A Washington court has determined that the former president of the United States, Donald Trump does not have presidential immunity facing the accusation against him for having tried to reverse his 2020 electoral defeat and having instigated the assault on the Capitol of 2021.
“For the purposes of this criminal case, former President Trump has become citizen trumpwith all the defenses of any other criminal defendant,” noted the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.
And, therefore, “any executive immunity that may have protected him while serving as president no longer protects him against this prosecution,” the court wrote.
Hard blow for Trump’s defense
The ruling is a serious blow to Trump’s defense, which argued that the conduct accused of him by the special prosecutor Jack Smith It was part of his official duties as president and therefore exempted him from criminal liability.
Presumably the New York tycoon’s defense will appeal the ruling to elevate the case to the United States Supreme Court.
The presidential immunity argument has become a recurring weapon for Trump’s lawyers, who seek to delay the judicial calendar as much as possible to avoid it coinciding with the November presidential election race, in which he starts as the great favorite for the Republican nomination.
The judicial decision comes after Trump asked the appeals court on December 24 to annul the decision of a lower court judge who at the time rejected the immunity claims put forward by his team of lawyers.
In writing to the appeals court, the Trump’s legal team He pointed out that the accusation is unconstitutional because presidents cannot be prosecuted by criminal means unless they are first convicted by the Senate.
“Under our system of separation of powers, the judiciary cannot judge the official acts of a president,” said Trump’s lawyers, who alleged that on the day of the events the former president was fulfilling his “official duties” and monitoring the integrity of the 2020 elections.
On February 2, the federal judge Tanya Chutkan of Washingtonwhich is handling the case of the assault on the Capitol, postponed the start date of the trial, which was to start on March 4, pending the resolution announced today.
The one in Washington is one of four criminal charges against Trump in various courts
The Republican magnate is accused in a Georgia state court for allegedly leading a mafia plot to alter the electoral results in the state, where he lost against the current president, Joe Biden.
In New York he has been charged with alleged irregular payments to porn actress Stormy Daniels, with whom he had a “affair” in the past, to buy his silence during the 2016 election campaign.
While in Florida he is accused of illegally removing and keeping in his mansion in Mar-a-Lago (Florida) classified documents that he took from the White House after leaving power.
This will be a key week for Trump since the Supreme Court will study on February 8 whether the 14th Amendment to the Constitution disqualifies the former president from participating in the elections given that various states accuse him of having led a “insurrection” in 2021.