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Former top military officers push back on Trump immunity claim

More than a dozen retired four-star generals, admirals and other former military leaders have applied. court preparation document The Supreme Court on Monday challenged former President Trump’s claim of immunity in his criminal case.

The group said Trump’s claims “threaten the military’s role in American society, our nation’s constitutional order, and national security” and would have a “serious negative impact on service members.”

Lawyers for the former president argued that charges against Trump related to the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol should be thrown out because he was acting president at the time. Prosecutors denounced the idea as a “novel and far-reaching” argument.

Signatories of the brief include former CIA Director Michael Hayden, retired General Thad Allen, and retired generals. George Casey, Carlton Fulford, Craig McKinley, Charles Krulak.

The group argued that granting President Trump immunity from criminal charges could open the door to future executive interference in presidential elections and jeopardize national security.

“The concept of such an exemption could endanger our national security and international leadership, both in general and in the context of the potential denial of election results,” the brief said. It’s dark. “Such threats are intolerable and dangerous, especially in times like these when anti-democratic and authoritarian regimes are on the rise around the world.”

The group also wrote that if the court agreed with Trump’s argument, the relationship between the commander-in-chief and the military would be destroyed because the president would no longer have to obey the law, but the military would.

This situation could ultimately “create the possibility that service members may be placed in the impossible position of having to choose between obeying the commander-in-chief and following the laws enacted by Congress,” the brief said.

The group said there were also national security risks, and that any challenge to a peaceful transition of power had already become an opening for attack by foreign powers, putting the entire country at risk.

“Foreign countries are also closely monitoring U.S. elections, and domestic conflicts on U.S. soil, especially those related to a peaceful transition of power, will only further abet foreign adversaries,” the brief said. .

Presidential impunity “inexorably creates a deep rift between the military’s political and military leaders, and forces servicemen and women to ignore presidential orders they are sworn to obey or violate their oaths at the president’s behest.” “This puts them in the impossible position of committing a crime because of their actions” — and potentially being prosecuted for it,” the group added.

Former officers also argued that changing the premise of immunity could erode public trust in the military as an institution.

The Supreme Court is scheduled to begin hearing arguments on the immunity claim on April 25, and a landmark decision is likely to be handed down by the end of June or sooner.

President Trump’s trial in the federal election destruction case was scheduled to begin in early March, but the hearing is currently on hold while the Supreme Court considers the issue of immunity. Several critics of the former president, a potential Republican nominee, argue that pushing for his immunity is another way to delay his trial until after the November election.

President Trump is charged with four felonies for engaging in a conspiracy to defraud the United States. Prosecutors allege that he was at the center of a movement that day to block the certification of votes for President Biden.

Copyright 2024 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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