US Supreme Court will hear Trump's immunity case


Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump pumps his fist as he departs after speaking during the Conservative Political Action Conference, CPAC 2024, in Oxon Hill, Md., Feb 24, 2024. [AP Photo]

The U.S. Supreme Court agreed Wednesday to decide whether former President Donald Trump is immune from prosecution on charges he allegedly interfered with the 2020 election to overturn his loss to Joe Biden.

The federal court case alleges that Trump and his allies spread false claims that the election was stolen, used fake electors to hinder the certification of Biden's victory by Congress, and pressured Vice President Mike Pence to obstruct the certification process.

The Supreme Court said in a statement that it will decide "whether and if so to what extent does a former President enjoy presidential immunity from criminal prosecution for conduct alleged to involve official acts during his tenure in office."

Arguments will be heard in April, with a decision expected by the end of June.

Following the announcement, Trump released a statement saying that his immunity is necessary to best serve the country.

"A President has to be free to determine what is right for our Country without undue pressure," Trump said in the statement. "If there is no Immunity, the Presidency, as we know it, will ‘no longer exist.’ Many actions for the benefit of our Country will not be taken."

The Supreme Court has previously established that presidents are protected from civil lawsuits regarding their official duties, and Trump's legal representatives have consistently argued that this protection should extend to criminal allegations.

A lower court previously argued that Trump’s immunity claim should be rejected because "We cannot accept that the office of the presidency places its former occupants above the law for all time thereafter."

That court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, ruled 3-0 against Trump, saying he sought "unbounded authority to commit crimes that would neutralize the most fundamental check on executive power — the recognition and implementation of election results."

Despite what is an expedited timeframe, if the justices reject his immunity claim there are still doubts about whether a trial can be completed before the November election. Trump's legal team has sought to delay all his trials until after the November presidential election.

Trump faces 91 charges in four trials, including whether he illegally took highly classified documents with him when he left office, and whether he falsified documents related to hush money paid to a porn actor.