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DC Court Issues Bombshell Ruling On Trump’s Immunity


A federal court on Tuesday ruled that former President Donald Trump is not immune from prosecution for actions taken while serving in office, setting up a blockbuster showdown between Trump and Biden Justice Department special counsel Jack Smith who is leading the two federal criminal cases against him.

In it 57-page opinion, the three-judge DC appeals panel ruled that any immunity Trump may have enjoyed while president no longer applies to him as a private citizen.

“For the purpose of this criminal trial, 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 reads.

The unanimous ruling, which included a judge who has previously sided with Trump in his criminal matters, represents a sweeping win for Smith as he pursues 91 felony counts alleging the Republican encouraged violence on January 6th, 2021 and illegally took classified documents containing national secrets and refused to return them when asked by the National Archives. President Trump has maintained his innocence and insisted both cases are p art of a “witch hunt” orchestrated by President Joe Biden and his allies.

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The court cited precedent from the U.S. Supreme Court, which it notes “has been careful to note that its holdings on civil liability do not carry over to criminal prosecutions.” Further down, it rebuffed a defense by President Trump that only Congress could hold him responsible for crimes.

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“Properly understood, the separation of powers doctrine may immunize lawful discretionary acts but does not bar the federal criminal prosecution of a former President for every official act,” wrote the U.S. District Court for Washington, D.C. “Although certain discretionary actions may be insulated from judicial review, the structure of the Constitution mandates that the President is ‘amenable to the laws for his conduct’ and ‘cannot at his discretion’ violate them.”

Until now, the former president’s legal team has been successful in pushing back the start of both federal trials as judges have stayed further action until a review of presidential immunity can be completed. President Trump is all but certain to appeal Tuesday’s ruling to the Supreme Court which he must do by February 12th. If the highest court decides to take up the case, it could continue freezing both trials for months.

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Smith and state-level prosecutors have insisted on speedy legal action against President Trump and cautioned that he is intent on using presidential authority to dismiss the federal criminal cases against him if he returns to the White House.  Between now and November, Trump’s attorneys will argue that Smith colluded with Biden to bring politically motivated charges and should be held in contempt for disregarding the stay orders.

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