D.C. Circuit Considers Trump’s Sweeping Claim of Presidential Immunity from Prosecution

The Senate on Thursday acquitted Donald Trump of the impeachment charge. However, Mitch McConnell stated that the former president could still be held accountable for his actions. Trump’s lawyers filed a brief, asking the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to overrule U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan, who rejected Trump’s claim that presidential immunity bars Special Counsel Jack Smith from prosecuting him for trying to reverse Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 election. “President Trump has absolute immunity from prosecution for his official acts as President,” Trump lawyer John Sauer argues. Sauer states that former Presidents enjoy no special conditions on their federal criminal liability. Under that clause, even a president who has been convicted by the Senate can still be criminally prosecuted for the same actions. Sauer reads it, however, the clause implies that only a president who has been convicted by the Senate can face criminal prosecution. Sauer said “the grossest official offenders might escape without any substantial punishment, even for crimes, which would subject their fellow citizens to capital punishment.” The Supreme Court, narrowly held that the president is entitled to absolute immunity from damages liability predicated on his official acts, which isn’t resolved the question of whether a former.