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Trump Defense Shattered As Appeals Court Rejects Criminal Immunity

A federal appeals court gutted Trump’s defense by ruling that he is a private citizen and is not immune from 1/6 prosecution.

What Did The Federal Appeals Court Rule?

The federal appeals court ruled that Trump does not have criminal immunity. Donald Trump is a private citizen, and his prosecution has no impact on the presidency.

The judges wrote in their ruling:

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.

It would be a striking paradox if the President, who alone is vested with the constitutional duty to ‘take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed, were the sole officer capable of defying those laws with impunity.

Moreover, past Presidents have understood themselves to be subject to impeachment and criminal liability, at least under certain circumstances, so the possibility of chilling executive action is already in effect.

What Does This Mean For Trump’s 1/6 Criminal Case?

The ruling means that Trump’s 1/6 criminal case is back on barring a stay.

As Andrew Weissmann pointed out, the ruling also gives Trump just six days to appeal, which means that unless he gets a stay, the federal criminal case is back on track.

The ruling was a nightmare for Trump, whose legal team had to know that the immunity claim was bogus. Trump’s claims of immunity are not supported by the Constitution or common sense. The courts aren’t allowing Trump to stall. The notion that Trump could run out the clock on Jack Smith until after the 2024 election just took a major blow.

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