Trump Immunity Claim Taken Up By Supreme Court, Keeping D.C. 2020 Election Trial Paused

The order from the high court, which has a 6-3 conservative majority, marks the second time in a month that the justices will weigh a case with tremendous implications for the former president. In this dispute, the Supreme Court will consider whether the prosecution of Trump can move forward, or whether he is shielded from criminal liability.

Wednesday, February 28th 2024, 4:15 pm

By: CBS News


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The Supreme Court on Wednesday said it would decide whether former President Donald Trump is entitled to broad immunity from federal prosecution for conduct alleged to involve official acts that occurred while he was in office.

The order from the high court, which has a 6-3 conservative majority, marks the second time in a month that the justices will weigh a case with tremendous implications for the former president. In this dispute, the Supreme Court will consider whether the prosecution of Trump can move forward, or whether he is shielded from criminal liability.

The court has never before decided whether a former president is immune from criminal liability for allegedly illegal acts committed while in office. Trump is the first former president to be indicted, and he has pleaded not guilty.

A three-judge panel on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit rejected Trump's claim of sweeping immunity. He then asked the Supreme Court to put that decision on hold and allow him time to seek review from the full appeals court.

It's unclear how much of an impact the court's decision to take up the case will have on the timeline for Trump's trial, since the justices could rule swiftly after hearing arguments. Proceedings have been paused to allow the former president to pursue his appeal on the immunity issue. U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan, who is presiding over the case, scrapped the initial trial date of March 4 to let the appeals process play out.

The former president has been pushing to delay the case until after the November presidential election, though special counsel Jack Smith has stressed the public interest in holding the landmark trial this year. Trump is the leading Republican candidate to take on President Biden in the presidential contest, and he claimed that conducting a criminal trial during the height of the election season will "radically disrupt" his ability to campaign against Mr. Biden.

This is a breaking news story and will be updated.

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