The Supreme Court Trump Assembled Is Going to Decide Whether Trump Is Above the Law

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The Supreme Court has agreed to take up rule on whether Donald Trump is immune from prosecution in the Justice Department’s election interference case. The decision means a high-profile trial will be further delayed, possibly for multiple months — if it even takes place at all. The court will begin hearing oral arguments on April 22.

The Justice Department indicted Trump last August over his efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election. The former president has spent recent months trying to get the case thrown out, arguing he is immune because he was president at the time. The D.C. Federal Court of Appeals unanimously struck down Trump’s claim earlier this month. “Former President Trump lacked any lawful discretionary authority to defy federal criminal law and he is answerable in court for his conduct,” the judges wrote.

Trump appealed to the Supreme Court, but it was unclear until Wednesday whether the the justices would actually take up the case. Trump nominated three of them — Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney-Barrett — while he was president, giving conservatives a 6-3 majority. It was this court that overturned Roe v. Wade in the summer of 2022.

Trump, the expected Republican nominee for president this year, has been running on the idea that presidents should be totally above the law. He wrote earlier this month on Truth Social that the United States would be over “as we know it” if presidents are not afforded the right to commit crimes while in office.

“If a President does not have Immunity, the Opposing Party, during his/her term in Office, can extort and blackmail the President by saying that, ‘if you don’t give us everything we want, we will Indict you for things you did while in Office,’ even if everything done was totally Legal and Appropriate,” he wrote, adding that “Obama, Bush, and soon, Crooked Joe Biden, would all be in PRISON. Protect Presidential Immunity. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”

The immunity Trump wants applies to everything. He wrote on Truth Social that it should apply to acts that “cross the line,” and during arguments before the D.C. Federal Court of Appeals in January his lawyers argued that a president should be immune from prosecution even if they were to have their political rivals assassinated.

Rolling Stone reported in 2022 that has told his team that he needs to win the presidency again in order to stay out of prison.

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