Thu. May 23rd, 2024

Supreme Court hears Trump immunity claim in election interference case

By 37ci3 Apr25,2024

WASHINGTON — In an unprecedented and politically charged case, the Supreme Court on Thursday found former President Donald TrumpClaiming full immunity from criminal charges for trying to overturn the 2020 election results.

The court will address a new legal question about whether the former president can be prosecuted for what Trump’s lawyers say are “official acts” in office, although much of the focus remains on whether the justices will rule quickly enough for the trial to take place. before November elections.

With most legal experts questioning Trump’s broad argument to dismiss the entire election-meddling indictment based on immunity, the court’s final decision on how soon official records are protected and how soon it will rule will be just as important.

The case significantly controls the court, which has a 6-3 conservative majority that includes three Trump appointees. The court already gave Trump an election-year raise in a ruling in Colorado last month could not exclude him from the vote.

The judges have also been criticized for delaying Trump’s appeal, which some see as a victory for him.

Supreme Court announced that he will consider the case on February 28, it said it would investigate “whether and, if so, to what extent, a former president exercised presidential immunity from prosecution for conduct allegedly related to official acts while in office.” Decision immediately jeopardized the prospect of a pre-election trial.

There was a federal appeals court ruled on February 6 He wrote that Trump is not immune from prosecution, that “former President Trump is a citizen Trump with all the protections of any other criminal defendant,” and that while executive privilege protected him during his presidency, it no longer does. accusation.

“It would be a striking paradox if the President, who has a constitutional obligation to ‘see to the faithful execution of the laws,’ were the only official who could defy those laws with impunity,” a federal appeals court ruled.

Underneath original table Trump’s trial, led by U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan, was set to begin on March 4, and the jury could reach a verdict even at that point. Instead, the first of four criminal cases filed against Trump was brought by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg in New York. Trump was accused on 34 falsified business records related to hush money payments in the run-up to the 2016 elections. He pleaded not guilty to all charges.

The a federal indictment was returned by a grand jury in Washington, D.C., in August included four counts: conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to obstruct official process, obstructing and attempting to obstruct official process, and conspiracy to violate rights. There is a Supreme Court we’ve already heard the arguments otherwise January 6 It could affect two of the charges against Trump regarding obstruction of official proceedings.

According to the indictment, Trump conspired to “overturn the legitimate results of the 2020 presidential election by using knowingly false allegations of election fraud to obstruct the government’s ability to collect, tally, and certify those results.”

The indictment focuses on Trump’s involvement the scheme of submission of fake electoral certificates to Congress in hopes of overturning President Joe Biden’s victory. The series of events culminated in a riot in the United States Congress on January 6, 2021.

Federal prosecutors, led by special counsel Jack Smith, said Trump’s actions constituted a series of crimes. Trump says he was merely voicing concerns, not based on any evidence, that the election was rigged. He has pleaded not guilty to the federal charges.

A large number of suspects admitted that they were on January 6 deceived and manipulated or because they lack the critical thinking skills to recognize lies about the 2020 electionTrump and his lawyers have insisted he sincerely believes the election was rigged.

Smith, meanwhile, argued in court filings that Trump lacked immunity and that the case should be tried immediately — regardless of whether his conduct at the time was related to official acts.

Trump’s lawyers are citing, among other things, a 1982 Supreme Court ruling that presidents are immune from civil suits when the alleged conduct is within the “outer perimeter” of their official duties. That case has never been applied in a criminal context.

The main issue that remains unresolved is whether any of Trump’s actions mentioned in the indictment constitute an official act. Even if some behavior is prohibited, this does not mean that any charges are dismissed.

Smith’s team earlier is estimated he should have “no more than four to six weeks” to present his case to the jury; potential jurors The trial “could last approximately three months after jury selection is completed,” they said. When the case was dismissed in December, when a federal appeals court agreed to hear the case, it was 88 days into the trial schedule.

That timeline — about three months of trial preparation before jury selection begins — makes a verdict unlikely before Election Day, though Chutkan indicated the case would proceed like any other criminal prosecution and that Trump’s campaign schedule would not affect the trial. .

The Supreme Court has various options for deciding the case, with both sides acknowledging that the ruling may not fully resolve the immunity issue. One scenario is that the justices could reject Trump’s broadest arguments and send the case back to Chutkan to decide whether any of the conduct in question amounted to official acts. Such an result may further delay the trial.

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By 37ci3

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