US court rejects Trump’s immunity claim in election interference case

A United States appeals court has ruled that former President Donald Trump does not have immunity from federal charges that he plotted to overturn his 2020 election defeat to President Joe Biden. The ruling stated that Trump, now a private citizen, does not have the executive immunity he had while serving as President, providing him with the defenses of any other criminal defendant.

The case will remain paused until at least Monday to give Trump the opportunity to appeal, while a Trump campaign spokesperson expressed concern about the ruling’s impact on the presidency and the country as a whole. The court’s decision comes after the Supreme Court temporarily declined to get involved in this matter.

Trump’s legal team has argued that former presidents cannot be criminally prosecuted for their official actions unless impeached and removed from office. Despite losing the initial decision, Trump’s lawyers sought to take their arguments to the Washington appeals court, while special counsel Jack Smith asked the Supreme Court to weigh in and secure a fast ruling to preserve a trial date of March 4.

However, the lack of intervention from the Supreme Court means the matter remains with the appeals court, suggesting that Trump’s aim of delaying the trial beyond March 4 might be achieved. It is projected that the trial will be postponed until after November’s presidential election.

If Trump wins in November, he may be able to pardon himself or call on the Department of Justice to close the federal case. However, he still faces three other state criminal cases which cannot be dismissed by the President.

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