The legal saga surrounding former President Donald Trump’s involvement in the Capitol attack and efforts to overturn the 2020 election has reached a critical juncture. As the Justice Department gears up to challenge Trump’s claim of “absolute immunity,” legal experts are weighing in on the impending legal battle, and the consensus is clear: Trump’s defense is on shaky ground.
Trump, accused of four felonies connected to his role in the Capitol riot and the attempt to subvert the 2020 election results, is grasping at the straws of presidential immunity. His lawyers assert that his actions while in office shield him from criminal prosecution. However, this argument is meeting strong resistance.
Jim Schultz, an ex-associate White House lawyer from Trump’s administration, spoke candidly about the case’s trajectory. Appearing on CNN, Schultz pointed out that the D.C. Circuit Court, known as a precursor to Supreme Court battles, is likely to quickly dismiss Trump’s immunity claim. This sets the stage for a significant legal showdown.
Special Counsel Jack Smith, leading the charge against Trump, made a bold move by requesting the Supreme Court to bypass the D.C. Circuit and deliver a swift ruling on the immunity issue. The Supreme Court, however, declined this request without explanation, passing the ball back to the D.C. Circuit.
Smith’s office filed a compelling 82-page brief, urging the appellate court to reject Trump’s immunity claim, which they argue could enable presidents to commit crimes to remain in power. The brief echoes the sentiments of U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan, who upheld the charges against Trump in December, dismissing his appeal as baseless.
CNN legal analyst Norm Eisen praised Smith’s filing, highlighting its thorough dissection of Trump’s flimsy immunity claim. Eisen emphasized that the Constitution, its structure, history, and precedent, provide no shelter for Trump’s alleged actions.
Legal experts are united in their view that Trump’s primary goal is to delay the trial, especially with the possibility of a 2024 White House return, which could potentially enable him to quash the case. However, the consensus is that Smith holds the stronger hand.
Former Mueller prosecutor Andrew Weissman described Smith’s filing as a “classic Dreeben,” a term of high praise in legal circles, indicating a meticulously crafted argument tailored for Supreme Court review.
Even conservative attorney George Conway chimed in, noting the filing’s use of intriguing hypotheticals, such as a president selling nuclear secrets to a foreign adversary. This choice of language is seen as a strategic move to underscore the gravity of allowing presidential misdeeds to go unchecked.
MSNBC legal analyst and former federal prosecutor Glenn Kirschner echoed the sentiment that co-defendants in Trump’s case, like Mark Meadows, Rudy Giuliani, and others, are likely to face charges. Kirschner’s prediction that these key figures will be indicted suggests a widening net in the investigation into the Capitol riot and the 2020 election interference.
The unfolding legal drama around Trump is more than just a case; it’s a pivotal moment in American democracy. It’s a test of our legal system’s ability to hold even the highest office accountable and a barometer for the future of political integrity in the United States. As the case progresses, the nation watches, waiting to see if justice will indeed be served.