Supreme Court Rules Trump Has Presidential Immunity

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Donald Trump

The US Supreme Court issued its ruling on Donald Trump’s immunity case on Monday, stating that he has some immunity from criminal charges in his election interference case.

While addressing a series of charges against the former President Donald Trump on Monday, the court ruled that American presidents have “absolute immunity” for their official actions.

Trump hailed the development as a “big win for democracy” as Democrats claimed that the ruling had handed him the “keys to a dictatorship”.

RT reports: Federal prosecutors have charged Trump with four criminal counts related to the 2020 presidential election, alleging that he “conspired” to overturn the results by spreading “knowingly false claims” of fraud to obstruct the collection, counting, and certification of the results.

“Under our constitutional structure of separated powers, the nature of Presidential power entitles a former President to absolute immunity from criminal prosecution for actions within his conclusive and preclusive constitutional authority,” the court said in a 6-3 decision. “And he is entitled to at least presumptive immunity from prosecution for all his official acts. There is no immunity for unofficial acts.”

Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the majority opinion, which saw the six conservative-leaning justices opposed by the three liberal ones.

The decision favors the former president in terms of his tweets to the American public on January 6 and conversations with then-Vice President Mike Pence about his presiding over the certification of election results, as both of those clearly fell within the scope of official duties.

However, the verdict allows lower courts to hold evidentiary hearings to determine which actions by Trump may have been unofficial, such as when he contacted state and local election officials about the 2020 vote.

“In dividing official from unofficial conduct, courts may not inquire into the President’s motives,” the court warned.

“The President is not above the law. But under our system of separated powers, the President may not be prosecuted for exercising his core constitutional powers, and he is entitled to at least presumptive immunity from prosecution for his official acts,” said the ruling.

The Supreme Court saved the immunity case for the last day of its term. The long-awaited decision puts a dent in the plans for special counsel Jack Smith to prosecute Trump in the federal court in Washington, DC before the November election.

Trump challenged the 2020 election – marked by a series of unusual procedures, ostensibly adopted due to the Covid-19 pandemic – as irregular and possibly tainted by fraud, pointing to delays in counting mail-in votes that suddenly went in Democrat Joe Biden’s favor after the polls closed in a handful of states.

Niamh Harris
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