Home Liberal Is Trump’s immunity case DOA (and does that matter)? (The Week)

Is Trump’s immunity case DOA (and does that matter)? (The Week)


Is Trump’s immunity case DOA (and does that matter)? – By Rafi Schwartz (The Week) / Jan 10, 2024

Lawyers for the former president insist he’s immune from criminal prosecution for anything he did in office — but winning the legal argument might not be the point

More than a decade before he ran — and won — his first presidential election, then-property magnate and reality TV host Donald Trump infamously bragged to Access Hollywood host Billy Bush that he essentially had carte blanche for sexual assault because “when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.” The unguarded admission, caught on tape and released to the public just weeks ahead of the 2016 election, nearly derailed Trump’s presidential aspirations and has gone on to become one of the most infamous moments in American political history. It is also, in retrospect, an instructive moment for understanding how Trump understands and wields power in general.

On Tuesday, attorneys for Trump argued to a three-person panel of appeals court judges that their client should be granted broad and near-absolute presidential immunity from federal criminal charges that he worked to subvert and overturn his 2020 electoral loss. Allowing for a narrow exception in a case where a president has been first impeached and convicted by Congress, Trump’s legal argument for criminal immunity can reasonably be distilled down to “when you’re a president, they let you do it.” Like Judge Tanya Chutkan, who initially rejected Trump’s immunity argument, the appeals court on Tuesday seemed decidedly unimpressed, asking at one point whether it meant a president “could sell pardons, could sell military secrets, could tell SEAL Team Six to assassinate a political rival” and retain immunity?

While Trump is virtually certain to appeal any adverse ruling, does Tuesday’s skepticism suggest his broad immunity argument is legally DOA? And ultimately, will that even matter?

CONTINUE > https://theweek.com/politics/trump-presidential-immunity-court-appeal-scotus



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