Supreme Court To Rule on Trump Immunity

Donald Trump | Image by Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images

The Supreme Court has announced it will decide if former President Donald Trump can claim presidential immunity in his election interference case. 

The nation’s highest court will take up the case on April 22, an order issued on Wednesday stated. Judges will debate “whether and if so to what extent does a former president enjoy presidential immunity from criminal prosecution for conduct alleged to involve official acts during his tenure in office.”

A win for Trump in the ruling would mean the election interference charges would be dropped. A loss would spark a trial in the heart of election season. He could pardon himself in the case if he won the presidential election.

The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled against Trump’s claim to presidential immunity this month. 

“For the purpose of this criminal case, former President Trump has become citizen Trump, with all of the defenses of any other criminal defendant,” the ruling stated. 

Trump then filed an emergency request at the Supreme Court, which will now take up the case.

The former president’s legal team cited a 1982 Supreme Court ruling that found presidential immunity can be applied in civil lawsuits when the actions of concern are within an “outer perimeter” of the presidency. Additional arguments focus on claims that a former president should have immunity for any actions he took while in office.

Special counsel Jack Smith, the prosecutor in the election interference case, pleaded with the court to rule in a timely fashion.

“Delay in the resolution of these charges threatens to frustrate the public interest in a speedy and fair verdict — a compelling interest in every criminal case and one that has unique national importance here,” he wrote in court papers.

Trump, who has won every state in the Republican presidential primary, has contested four case rulings against him.

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