and that his indictment is unconstitutional because presidents cannot be criminally prosecuted for "official acts." » They were not impeached and convicted by the Senate.

“The Constitution establishes a strong structural check to prevent political factions from exploiting the massive threat of criminal prosecution to obstruct the President and attack their political enemies,” Trump’s lawyers wrote Saturday.

“Before a prosecutor can ask the Court to rule on the President’s conduct, Congress must have agreed to do so by impeaching and convicting the President,” they wrote. “This did not happen here, so President Trump has absolute immunity.”

The former president is trying to postpone his March 4 trial in the case as his immunity battle underscores those efforts.

The Court of Appeal has expedited consideration of his appeal and is expected to hear oral arguments on the issue on January 9. District Judge Tanya Chutkan, who is overseeing his criminal case, has temporarily suspended all procedural deadlines in the case while the appeal is heard. .

The Supreme Court on Friday denied a request from Smith asking the justices to immediately hear the case before the D.C. Circuit has a chance to review it. Both parties will have the opportunity to appeal the final decision of the Court of Appeal to the highest court. .

Trump's team earlier this month asked the appeals court to review Chutkan's immunity ruling. Chutkan rejected Trump's claims for immunity, writing in an opinion that his "four years of service as commander in chief did not give him the divine right of kings to escape the criminal liability of his fellow citizens."

Chutkan also rejected arguments made by Trump's lawyers that the criminal charge should be dropped because he was working to "ensure the integrity of the election" as part of his official position as president when he allegedly undermined the results of the 2020 election, and is therefore protected by presidential immunity. . Defense attorneys reiterated those arguments Saturday.

Trump's lawyers said Saturday that Chutkan "missed what the Founders recognized: that the punishment meted out by the president is irreducibly political and therefore belongs primarily to the most politically responsible branch — Congress and, ultimately, the Senate".

They also warned that Trump's indictment, they say, "threatens to trigger cycles of politically motivated recriminations and prosecutions that will plague our nation for many decades to come."


Font Size
lines height