Donald Trump is seeking Supreme Court immunity from federal prosecution, according to legal analysts. His lawyers have asked a judge to dismiss the Washington election subversion case, in which Trump is accused of encouraging his supporters’ January 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol. They argue that Trump has presidential immunity from prosecution.
Trump denies all wrongdoing in the case, stating that the incumbent administration has charged him for acts that lie not just within the ‘outer perimeter,’ but at the heart of his official responsibilities as President. Legal analyst Joyce Vance believes that Trump took Thursday’s case to line up a Supreme Court challenge using the landmark 1982 Supreme Court case of Nixon v. Fitzgerald, in which the court ruled that the president is entitled to absolute immunity from civil lawsuits based on his official acts. However, the Supreme Court said in Nixon that the president is not absolutely immune from criminal charges.
New York University law professor Stephen Gillers predicts that Trump will likely seek Supreme Court protection from all his federal trials, including the January 6 prosecution. He will ask the Supreme Court to delay the federal criminal trials and argue that separation of powers principles require the courts to stand aside in the interest of democracy and a fair election. State cases, including the 2020 presidential election prosecution in Georgia, are also expected to face harder arguments.