- Jul 2, 2003
Judge Chutkan smacks down Trump's claim he has 'presidential immunity' from prosecution
D.C. Judge Tanya Chutkan has denied a bid by former President Donald Trump to dismiss the 2020 election interference charges by "presidential immunity."Trump's attorneys had argued that he was acting within the scope of his duties by challenging the 2020 election results, and put up a number of...
D.C. Judge Tanya Chutkan has denied a bid by former President Donald Trump to dismiss the 2020 election interference charges by "presidential immunity."
Trump's attorneys had argued that he was acting within the scope of his duties by challenging the 2020 election results, and put up a number of other examples of courts adjudicating disputed elections without any prosecution of the candidates challenging them.
But none of that applies to this situation for the purposes of making Trump immune from prosecution, Chutkan found.
"Defendant is not being prosecuted for publicly contesting the results of the election; he is being prosecuted for knowingly making false statements in furtherance of a criminal conspiracy and for obstruction of election certification proceedings," wrote Chutkan. "And in none of these earlier circumstances was there any allegation that any official engaged in criminal conduct to obstruct the electoral process."
"Moreover, even if there were an analogous circumstance in which an official had escaped prosecution, the mere absence of prior prosecution in a similar circumstance would not necessarily mean that Defendant’s conduct was lawful or that his prosecution lacks due process," wrote Chutkan. "The 'exclusive authority and absolute discretion to decide whether to prosecute a case' ... is a cornerstone of the Executive Branch."
This comes the same day a separate federal court found that Trump was not immune from civil suits by a Capitol Police officers and members of Congress for inciting the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, causing them either injuries or risk to their own safety.
Former prosecutor and #SistersInLaw co-host Joyce Vance said that for the first time in all of the cases involving Donald Trump, a judge has made the case that the former president could be sent to prison if convicted.
Among the things in Judge Tanya Chutkan's ruling at the end of the week was the explanation that Trump, like any other person in the United States, can be investigated, indicted, prosecuted, convicted, and face punishment for any of his criminal acts, said MSNBC host Ari Melber.