Supreme Court hears Trump’s immunity claim

On Thursday, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments on whether Donald Trump is immune from prosecution in an election interference case pending in February.

“The president needs immunity,” Trump told reporters Thursday morning. Associated Press report.

“Without immunity, we just have a ceremonial president,” he added.

The Supreme Court heard the case and decided, “Whether, and to what extent, presidential immunity from criminal prosecution is enjoyed by former presidents for acts they allegedly engaged in while in office.” ” agreed to consider.

Three sets of justices, including the Supreme Court, have been trying to address the issue over the past six months.

The Supreme Court could decide to reject Trump’s immunity request entirely, sending the case back to U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan, who would allow proceedings to resume. It could overturn a lower court’s ruling and halt the case by declaring that the former president may not be prosecuted. Alternatively, a court could find that the president has some immunity. If it decides that Mr. Trump has certain immunity, it could decide that the charges against him are not protected by that immunity, or it could send the decision back to district court.

Regardless of the Supreme Court’s decision on the immunity claim, it should not affect the ongoing New York trial in which Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has charged Trump with 34 felony counts of falsifying business records.

President Trump has also claimed immunity in a separate federal indictment in Florida for allegedly storing classified documents.

During Thursday’s trial, Associate Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson said: said“I don’t understand how a president who is doing his job is in a different position than anyone else regarding the need to obey the law.…If there is no threat of criminal prosecution, what is stopping the president from acting?” ” Are you just doing what you want to do? ”

Justice Samuel Alito wrote that the outcome of the case “will have implications far beyond this particular prosecution.”

Justice Elena Kagan pressed President Trump’s lawyer, D. John Sauer, on how far the president’s immunity could go.

“What would happen if the president ordered the military to stage a coup?” Kagan asked, offering a hypothetical scenario.

Sauer responded, “If it is an official act, impeachment and conviction are necessary beforehand.”

The Supreme Court and Sauer spent part of the hearing debating what actions are considered official and unofficial. Sauer acknowledged that some of Trump’s alleged actions in the incident may not be considered official acts.

Justice Amy Coney Barrett asked about Mr. Sauer’s argument that a president must be impeached by the Senate before criminal charges can be brought against him.

“There are many other people who could be impeached, including the nine people sitting in this chamber,” Barrett said, adding that “impeachment is the gateway to criminal prosecution for any of them.” I don’t think anyone suggested that it had to be.” A number of other officers are also subject to impeachment. ”

Oral arguments lasted more than two hours Thursday. The Supreme Court will continue its public hearings on May 9th.

anything else?

Trump’s lawyers asked Acting Judge Juan Merchan to postpone Thursday’s New York trial so Trump can appear for his Supreme Court hearing. His request was refused, but blaze news Previously reported.

“Arguing before the Supreme Court is a big deal, and I certainly understand why my client would want to go to the Supreme Court, but a trial in the New York Supreme Court is also a big deal,” Marchan told Trump’s lawyers. he said.

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