Former US President Donald Trump has appealed to the Supreme Court to halt a lower court’s decision that he does not possess presidential immunity from prosecution. Trump had argued that he could not be tried for actions taken during his presidency in his election interference case. However, three lower court judges ruled that he could be prosecuted like any other citizen. Trump’s lawyers argue that a trial during an election campaign would significantly disrupt his ability to campaign against President Biden. The Supreme Court will now decide whether to suspend the ruling to allow Trump to appeal.
If the Supreme Court grants the request, it could lead to a significant delay in the criminal case accusing Trump of illegally attempting to overturn the 2020 election, possibly until after the November election. If the Supreme Court refuses to suspend the ruling, a federal trial overseen by Judge Tanya Chutkan will likely be scheduled for spring.
Trump is also facing three other criminal trials, including charges in Georgia for allegedly trying to overturn the 2020 election results, a seven-count indictment in Florida over his handling of classified documents post-presidency, and a case in New York related to an alleged concealed payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels. Trump has pleaded not guilty in all cases.
Trump’s legal team has attempted multiple times to delay his criminal trials until after the 2024 election. In the federal election interference trial, Trump is charged with four counts, including conspiracy to defraud the US and obstruction of an official proceeding. He has consistently denied any wrongdoing.
A three-judge panel from the DC Circuit court recently rejected the argument that presidents are immune from prosecution for possible crimes committed while in office, even after leaving the White House. Trump’s lawyers are now asking the Supreme Court to suspend the lower court’s ruling to allow time for all active judges on the DC Circuit court to review the case.
The Supreme Court could respond in several ways to Trump’s request. It could deny his request to suspend the ruling, deny his request for a review, decide to hear his appeal immediately, or decide to hear it on the court’s usual schedule. The Supreme Court previously denied a request for an expedited ruling on Trump’s immunity argument. It is currently unclear when the Supreme Court might rule on Trump’s request.