Trump’s Claim of Immunity from Federal Prosecution Goes to Appeals Court in Washington, D.C.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Former President Donald Trump’s claim of immunity from federal criminal prosecution will be considered by a three-judge panel in Washington, D.C. Oral arguments in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit will focus on Trump’s legal theory that charges against him should be dismissed because the alleged conduct occurred during his presidency.

Trump’s lawyers argue that the charges, which accuse him of engaging in a scheme to subvert the results of the 2020 presidential election, are “unlawful and unconstitutional” because they target acts he took as president. They claim that the Constitution requires him to be criminally prosecuted if first convicted by the Senate following an impeachment trial. A lower court has already ruled that Trump is not immune from prosecution.

The outcome of the appeal could potentially derail the charges brought by special counsel Jack Smith over Trump’s actions surrounding the 2020 election. Smith argues that Trump engaged in illegal acts to remain in power despite losing the election. Prosecutors say that even if Trump has some level of immunity for official acts, the charges against him go beyond the scope of his presidential responsibilities.

Trump confirmed his plan to attend the arguments in a social media post, where he claimed to be “looking for voter fraud” in the aftermath of the election. Despite Trump’s attendance not being mandatory, defendants have the right to be present for proceedings.

The jurisdiction question will also be debated in the D.C. Circuit. American Oversight, a liberal watchdog group, argued that Trump cannot ask the appeals court to review the denial of presidential immunity. The group urged the court to dismiss the appeal and send the case back to the district court for trial. The D.C. Circuit will consider whether it has jurisdiction over the appeal.

The decision of the D.C. Circuit on Trump’s immunity claim can be appealed to the Supreme Court. The case is currently on hold as the immunity question is being considered by higher courts. Trump’s criminal trial is scheduled for March 4, but the date may be adjusted depending on the outcome of the appeal.

In conclusion, former President Donald Trump’s claim of immunity from federal prosecution will be examined in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The outcome of the appeal could affect the charges brought against him by special counsel Jack Smith. Meanwhile, the jurisdiction question will also be discussed, as well as the possibility of the case reaching the Supreme Court. Trump’s criminal trial is currently set for March 4, pending the resolution of the immunity issue.