Donald Trump not immune from prosecution in 2020 Capitol attack case: US appeals court

  • The ruling comes amid a heated election campaign for the US Presidential Elections 2024, where Donald Trump is expected to go in for a rematch with sitting President Joe Biden

Livemint
Updated6 Feb 2024
Republican presidential candidate and former US President Donald Trump holds a campaign rally ahead of the Republican caucus in Las Vegas
Republican presidential candidate and former US President Donald Trump holds a campaign rally ahead of the Republican caucus in Las Vegas(REUTERS)

A US Court of appeals on Tuesday ruled that former US President Donald Trump is not immune from prosecution in the 2020 Capitol attack case, in which he is accused of attempting to overturn the results of the US Presidential Elections 2020. The ruling comes amid a heated election campaign for the US Presidential Elections 2024, where Donald Trump is expected to go in for a rematch with sitting President Joe Biden.

Earlier, Donald Trump had claimed that he had Presidential Immunity in the 2020 case, but a verdict from the US court has quashed his claim. The ruling is another addition to the legal troubles for the Republican leader, who is already facing a number of cases in different states.

This is the second time judges have rejected Donald Trump's claims of immunity, affirming that he can face prosecution for his actions during his presidency and leading up to the January 6, 2021, Capitol riot, where his supporters breached the US Capitol building.

While deciding the case, the court was faced with an unprecedented legal query: whether ex-presidents could be subject to prosecution post-presidency for their official White House actions.

Civil vs Criminal prosecution

In its earlier rulings, the US Supreme Court has held that sitting Presidents are immune from civil liabilities for their official acts, but the legal team of Donald Trump has argued that the immunity extends to criminal prosecution as well.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) wanted the Supreme Court to hear the Donald Trump case, but the apex court decided to stay out of the case at this stage and directed the lower courts to hear the plea.

In December, US District Judge Tanya Chutkan rejected Donald Trump's immunity argument and observed that the office of the president “does not confer a lifelong ‘get-out-of-jail-free’ pass.”

This is just one of Donald Trump's four legal cases as the former President faces charges in Florida regarding the alleged illegal possession of classified materials at his Mar-a-Lago residence. Donald Trump faces charges in Georgia state court for purportedly orchestrating efforts to undermine the state's 2020 election results.

Additionally, the former President is implicated in New York regarding payments made to adult film actress Stormy Daniels as hush money. Trump vehemently refutes any allegations of misconduct.

 

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