Former President: Trump: Court hearing on the question of his immunity

Was Donald Trump under the protection of his presidential immunity on January 6, 2021, when he incited his supporters and claimed that his election loss was fraudulent? Now there is a hearing.

Former US President Donald Trump wants to appear this Tuesday at an appeals court hearing to clarify his immunity in connection with a charge of attempted election fraud. He wrote on Monday night on the Truth Social platform he co-founded that he would personally attend the hearing in Washington.

Trump is the first ex-president in US history to face trial for alleged crimes. One indictment concerns alleged crimes during his term in the White House. Before the charges can be heard in court, it must be clarified how far a US president’s immunity extends. The question in this case is whether Trump can even be prosecuted at the federal level for his behavior after the election and before the transfer of power in Washington three years ago, or whether he was protected by his presidential immunity.

What happened?

After his election defeat in November 2020, Trump incited his supporters with a speech before the election results were confirmed in Congress on January 6, 2021. Trump claimed the election victory was stolen from him through massive fraud. The supporters then stormed the parliament building in Washington. Congress met there to formally confirm Democrat Joe Biden’s victory in the presidential election. Five people died as a result of the riots. Since then, Trump has repeated the claim of election fraud countless times and is currently campaigning on it.

Trump’s lawyers had requested that the charges be dropped. They believe that the Republican cannot be legally prosecuted for actions that they consider to be part of his duties as president. However, the judge responsible for the proceedings rejected the application.

Trump’s team once again appealed against this decision – which is why an appeals court is now involved. Special prosecutor Jack Smith, who has accused Trump, among other things, of his attempts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election, tried to bypass the appeals court. He turned directly to the Supreme Court and asked it to clarify the issue quickly. However, the Supreme Court rejected this request in December.

Trial unlikely to begin in early March

Therefore, the appeal has to make its way through the courts, which can take a long time. It is expected that the case will end up back at the Supreme Court following the appeals court’s decision. It would be the first time that the US Supreme Court has addressed the question of whether ex-presidents enjoy immunity from federal prosecution. It is therefore unlikely that the trial against Trump will begin in Washington at the beginning of March, as we have to wait for the highest court decision.

Trump made his point of view clear on Truth Social: Of course, as President of the USA and Commander in Chief, he was entitled to immunity. As president, he only defended his country, he wrote.

Trump, who is still facing further criminal charges, wants to move into the White House again for the Republicans. The 77-year-old is leading by far in internal party polls – the primaries for the candidacy begin in a few weeks. So far everything points to a new edition of the election campaign between Trump and incumbent Biden.

Trump is hoping to delay the trials against him until after the election. If he wins, he could ask his attorney general to end the federal investigation against him.