FILE – Former President Donald Trump announces he is running for president for the third time as he smiles while speaking at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Fla., Nov. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)
The former President and current leading Republican candidate for the White House in the 2024 election cycle is expected to appeal Tuesday’s ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court.
A Washington D.C.-based Appeals Court ruled 3-0 on Tuesday that former President Donald Trump is not immune from federal prosecution in the case brought against him by Special Counsel Jack Smith related to alleged interference in the 2020 election.
The three-judge panel rejected Trump’s claim of presidential immunity in the charges pending against him.
“We cannot accept former President Trump’s claim that a President has unbounded authority to commit crimes that would neutralize the most fundamental check on executive power — the recognition and implementation of election results,” the panel wrote. “Nor can we sanction his apparent contention that the Executive has carte blanche to violate the rights of individual citizens to vote and to have their votes count.”
Trump is facing four federal charges over alleged efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election. Special Counsel Smith has also charged Trump with mishandling classified documents in another case.
The D.C. ruling stated that for the purpose of the criminal case before the judges, 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 decision explicitly states, adding, “We cannot accept that the office of the Presidency places its former occupants above the law for all time thereafter.”
The former President and current leading Republican candidate for the White House in the 2024 election cycle is expected to appeal Tuesday’s ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court where justices are already set to hear arguments this week in a case from Colorado where the state is attempting to ban Trump from appearing on the GOP ballot.
Trump is also facing charges in New York and Georgia related to business dealings and election interference, respectively. The New York case over alleged business fraud could be the first to trial, as jury selection in that matter is set to begin on March 25th.
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