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Donald Trump's Plea For Immunity In Election Interference Case Overruled In Blistering Judicial Decision

Published Dec 02, 2023 15:50 Updated Dec 02, 2023 17:10
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© Reuters. Donald Trump's Plea For Immunity In Election Interference Case Overruled In Blistering Judicial Decision

Benzinga - by Bibhu Pattnaik, Benzinga Staff Writer.

In a groundbreaking decision on Friday, U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan determined that former President Donald Trump is not exempt from prosecution for his alleged role in undermining the 2020 election results.

What Happened: Delivering a comprehensive 48-page verdict, Chutkan stated that Trump's previous position as the nation's leader does not grant him immunity from facing charges similar to any other citizen.

“Defendant’s four-year service as Commander in Chief did not bestow on him the divine right of kings to evade the criminal accountability that governs his fellow citizens,” she said in the verdict.

The ruling is crucial in what might become the first criminal trial against a former president in U.S. history. Chutkan, in her ruling, invoked the Founding Fathers, particularly highlighting George Washington's stance on the accountability of presidents under the law.

“In this case, Defendant is charged with attempting to usurp the reins of government as Washington forewarned,” Chutkan added.

The decision came on the heels of a recent appellate court ruling, which also dismissed Trump's immunity claims in several civil lawsuits related to the Jan. 6 riot. Chutkan referenced this decision, noting the appellate court's agreement on presidential accountability.

Also Read: Trump's Niece Says Newly Released Audio Is 'Key Evidence' That Could Convict Her Uncle And 'His Pathetically Inflated Sense Of Himself'

Addressing potential concerns about the prosecution's impact on future presidents, Chutkan emphasized that Trump's unique case, coupled with the comprehensive legal protections afforded to all criminal defendants, mitigates such worries.

She remarked, “The prospect of federal criminal liability for a former President” would not violate the longstanding principle that presidents should operate free from fear that they may face future litigation or other “unacceptable risks.”

Trump's defense has been that the First Amendment protects his actions and that his acquittal in the impeachment trials should shield him from criminal charges, citing the Constitution's double jeopardy clause.

However, Chutkan dismissed these arguments, clarifying that the First Amendment does not protect criminal activities and that impeachment does not preclude subsequent criminal proceedings.

“It is well established that the First Amendment does not protect speech that is used as an instrument of a crime,” she added.

In previous rulings, Chutkan has consistently countered Trump's assertions of presidential authority. Notably, in 2021, she allowed the Jan. 6 committee access to Trump's White House records, a decision that higher courts later upheld.

Now Read: Trump Boldly Declares 'Only I Can Protect Israel' Amid Raging Middle Eastern Conflict: 'Nobody Else Will, Nobody Else Can'

This content was partially produced with the help of AI tools and was reviewed and published by Benzinga editors.

© 2023 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

Read the original article on Benzinga

Donald Trump's Plea For Immunity In Election Interference Case Overruled In Blistering Judicial Decision
 

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