The Supreme Court Case: Trump’s Claims of Executive Immunity


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The Supreme Court Case Involving Donald J. Trump’s Claims of Executive Immunity

When the Supreme Court considers Donald J. Trump’s sweeping claims of executive immunity on Thursday, it will break new legal ground, mulling for the first time the question of whether a former president can avoid being prosecuted for things he did in office.

Trump’s Legal Strategy

Donald Trump’s legal defense strategy involves flipping the facts to create a different reality, a tactic he has often employed in his life as a businessman and politician. At the core of his immunity defense is the claim that seeks to upend the story told by federal prosecutors in an indictment charging him with plotting to overturn the 2020 election.

In the indictment, prosecutors described a criminal conspiracy by Mr. Trump to subvert the election results and stay in power. Trump, however, argues that these events were official acts undertaken as president to safeguard the integrity of the race and should not be subject to prosecution.

Breathtaking Immunity Claim

Trump’s immunity claim is striking in many ways. His lawyers have gone as far as to argue that a president could not be prosecuted even for using the military to assassinate a rival unless he was first impeached. The defense involves a wholesale rewriting of the government’s accusations, initially presented in Trump’s motion to dismiss the election interference case, which is a crucial step to advance the immunity argument.

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