Trump Asks Supreme Court to Stay Immunity Ruling

February 12, 2024 by Dan McCue
Trump Asks Supreme Court to Stay Immunity Ruling
This exhibit from video released by the House Select Committee, shows President Donald Trump recording a video statement on the afternoon of Jan. 6, 2021, from the Rose Garden, displayed at a hearing by the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. (House Select Committee via AP, File)

WASHINGTON — Former President Donald Trump asked the Supreme Court on Monday to stay a D.C. Circuit ruling that he is not immune from federal charges for allegedly trying to unlawfully overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.

In a 110-page filing, Trump’s attorneys ask the justices to indefinitely delay a pending trial on the charges to give them time to have the full D.C. Circuit reconsider the case, and if they lose there, to prepare a writ of certiorari and formally ask the justices to take on the case.

“President Trump’s claim that presidents have absolute immunity from criminal prosecution for their official acts presents a novel, complex and momentous question that warrants careful consideration,” the filing states.

Trump has maintained that he is entitled to complete immunity from criminal charges for acts he allegedly committed while in the White House — an assertion that has been rejected by a federal trial judge in Washington and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

Last week, a three-judge appellate panel wrote that “former President Trump has become citizen Trump, with all of the defenses of any other criminal defendant.”

The unanimous opinion went on to say that the judges on the panel could not “accept that the office of the presidency places its former occupants above the law for all time thereafter.”

To assume that position, they said, “would collapse our system of separated powers by placing the president beyond the reach of all three branches.”

The filing by Trump’s attorneys comes at a critical juncture in the current presidential election cycle and the justices’ decision to take the case or not could determine whether Trump faces trial on the charges ahead of the November general election.

Trump maintains that the filing and prosecution of the case amounts to nothing more than “election interference.” In their brief, his lawyers call the D.C. Circuit’s decision “a stunning breach of precedent and historical norms.”

Dan can be reached at [email protected] and @DanMcCue

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