Trump Presents Case To Supreme Court Defending His Claim Of Presidential Immunity

Former President Donald Trump filed a brief with the Supreme Court on Tuesday, presenting his case for why he should be granted absolute presidential immunity from criminal prosecution. He is requesting the dismissal of a four-count federal indictment related to his actions in attempting to overturn the results of the 2020 election, which he lost.

The matter will be brought before the high court for oral arguments on April 25th.

“The President cannot function, and the Presidency itself cannot retain its vital independence, if the President faces criminal prosecution for official acts once he leaves office,” Trump’s attorneys wrote in their opening brief to the high court in U.S. v. Trump.

“Denial of criminal immunity would incapacitate every future President with de facto blackmail and extortion while in office, and condemn him to years of post-office trauma at the hands of political opponents,” they argued. “The threat of future prosecution and imprisonment would become a political cudgel to influence the most sensitive and controversial Presidential decisions, taking away the strength, authority, and decisiveness of the Presidency.”

Trump asserted that the president has immunity under the Executive Vesting Clause of the Constitution and the separation of powers, echoing arguments rejected by lower courts.

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Trump asked the justices once more to concur with him, despite the appeals court panel’s strong disagreement with the claim, that the only president who could face legal prosecution was one who the Senate had found guilty after impeachment proceedings.

“The Constitution authorizes the criminal prosecution of a former President, but it builds in a formidable structural check against politically motivated prosecutions by requiring a majority of the House and a supermajority of the Senate to authorize such a dramatic action,” Trump’s team said. “The Founders thus carefully balanced the public interest in ensuring accountability for presidential wrongdoing against the mortal danger to our system of government presented by political targeting of the Chief Executive.”

Trump’s punishment will take even longer now that the Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case. On January 6, 2021, and again in 2020, special counsel Jack Smith charged Trump with four counts of trying to rig the election. The former president says he is innocent and has not done anything wrong.

Smith’s team received instructions to submit their own brief on the topic on April 8.

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