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US Court Denies Former President Trump’s Claim of Immunity in 2020 Election Interference Lawsuit

PoliticsUS Court Denies Former President Trump's Claim of Immunity in 2020 Election Interference Lawsuit

A federal appeals court delivered a blow to former President Donald Trump on Tuesday, dismissing his claim of immunity from charges related to his alleged efforts to overturn the outcome of the 2020 election. The ruling paves the way for Trump to stand trial on a criminal indictment accusing him of seeking to invalidate his loss to President Joe Biden.

The unanimous decision by a three-judge panel of the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit marks a significant setback for Trump, although it may not be the final resolution of his claims of executive immunity. Trump is expected to continue his appeal to the Supreme Court.

The panel’s 57-page ruling addresses a pivotal question in US jurisprudence that had not been previously addressed by an appeals court: whether former Presidents can be held accountable in the criminal justice system for actions taken while in office.

The panel, comprised of two judges appointed by Democrats and one by Republicans, asserted that despite the privileges Trump enjoyed while in office, he is subject to federal criminal law like any other citizen.

“In this criminal case, former President Trump is now citizen Trump, with all the defenses of any other criminal defendant,” the panel stated. “Any executive immunity that may have shielded him while he served as president no longer applies to this prosecution.”

The ruling comes after the panel heard arguments on the immunity issue from Trump’s legal team and prosecutors nearly a month earlier. While the decision was relatively swift for an appeal, the next steps will be crucial in determining if and when a trial on the election subversion charges will proceed.

The judges restricted Trump’s ability to use further appeals to delay the case, indicating that the underlying case would remain suspended if Trump appealed their decision to the Supreme Court by Monday. If the Supreme Court takes up the case, it could freeze trial proceedings pending its decision.

Should the Supreme Court decline to hear the case, it would be remanded to the trial judge, Tanya Chutkan, who has shown a desire to expedite the case towards trial. However, if the Supreme Court accepts the case, the timing of its actions, such as requesting briefs and scheduling arguments, will be critical.

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