South Asia and Beyond

US Court Says Trump Can Be Tried For Crimes Committed While In Office

Former President Donald Trump is not immune from criminal prosecution, appeals court rules
 US Court Says Trump Can Be Tried For Crimes Committed While In Office

Former US President Donald Trump and any other former president, maybe prosecuted for alleged crimes committed while in office, says Politico magazine in a report highlighting the ruling by a panel of the federal appeals court.

The unanimous 57-page ruling by a 3-judge bench of the DC Circuit Court of Appeals said “Former President Trump has become citizen Trump with all the defenses of any other criminal defendant. But any executive immunity that may have protected him while he served as president, no longer protects him against this prosecution.”

The ruling stems from charges that he sought to overturn the results of the 2020 election that brought Joe Biden to the White House. Trump has said he will appeal.

The ruling confirms US District Judge Tanya Chutkan’s historic ruling that former presidents maybe prosecuted for crimes committed while in office, even if those crimes related to their official duties.

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The DC court judges held that the gravity of the specific charges against Trump, weighed heavily against declaring him immune, even when balanced against concerns about the chilling effect it could have on future presidents.

The judges have put their judgement on hold until Monday to allow Trump to ask the Supreme Court to take up the immunity fight on an emergency basis. If he does so, the decision won’t take effect until the high court acts on his request.

Trump could even ask the DC Court to re-hear his appeal, but that would require a majority of the 11 active appellate judges to agree.