Trump Argues Presidential Immunity in Appeals Court
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Trump and his legal team appeared in front of a three-judge panel in federal appeals court in Washington, D.C. Trump’s team argued that the former president should be immune from criminal charges that accuse him of trying to overturn the 2020 election.
That case and many of Trump's other cases would essentially be null and void if the court decides Trump has presidential immunity. Political scientists said if Trump is granted immunity, it could mean that any former president would not be criminally prosecuted for any wrongdoing during their time in office.
In the hearing, Trump's legal team and the prosecution answered questions from the judges, hypothetical questions were asked; but the judges seemed skeptical of Trump's argument.
Political scientists said there are arguments for both sides of this presidential immunity question but add there is also some doubt about allowing overall blanket immunity not just for Trump but for other presidents as well.
“If we know anything about history presidents are going to push the envelope a bit,” said George Washington University Assistant Professor and Legislative Program Director, Dr. Casey Burgat. “This is going to be a question that needs to be decided so we know how the courts can intervene and whether there is criminal liability going forward for former presidents committing wrongdoing.”
If the appeals court rules Trump does not have immunity, this will most likely go to the Supreme Court. The Justices, three of whom Trump appointed, would decide if they should take up this presidential immunity case or they could decide to not take it up and just let the appeals court ruling stand.