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Should Trump Have Immunity From Prosecution for Actions Taken While in Office?

Should Trump Have Immunity From Prosecution for Actions Taken While in Office?

Here’s The Scoop

As we await the Supreme Court’s decision on whether former President Donald Trump can claim immunity from federal election subversion charges, there are massive practical implications for both Trump and the broader American political landscape. This high-stakes case isn’t just about one man; it’s about the future of presidential accountability and the rule of law.

Special Counsel Jack Smith has been aggressively prosecuting Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election, focusing particularly on his actions related to January 6, 2021. The crux of the issue is whether Trump can be tried before the November election, a question that holds the potential for significant electoral ramifications.

Jonathan Entin, a law professor at Case Western Reserve University, offers a keen insight: “As a practical matter, Trump has gained time here, regardless of how the court decides the case.” This underscores how Trump has already achieved a strategic delay, a crucial factor as we head into another election cycle.

In February, the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit delivered a unanimous opinion declaring that former presidents are not entitled to immunity from criminal prosecution, essentially stripping Trump of any special protections. However, the Supreme Court’s decision to consider the case suggests that Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Brett Kavanaugh, among others, may not fully agree with that ruling.

During oral arguments, Chief Justice Roberts expressed skepticism, asking why the appeals court’s decision seemed to imply that a former president should be prosecuted simply because he is being prosecuted. Justice Neil Gorsuch framed the task ahead as “writing a rule for the ages,” while Justice Kavanaugh highlighted the broader implications for “the future of the presidency” and “the future of the country.” Clearly, the stakes are high, and the implications far-reaching.

One possibility is that the Supreme Court might grant some degree of immunity for Trump’s “official” actions. Trump’s legal team has drawn on the 1982 Nixon v. Fitzgerald decision, arguing that civil immunity for former presidents should extend to criminal prosecutions. Yet this approach would introduce new complexities. What defines an “official” action vs. a private one would become a pivotal question, potentially prolonging the legal battle.

Some of Trump’s actions, such as instructing Rudy Giuliani to disseminate false election fraud claims, are clearly private, as his lawyer conceded. If the court delineates these actions as private and thus prosecutable, it could accelerate the trial timeline.

There’s also the possibility that the Supreme Court might send the case back to the lower courts to untangle what counts as official conduct. This could further delay proceedings, a scenario that benefits Trump by running out the clock.

Matthew Seligman of Stanford Law points out a paradox: “Trump can win by losing by running out the clock,” yet “he can also lose by winning,” because even partial immunity wouldn’t shield him from trial on actions deemed unofficial.

As we await the Supreme Court’s ruling expected by month’s end, one thing is certain: this decision will be pivotal, shaping not only Trump’s immediate legal future but also setting a precedent for presidential conduct and accountability in the years to come. In a rapidly shifting political environment, the question of whether our leaders are held accountable under the same laws as every other citizen is more critical than ever.

What do you think? Let us know by participating in our poll, or join the discussion in the comment section below!


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20 Comments

20 Comments

  1. Alton R Clark

    June 23, 2024 at 12:26 pm

    If Trump can do it, then Biden will do it, and every president from now on will do it, it’s bad enough now.

    • Joseph Barwinczok Jr

      June 25, 2024 at 8:22 am

      I agree, every president will need to consult with a lot of attorneys which would mean there is no need for a president.

  2. Frank Eckert

    June 25, 2024 at 7:38 am

    This is so much bs. In our country’s history, no president had committed crimes while in office. The constitution says no man is above the law. Why does this fool deserve extra care? He is a crook, and all he spouts about others are things he does. Worst president in history, by far.

    • Bobby Carter

      June 25, 2024 at 1:26 pm

      This idiot only deserves a orange jumpsuit. No one is above the law. What do his supporters see in this crook he only tell lies. He had his chance.

