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Team Trump Argues He Had ‘Absolute Immunity’ In Supreme Court Filing

via The Telegraph
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Donald Trump’s lawyers argued before the Supreme Court that as a former president, he has absolute immunity from criminal prosecution for any official acts taken while in office.

They claim criminal immunity arises directly from separation of powers and that the courts cannot sit in judgment over a president’s official acts.

The Supreme Court will hear arguments on this issue in April.

Trump’s team cites law review articles by Justice Brett Kavanaugh in support of their position that prosecution of a president is a political act that could influence and control the president’s decisions.

In short, “a President who is concerned about an ongoing criminal investigation is almost inevitably going to do a worse job as President.” Kavanaugh wrote.

“Prosecution or nonprosecution of a President is, in short, inevitably and unavoidably a political act.” he wrote.

They argue criminal prosecution would overshadow every future president’s official acts and political opponents could seek to influence decisions through threats of future indictment.

“Criminal prosecution, with its greater stigma and more severe penalties, imposes a far greater ‘personal vulnerability’ on the President than any civil penalty,” the request states. “The threat of future criminal prosecution by a politically opposed Administration will overshadow every future President’s official acts — especially the most politically controversial decisions.”

The president’s “political opponents will seek to influence and control his or her decisions via effective extortion or blackmail with the threat, explicit or implicit, of indictment by a future, hostile Administration, for acts that do not warrant any such prosecution,” the request adds.

If upheld, they claim prosecutions of former presidents will become common and usher in cycles of recrimination.

The case before the Supreme Court involves allegations of election interference against Trump filed by a special counsel.

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