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Trump Files Major SCOTUS Brief On Presidential Immunity

via UFC
This article was originally published at StateOfUnion.org. Publications approved for syndication have permission to republish this article, such as Microsoft News, Yahoo News, Newsbreak, UltimateNewswire and others. To learn more about syndication opportunities, visit About Us.

Former President Donald Trump filed a brief with the Supreme Court arguing that presidents should be immune from criminal prosecution for official acts during their time in office.

Trump was indicted in 2023 on charges related to his efforts to overturn the 2020 election results.

A lower court rejected claims of immunity.

The brief argued that subjecting presidents to prosecution would undermine their ability to perform duties and negatively impact decisions due to fear of future legal jeopardy.

It noted no president had ever faced charges for official acts until Trump.

“The President cannot function, and the Presidency itself cannot retain its vital independence, if the President faces criminal prosecution for official acts once he leaves office,” the brief reads.

“A denial of criminal immunity would incapacitate every future President with de facto blackmail and extortion while in office, and condemn him to years of post-office trauma at the hands of political opponents. The threat of future prosecution and imprisonment would become a political cudgel to influence the most sensitive and controversial Presidential decisions, taking away the strength, authority, and decisiveness of the Presidency,” the brief stated.

“The Court should restore the tradition from Marbury to Fitzgerald—unbroken until last year— and neutralize one of the greatest threats to the President’s separate power, a bedrock of our Republic, in our Nation’s history. The Court should uphold the President’s immunity from criminal prosecution for official acts,” the brief stated.

The brief contended past presidents, including Jackson, Roosevelt, Clinton and Bush, engaged in arguably criminal conduct but were not prosecuted due to immunity traditions.

“For example, John Quincy Adams was accused of a ‘corrupt bargain’ in appointing Henry Clay as Secretary of State after Clay delivered the 1824 election to him in the House. Andrew Jackson disregarded this Court’s rulings and forced the resettlement of many people, resulting in the infamous ‘Trail of Tears.’ President Roosevelt imprisoned over 100,000 Japanese Americans during World War II. President Clinton repeatedly launched military strikes in the Middle East on the eve of critical developments in the Monica Lewinsky scandal, with the likely goal of deflecting media attention from his political travails,” the brief reads.

“President Clinton also pardoned fugitive financier Marc Rich, resulting in widespread accusations of criminal corruption, including illegal quid pro quo. President George W. Bush was accused of knowingly providing false information to Congress about Saddam Hussein’s ‘weapons of mass destruction’ in order to launch the Iraq War on false pretenses, leading to the deaths of over 4,400 Americans, with almost 32,000 wounded. President Obama targeted and killed U.S. citizens abroad by drone strike without due process. President Biden’s mismanagement of the southern border, dealings with Iran, and funding of pro-Hamas groups face similar accusations,” it adds.

“In all of these instances, the President’s political opponents routinely accuse him, and currently accuse President Biden, of ‘criminal’ behavior in his official acts. In each such case, those opponents later came to power with ample incentive to charge him. But no former President was ever prosecuted for official acts—until 2023,” the brief states.

It warned that denying immunity could enable politically motivated prosecutions and shift power to unelected prosecutors, contradicting precedent and threatening the presidency.

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