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Friday April 12, 2024

Trump's legal fight intensifies as Supreme Court set to rule on his immunity claims

Trump appealed to Supreme Court, seeking a shield from criminal liability, and asked top court to put its decision on hold

By Web Desk
February 29, 2024
Former US President Donald Trump waves after speaking to the media during the third day of his civil fraud trial in New York on October 4, 2023. — AFP
Former US President Donald Trump waves after speaking to the media during the third day of his civil fraud trial in New York on October 4, 2023. — AFP 

The Supreme Court, with its 6-3 conservative majority, has decided to tackle the pivotal question of whether former President Donald Trump is immune from prosecution regarding attempts to overturn the 2020 election results.

The decision marks a significant moment as it is the first time the highest court is delving into such a case.

The legal dispute arose when a US Court of Appeals panel rejected Trump's argument of presidential immunity, stating that a president does not possess unbounded authority to commit acts that would compromise the democratic process. The court ruled unanimously: "We cannot accept former President Trump's claim that a president has unbounded authority to commit crimes that would neutralise the most fundamental check on executive power - the recognition and implementation of election results."

In response, Trump appealed the case to the Supreme Court, seeking a shield from criminal liability, and asked the top court to put its decision on hold.

The 77-year-old former president faces charges of witness tampering and conspiracy to defraud the US, related to his efforts to overturn the 2020 election. The trial, initially scheduled for March, now faces a delay as the Supreme Court has slated arguments for the week of April 22.

As Trump navigates a series of federal and state criminal charges, including a trial in late March over falsifying business records, the legal battleground intensifies. Throughout, Trump has consistently proclaimed his innocence, denouncing the charges as political "witch hunts."

The Supreme Court's decision not only impacts Trump's immediate legal battles but also holds broader implications, with a separate case exploring whether he can be disqualified from seeking a second term under the 14th Amendment's "insurrection ban."

Meantime, the apex court is also hearing arguments in a separate case on plea seeking Trump's disqualification from running for a second term under the 14th Amendment's "insurrection ban."