Trump’s presidential immunity claim rejected by D.C. appellate court

Los Angeles Times – By Sarah D. Wire – WASHINGTON — A D.C. appellate court panel on Thursday unanimously rejected former President Trump’s claim that he is immune from prosecution on criminal charges that he plotted to overturn the 2020 election results.

“For the purpose of this criminal case, former President Trump has become citizen Trump, with all of the defenses of any other criminal defendant. But any executive immunity that may have protected him while he served as president no longer protects him against this prosecution,” the three judge panel write in their opinion.

The decision is likely to be quickly appealed to the Supreme Court. Trump has until Feb. 12 to appeal, according to the opinion.

Last month the high court refused an emergency appeal by Special Counsel Jack Smith to take the case before the appellate court weighed in.

Now that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia has ruled, the Supreme Court may agree to resolve the constitutional question raised by Trump’s claims, or it could let the appellate ruling stand, which would amount to a defeat for Trump. The former president has signaled plans to use presidential immunity as a defense in all four of his criminal cases.