Federal Court Deals Death Blow To Trump

Donald Trump does not hold presidential immunity and can indeed face criminal charges in the federal election case against him.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled that the former president isn’t immune from prosecution for the alleged actions he took while he was in office.

That means the criminal case against him, which is charging him for his role in attempting to overturn the results of the 2020 election, can proceed.

In its ruling, the court wrote it was “unpersuaded by his argument” that he holds presidential immunity over this case. Trump’s legal team has long argued that since the alleged actions happened while he was in the White House, he can’t be charged criminally.

In addition, they’ve also argued that since the Senate acquitted him of these same charges in his second impeachment trial, he can’t be charged again with those crimes.

But, the three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit court did not agree. They wrote:

“We have balanced former President Trump’s asserted interests in executive immunity against the vital public interests that favor allowing this prosecution to proceed. … We conclude that the interest in criminal accountability, held by both the public and the Executive Branch, outweighs the potential risks of chilling Presidential action and permitting vexatious litigation.”

The central point in question in this aspect of the case is whether a former president can be prosecuted once they’re out of the White House for actions that they take that are related to the official duties they had while in office.

In a statement, Trump’s campaign spokesperson, Steven Cheung, said that this case would have far-reaching consequences not just for Trump but for all future presidents as well.

He said:

“If immunity is not granted to a President, every future President who leaves office will be immediately indicted by the opposing party. Without complete immunity, a President of the United States would not be able to properly function.”

He further attacked the prosecution being carried out by “Deranged Jack Smith,” the special counsel who has been heading this case as well as the other federal criminal prosecution into the former president’s mishandling of classified documents.

Cheung continued:

“Prosecuting a President for official acts violates the Constitution and threatens the bedrock of our Republic. President Trump respectfully disagrees with the DC Circuit’s decision and will appeal it in order to safeguard the Presidency and the Constitution.”

Trump was indicated in this case back in August.

The former president first challenged the legality of the case in December, but U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan — the presiding judge in the case — ruled against him.

In her ruling, she wrote that the office of the president “does not confer a lifelong ‘get-out-of-jail-free’ pass.”

Trump has 90 days to appeal this decision to the Supreme Court, which his campaign’s spokesperson said he already plans to do. It’s long been assumed that this issue would eventually find its way in front of the high court.