𝐉𝐮𝐝𝐠𝐞𝐬 𝐒𝐤𝐞𝐩𝐭𝐢𝐜𝐚𝐥 𝐨𝐟 𝐓𝐫𝐮𝐦𝐩'𝐬 𝐈𝐦𝐦𝐮𝐧𝐢𝐭𝐲 𝐀𝐩𝐩𝐞𝐚𝐥 𝐢𝐧 𝟐𝟎𝟐𝟎 𝐄𝐥𝐞𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐂𝐚𝐬𝐞
In a federal courthouse under tight security, a panel of US appeals court judges appeared deeply skeptical of Donald Trump's claim of immunity from prosecution in a case related to the 2020 United States election. The 77-year-old Trump attended the hearing and listened quietly to the arguments before a three-judge panel of the US Court of Appeals. His legal team sought to convince the judges that former presidents should not be prosecuted for actions taken in office.
Trump, the frontrunner for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, later addressed reporters, warning of "bedlam" in the US if his prosecution goes ahead. The case involves charges that he conspired to overturn the 2020 election won by Democrat and current US President Joe Biden.
During the hearing, Trump's attorney argued that a president can only be prosecuted for actions taken while in the White House if they have first been impeached and convicted by Congress. However, the judges appeared to be unconvinced by the argument, with one judge noting that it would be paradoxical to allow a president to violate criminal laws under the guise of carrying out official duties.
On the other side, prosecutors argued that Trump's conduct was unprecedented and that he was acting as a candidate, not a president, when he allegedly pressured officials to overturn the election results.
The case has been put on hold for the appeal, and Trump's lawyers are not only seeking to dismiss the case but also hoping to benefit from a protracted appeals process that could delay the trial past its scheduled March start date, even potentially after the election.
The three-judge appeals court panel will now turn toward issuing a quick ruling in the case, which has been heard on an expedited schedule. A decision could come within days, and the outcome of this appeal will have significant implications for Trump's legal position and the landscape of presidential immunity from prosecution.