Tuesday, February 27, 2024

A Washington court ruled that Trump does not enjoy presidential immunity

A Washington court ruled Tuesday that former United States President Donald Trump does not have presidential immunity from charges against him for trying to reverse his 2020 election loss and inciting a 2021 attack on the Capitol.

“For purposes of this criminal case, former President Trump becomes a Trump citizen, with all the defenses of any other criminal defendant,” said the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.

And, therefore, “any executive immunity that may have protected him while serving as president no longer protects him against this prosecution,” the court wrote.

The three-judge panel’s ruling was unanimous and represented a severe blow to Trump’s defense, arguing that the conduct alleged by special prosecutor Jack Smith was part of his official duties as president and, therefore, acquitted him of criminal liability.

If proven, the court wrote, Trump’s efforts to seize the 2020 presidential election would be an “unprecedented attack on the structure of our government.”

“It is a strange irony when the president, the only one invested with the constitutional duty to’see that the laws are faithfully executed,’ is the only official who can violate the laws with impunity,” they ordered.

The defense of the New York tycoon has announced that it will appeal the decision to file the case with the Supreme Court of the United States.

“If immunity is not guaranteed to a president, any future ruler who leaves office will immediately be accused by the opposition party,” Steven Cheung, a spokesman for the former president, told the France Press agency after learning of the decision. in the Court of Appeals, in Columbia.

The presidential immunity argument has become a recurring weapon for Trump’s lawyers, who are seeking to delay the judicial calendar as much as possible to avoid it coinciding with the November presidential election race, in which he begins as a favorite for the Republican nomination.

Today’s judicial decision comes after Trump asked an appeals court on December 24 to overturn the decision of a lower court judge who at the time rejected the immunity claims his group had forwarded to lawyers.

In a brief to the appeals court, Trump’s legal team pointed out that impeachment is unconstitutional because presidents cannot be impeached unless they are first convicted by the Senate.

“Under our system of separation of powers, the judiciary cannot judge the official acts of a president,” said Trump’s lawyers, noting that on the day of the events, the former president was fulfilling his “official duties” and monitoring the integrity of the 2020 elections.

On February 2, federal judge Tanya Chutkan in Washington, who oversees the case of the attack on the Capitol, postponed the start date of the trial, which will begin on March 4, pending the resolution announced today.

The one in Washington is one of four criminal cases against Trump in different courts. The Republican magnate was indicted in a Georgia state court for allegedly leading a mafia plan to change the results of the state election, which he lost against the current president, Joe Biden.

In New York, he was accused of allegedly irregularly paying porn actress Stormy Daniels, with whom he had a “relationship,” to buy her silence during the 2016 election campaign.

While in Florida, he was accused of illegally removing and storing classified documents from his Mar-a-Lago (Florida) mansion that he had removed from the White House after leaving office.

This is an important week for Trump because the Supreme Court will examine on February 8 whether the 14th Amendment to the Constitution disqualifies the former president from participating in elections, as many states have accused him of leading an “insurrection” in 2021.

World Nation News Desk
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