    • Angelo Filigenzi

      July 3, 2024 at 6:59 pm

      Agreed. The worst most crooked POTUS ever. This “man” is as crooked as a mountain road and so low he has to reach up to touch bottom. If he is put back into the White House our country will die and we will be led by a dictator with the full backing of the GOP in Congress. Please, everyone, vote and vote blue down the line. Get rid of traitor Trump and his crooked supporters in Congress.

  3. Larry Falls

    June 25, 2024 at 7:51 am

    Biden is a crook needs serve time his crimes but in mental institution.

    • Denise

      June 25, 2024 at 9:32 am

      Where is the proof? There is plenty of proof that Trump committed crimes – where is the proof that Biden did? Produce it, and we will impeach and arrest him, as should have been done to Trump.

    • M. David Robinson

      July 7, 2024 at 8:58 am

      HELLO YEAH YALL

    • Arturo D Elia

      July 7, 2024 at 1:58 pm

      You are correct. Only Trump has been the victim of “Lawfare”. This weaponization of the judiciary by Democrats exemplifies the need for immunity. Further , those who have tried to use lawfare are guilty of an insurrection an need to be prosecuted!

  4. Jerry C.

    June 25, 2024 at 6:22 pm

    So, if a sitting President kills the First Lady in a fit of rage he should be immune from prosecution? I don’t think so! Immunity from prosecution for official actions taken whilst in office, yes. For anything other than official actions as President, emphatically no! Nonetheless, Trump’s words & actions on January 6th do not amount to insurrection, nor do the actions taken by the Capitol rioters.

  5. JMK

    June 25, 2024 at 7:52 pm

    I don’t believe anyone should receive immunity for actions taken while in office. If a Republican can receive immunity, then so can a Democrat no matter what he does. Be careful what you wish for.

  6. Shelley E Giles

    June 26, 2024 at 1:29 pm

    When Trump offers Putin ownership of the United States in exchange for a check that would make Trump the richest person in the world, should Trump be immune to criminal prosecution?

    • Snowman

      July 3, 2024 at 8:59 am

      I don’t think that will happen. Trump loves the US too much.

      • Mary

        July 3, 2024 at 11:30 am

        No, Trump only loves Trump! He would sale us out in a minute if it made him richer or more powerful! It’s all about Him!

    • Christine

      July 3, 2024 at 10:52 am

      When did Trump offer Putin ownership of the United States? Give us a specific time so that we may go back and look for ourselves. If you are referring to any sarcastic comment that Trump made I would hope the people are wise enough to understand the difference still I want to see for myself, what you are alleging

    • Jim

      July 7, 2024 at 8:58 am

      Is this scenario the same as what sleepy Joe has been doing for almost 50 years. He has made millions by selling his influence to our enemies. Wake up people. The democrat party is our worst enemy. Anyone with two brain cells should be able to recognize the fact that Biden has almost succeeded in turning our country into another Venezuela or Cuba.

  7. Barb F.

    July 3, 2024 at 7:38 am

    No one, not even the president is above the law! I don’t want to live in a country that is ruled by a dictator.

    • Alan Reilley

      July 7, 2024 at 3:22 pm

      When I was in school in the 1950’s I was taught that the President did have immunity. Of course this was in the Eisenhower era and even Democrats thought communism was evil.

  8. Angelo Filigenzi

    July 3, 2024 at 7:00 pm

    Agreed. The worst most crooked POTUS ever. This “man” is as crooked as a mountain road and so low he has to reach up to touch bottom. If he is put back into the White House our country will die and we will be led by a dictator with the full backing of the GOP in Congress. Please, everyone, vote and vote blue down the line. Get rid of traitor Trump and his crooked supporters in Congress.

  9. Charles

    July 7, 2024 at 7:47 am

    If a President breaks the law the Constitution provides a remedy. Impeachment. Presidents have to be able to do their job without worrying that the other political party will try and haul them into court when they are out of office or try and drag them into court while still in office.

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