Earlier today we told you that a federal appeals court ruled against Trump’s argument that he has immunity from prosecution because he was POTUS when the events surrounding January 6th unfolded.
Now, for the second time today, Trump has lost this fight again. The federal judge overseeing his 2020 case, Judge Tanya Chutkan, said that “the court cannot conclude that our Constitution cloaks former Presidents with absolute immunity for any federal crimes they committed while in office.”
Here’s more from CNN:
The federal judge presiding over former President Donald Trump’s 2020 election subversion case in Washington, DC, has refused to dismiss the charges against him, saying he does not enjoy absolute immunity for what he said and did after the election.
“The court cannot conclude that our Constitution cloaks former Presidents with absolute immunity for any federal crimes they committed while in office,” US District Judge Tanya Chutkan wrote.
This is an issue that likely must be settled by an appeals courts above Chutkan before Trump’s criminal trial, set for March.
The opinion – that came after an appeals court said earlier Friday that Trump could be sued in civil proceedings related to the January 6, 2021, riot – is a resounding blow on a significant question about presidential protections that Trump hoped to use as he tries to stave off criminal cases.
“Whatever immunities a sitting President may enjoy, the United States has only one Chief Executive at a time, and that position does not confer a lifelong ‘get-out-of-jail-free’ pass. Former Presidents enjoy no special conditions on their federal criminal liability. Defendant may be subject to federal investigation, indictment, prosecution, conviction, and punishment for any criminal acts undertaken while in office,” Chutkan wrote.
I’m not shocked that Chutkan would rule against Trump on this. At least the appeals court pointed out that Trump was in his capacity as a presidential candidate. She didn’t seem to even mention that.