A federal appeals court gutted Trump’s defense by ruling that he is a private citizen and is not immune from 1/6 prosecution.
What Did The Federal Appeals Court Rule?
The federal appeals court ruled that Trump does not have criminal immunity. Donald Trump is a private citizen, and his prosecution has no impact on the presidency.
For the purpose of this criminal case, 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.
It would be a striking paradox if the President, who alone is vested with the constitutional duty to ‘take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed, were the sole officer capable of defying those laws with impunity.
Moreover, past Presidents have understood themselves to be subject to impeachment and criminal liability, at least under certain circumstances, so the possibility of chilling executive action is already in effect.
What Does This Mean For Trump’s 1/6 Criminal Case?
The ruling means that Trump’s 1/6 criminal case is back on barring a stay.
As Andrew Weissmann pointed out, the ruling also gives Trump just six days to appeal, which means that unless he gets a stay, the federal criminal case is back on track.
BREAKING: DC Circuit gives Trump only until 2/12 before it will issue the mandate, which would permit Chutkan to go forward. So Trump would need a stay to extend that date.
— Andrew Weissmann (weissmann11 on Threads)🌻 (@AWeissmann_) February 6, 2024
The ruling was a nightmare for Trump, whose legal team had to know that the immunity claim was bogus. Trump’s claims of immunity are not supported by the Constitution or common sense. The courts aren’t allowing Trump to stall. The notion that Trump could run out the clock on Jack Smith until after the 2024 election just took a major blow.
A Special Message From PoliticusUSA
If you are in a position to donate purely to help us keep the doors open on PoliticusUSA during what is a critical election year, please do so here.
We have been honored to be able to put your interests first for 14 years as we only answer to our readers and we will not compromise on that fundamental, core PoliticusUSA value.
Jason is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association