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Trump not immune from prosecution, federal appeals court rules

Former President Donald Trump can be prosecuted for alleged crimes that took place while in office, a court ruled Tuesday.
Trump not immune from prosecution, federal appeals court rules
Posted at 8:16 AM, Feb 06, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-06 11:05:37-05

Former President Donald Trump is not immune from prosecution, the U.S. Court of Appeals in the District of Columbia ruled on Tuesday. 

Trump had argued that he could not be tried for alleged crimes that take place while a president is in office. 

"Today, we affirm the denial. For the purpose of this criminal case, former President Trump has become citizen Trump, with all of the defenses of any other criminal defendant. But any executive immunity that may have protected him while he served as President no longer protects him against this prosecution," the court wrote. 

The ruling was unanimous by a three-judge panel that included two appointees of President Joe Biden and one from President George H.W. Bush.

Trump can appeal the ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court. He has until Monday to file an appeal.

Trump  is facing multiple criminal probes at both the state and federal levels. Tuesday's ruling was in response to Trump's 2020 election reversal efforts. 

"Former President Trump’s claimed immunity would have us extend the framework for Presidential civil immunity to criminal cases and decide for the first time that a former President is categorically immune from federal criminal prosecution for any act conceivably within the outer perimeter of his executive responsibility," the court added.

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A trial relating to Trump's election interference charges was scheduled to begin March 4, but Judge Tanya Chutkan decided days ago to delay the case citing Trump's immunity argument. A lower court already ruled that Trump was not immune from prosecution. 

Reacting to Tuesday's ruling, Trump slammed the decision. 

"IF IMMUNITY IS NOT GRANTED TO A PRESIDENT, EVERY PRESIDENT THAT LEAVES OFFICE WILL BE IMMEDIATELY INDICTED BY THE OPPOSING PARTY. WITHOUT COMPLETE IMMUNITY," Trump wrote on Truth Social. "A PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES WOULD NOT BE ABLE TO PROPERLY FUNCTION!"

Trump, the front-runner for the GOP presidential nomination, has pleaded not guilty to four counts, including conspiracy charges and obstructing or impeding the certification of the electoral vote. Trump is currently facing 91 charges in several states for his actions during and after his presidency. 

 


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