Special Counsel Appeals to SCOTUS to Reject Trump’s Immunity Bid

(RightWing.org) – Donald Trump’s legal team moved to dismiss his election interference case last year, claiming absolute presidential immunity. US District Judge Tanya Chutkan rejected their motion in December 2023, and the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia upheld that decision in early February. The former president’s lawyers filed an emergency petition, and the Supreme Court granted certiorari the case. Special Counsel Jack Smith recently appealed to SCOTUS to reject Trump’s immunity bid.

On April 8, Smith’s office filed a brief for the United States urging the justices to reject Trump’s effort to gain full immunity from prosecutors. The 66-page document argues that “no person is above the law,” especially presidents and former presidents.

Smith’s team argued that presidential powers entitling Trump to immunity in their case don’t exist. They also argued that the court’s “history likewise refutes” the former president’s lawyers’ arguments.

The brief noted that the Founding Fathers “never endorsed criminal immunity” for former presidents. Accordingly, all presidents understood they could face “criminal liability for official acts” once they left office.

Prosecutors supported that claim by citing former President Gerald Ford’s decision to pardon Richard Nixon for any crimes he committed as president related to the Watergate break-in and the resulting White House effort to cover up the incident.

Smith’s team explained that Ford’s pardon and Nixon’s acceptance demonstrated that both presidents understood that prosecutors could indict and try a former president for actions conducted while they were in office.

Prosecutors also rebuffed Trump’s claims that not granting him immunity would impede future presidents’ ability to perform their official duties. Smith’s team wrote that presidents’ “effective functioning” didn’t require immunity from “accountability for… alleged violations of… criminal law.”

Prosecutors argued that the opposite legal reasoning applies. They wrote that the premise that no person is above the law, including the president, is a “bedrock principle” of the nation’s “constitutional order.”

SCOTUS scheduled oral arguments for April 25. How quickly the panel might hand down its ruling in the case remains unclear. Some legal experts theorize the court could kick the decision forward into 2025.

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