SCOTUS Will Hear Trump’s Immunity Claim

( – The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) will hear oral arguments in the case where Trump is accused of criminal activity for his role in the events of January 6, 2021. Trump’s team has argued that he is immune from prosecution as he was President at the time, and the criminal prosecution of presidents for their official acts while in office is unprecedented.

The argument was unanimously rejected by the U.S. Appeals Court in Washington, D.C. earlier in February. Special Counsel Jack Smith requested in December SCOTUS take up the matter in advance of the Appeals Court ruling, arguing that time was of the essence. SCOTUS rejected his request, citing their need for input from all subordinate courts to effectively do their job.

Trump’s D.C. trial is on hold while the proceedings play out. The matter is complicated by the timeline and Trump’s status as the presumptive Republican presidential nominee. Oral arguments in this case will begin on April 22. After both sides have a chance to elaborate their positions, the high court could rule any point thereafter, but will likely rule before the current term ends in June.

Trump’s team has repeatedly argued that his prosecution is political in nature and that he’s done nothing wrong. The D.C. trial for his alleged election interference was slated to begin in early March, but the appeal process has delayed it.

This case joins a growing list of cases concerning Trump that will be presented or have already been argued before the SCOTUS. They recently heard arguments in the Colorado ballot case where the Colorado Supreme Court ruled Trump could be removed from the ballot due to his alleged participation in an “insurrection” on January 6. The Fourteenth Amendment precludes insurrectionists from holding office and was passed in the wake of the Civil War. As of March 4th, SCOTUS ruled in favor of Trump remaining on the Colorado ballot.

The court is also going to hear a January 6 case brought by Joseph Fischer. Fischer is a J6 defendant who is challenging the government’s use of an obstruction charge, 1512 (C)(2), arguing that the application of the charge is wholly inappropriate. The law was intended to cover destruction of evidence during a congressional investigation and was passed in the wake of the Enron scandal.

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