D.C. Court Rejects Trump’s Arguments Of Special Presidential Immunity

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A three-judge panel in federal court has rejected an attempt from ex-President Donald Trump to seek an establishment of legal immunity amid additional civil litigation from police officers affected by the violence of January 6, 2021, and angling to hold the ex-president liable.

Unlike the record behind claims of immunity that Trump is making amid criminal proceedings against him elsewhere, there are, in fact, established protections for individuals who’ve held office from certain civil litigation. But the judges said Trump fell short.

In sum, they concluded that Trump had failed to establish that challenged remarks of his from before the Capitol attack should be considered part of his official duties as president. Specifically, Trump claimed the remarks he made should be afforded those legal protections because they allegedly reflected public concerns, but the judges said that whether the commentary advanced public interest wasn’t the relevant question to establishing whether the commentary was official — and protected. There are some restrictions on advancing new arguments at advanced stages of litigation that weren’t already made, so in this specific courtroom context, these contentions might represent about the limit for Trump’s attempted defense — which keeps failing.

Meanwhile, a group of individuals outside the original proceedings recently filed arguments with the D.C. appeals court handling Trump’s immunity argument in a criminal case of his.

The group of intervening heavyweights from the legal field insists that Trump’s idea of nearly absolute immunity — meaning protection from prosecution — for individuals who’ve held the office of president contradicts the Constitution’s basic rules and threatens the balance of power. Under Trump’s idea, the presidency could become a nearly unreachable office, outside the possibilities of most judicial punishment and no longer bound by previous impetuses to actually effectuate the nation’s laws in line with their intent. Among the signatories on the new appeals court filing was former Trump White House lawyer Ty Cobb.