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While a federal appeals court weighs whether Donald Trump can be prosecuted as planned, the former president is ramping up a pressure campaign to protect presidents' 'well intended' mistakes
Donald Trump is ramping up his fight for presidential immunity, posting on Truth Social Thursday that he believes presidents should be protected from prosecution in all circumstances, even if their actions "cross the line."
His latest post on the subject comes as the D.C. Federal Court of Appeals is set to rule whether the former president, 77, is exempt from the criminal charges against him.
“A president of the United States must have full immunity, without which it would be impossible for him/her to properly function,” Trump wrote in all caps on Truth Social. “Any mistake, even if well intended, would be met with almost certain indictment by the opposing party at term end.”
Trump added that even if events “cross the line” they “must fall under total immunity, or it will be years of trauma trying to determine good from bad.”
“There must be certainty,” he continued. “Example: You can’t stop police from doing the job of strong & effective crime prevention because you want to guard against the occasional ‘rogue cop’ or ‘bad apple.’ Sometimes you just have to live with 'great but slightly imperfect.'"
Concluding the rant, he said, “All presidents must have complete & total presidential immunity or the authority & decisiveness of a president of the United States will be stripped & gone forever. Hopefully this will be an easy decision. God bless the Supreme Court!"
Per the Rolling Stone, Trump's attorney John Sauer argued in a court hearing that a president would “have to be speedily impeached and convicted” before a criminal prosecution could occur, after the judge hypothetically asked if a president would be immune from prosecution if they ordered SEAL Team Six to assassinate a political rival.
“I asked you a yes or no question," the judge said, per the outlet. “Could a president who ordered SEAL Team Six to assassinate a political rival, [who was] not impeached, would he be subject to criminal prosecution?”
“If he were impeached and convicted first…my answer is [a] qualified yes. There is a political process that would have to occur first," the attorney replied.
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During arguments, the appeals court judges expressed skepticism about Trump's case for immunity from prosecution, though a decision has not yet been handed down.
“I think it’s paradoxical to say that his constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed allows him to violate criminal law," said Bush Sr.-appointed Judge Karen LeCraft Henderson, the only Republican on the panel.
If the appeals court rules against Trump, the conservative-leaning Supreme Court would still have the option to weigh in and reverse the outcome — a request the former president would likely make.
Trump faces a total of 91 felony counts as a result of four criminal investigations, which surround alleged hush money payments, his handling of classified documents at Mar-a-Largo, the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot, and Georgia election interference.
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