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How Trump’s immunity claim stalled the 2020 election subversion case :


the #usaSupreme Court hears arguments on Thursday on Donald Trump’s claim that he enjoys sweeping immunity from criminal prosecution for actions he took as president, a claim that has delayed by months a case accusing him of trying to overturn his 2020 defeat.

Here is a look at why #Trump’s claims have delayed a trial and what is likely to happen next:


The #federal case brought by Special Counsel Jack Smith charging Trump with trying to overturn his election defeat — one of four criminal cases the Republican presidential candidate faces — has been paused since December while the immunity argument plays out. 

Criminal defendants are not usually able to appeal court rulings until after a trial if they are convicted, but #Trump was able to file an immediate appeal because the immunity argument bears on whether he must even face a trial.

#usa #District_Judge #Tanya_Chutkan, who is overseeing the case, granted Trump’s request for a pause while his appeal plays out, and prosecutors acknowledged the issue would need to be resolved before Trump can face a jury.

The March 4 trial initially scheduled in the case was postponed; no new date has been set.


If #Trump wins the Nov. 5 election, he could order the U.S. Justice Department to drop its election subversion case, and another case involving his mishandling of classified documents after leaving the White House. He could also try to use his powers as #president to pardon himself of any federal crimes.

Delaying the trial until after the election would also prevent voters from hearing potentially damaging testimony about Trump’s refusal to accept his defeat in 2020 and his attempts to hold on to power.


If a majority of the Supreme Court, whose 6-3 conservative majority includes three Trump appointees, agrees with Trump’s claim, it could decide to dismiss the case in its entirety.

The justices could also adopt the position of lower courts and find that Trump has no immunity from the charges, setting the stage for a trial.

A third option would recognize that presidents may be protected from prosecution in some circumstances and direct the trial court to determine whether that immunity applies to the allegations against Trump. 

That outcome could prompt further delays as the trial judge decides whether parts of the prosecution’s case will need to be tossed out.


The court is expected to release its decision by June and if it does not order the case dismissed, the prosecution would resume.

Chutkan, the judge, has signaled that Trump’s legal team will likely have about three months to prepare his defense after that, which could leave Chutkan to decide whether to schedule a trial beginning in September or even October — when early voting will be underway in some states.

Trump’s lawyers are likely to argue that trying the case at the peak of the presidential campaign would amount to election interference. 

Prosecutors have argued the public has a right to a speedy trial.

The Supreme Court could throw another wrinkle into the case with its ruling on a separate case on whether a federal obstruction law applies to participants in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol. Two of the counts against Trump relate to that law and Trump’s role in the riot.

Prosecutors have argued that the charges against Trump could survive even a narrower interpretation of the law, but it will be up to the judge to decide what impact the Supreme Court’s opinion will have on Trump’s case.


Trump has made presidential immunity claims in two other criminal cases, a state prosecution accusing him of attempting to overturn the election results in Georgia and the federal case over mishandling classified documents. 

A ruling that #Trump is entitled to some legal protection for official actions could complicate those cases. Prosecutors have called Trump’s immunity argument in the classified documents case frivolous, noting that the charges relate to Trump’s conduct after he left the White House in 2021.

An opinion denying Trump’s immunity claim would remove a significant hurdle for prosecutors in both cases, blunting Trump’s attempts at further delaying the trials. 

The ruling would not affect the ongoing criminal trial in New York over hush money payments to a porn star, which does not involve official actions Trump took as president.

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