A federal appeals court stacked with Biden judges on Tuesday denied Trump immunity in Special Counsel Jack Smith’s January 6 DC case.
Trump is expected to speedily ask the US Supreme Court to overturn the decision by the DC Circuit Court of Appeals.
In the meantime, the March 4 trial date for Jack Smith’s DC case has been postponed.
The three-judge panel for the DC Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Trump immunity claims: Florence Pan (Biden appointee), Michelle Childs (Biden appointee), and Karen Henderson (George W. Bush appointee).
“We have balanced former President Trump’s asserted interests in executive immunity against the vital public interests that favor allowing this prosecution to proceed,” the three-judge panel wrote.
“We conclude that ‘concerns of public policy, especially as illuminated by our history and the structure of our government’ compel the rejection of his claim of immunity in this case,” they wrote.
Trump’s lawyers argued that Trump is immune from federal prosecution for alleged ‘crimes’ committed while he served as US President.
“In 234 years of American history, no president ever faced criminal prosecution for his official acts. Until 19 days ago, no court had ever addressed whether immunity from such prosecution exists,” Trump’s lawyers wrote in last month’s filing, according to CBS News. “To this day, no appellate court has addressed it. The question stands among the most complex, intricate, and momentous issues that this Court will be called on to decide.”
On January 9 a three-judge panel heard oral arguments and appeared skeptical of Trump’s immunity claims – one judge, a Biden appointee, asked attorney John Sauer if Trump would be subject to criminal prosecution if he ordered SEAL Team 6 to assassinate his political rivals.
On Monday night, before the appeals court ruled on presidential immunity, Trump fired off a social media post warning about the dangers of stripping a president of total immunity.
“IF IMMUNITY IS NOT GRANTED TO A PRESIDENT, EVERY PRESIDENT THAT LEAVES OFFICE WILL BE IMMEDIATELY INDICTED BY THE OPPOSING PARTY. WITHOUT COMPLETE IMMUNITY, A PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES WOULD NOT BE ABLE TO PROPERLY FUNCTION!” Trump said.
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