A long-awaited ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has come down, bringing bad news for former president and current Republican frontrunner Donald Trump.
Trump, who has maintained presidential immunity safeguards him from prosecution over events related to his waning days in office, had hoped the courts would agree. However, in a ruling out Tuesday morning, the DC Circuit ruled that such immunity did not apply here.
BREAKING: Donald Trump is *NOT* immune from prosecution, DC Circuit rules.
Details TK pic.twitter.com/U0rgc5kNXd
— Kyle Cheney (@kyledcheney) February 6, 2024
The three-judge panel on the DC Circuit said in its opinion Tuesday that it is upholding the decision from a lower court denying him absolute immunity from prosecution.
The appeal, which is likely to find its way to the Supreme Court, has forced the delay of a March trial date for the presidential candidate.
READ MORE: It’s Not a Date: Trump’s DC Trial Removed From March 4 Docket
The trial is part of the federal criminal case brought by Special Counsel Jack Smith against Trump, specifically regarding alleged 2020 election interference. The March trial date was removed from the March calendar, and led to a freakout on the left – one that was epitomized by Washington Post associate editor Ruth Marcus.
Failing to try Trump before the election would be a terrible disservice to voters. They are entitled to know before casting their ballots whether they are choosing a felon, especially one guilty of election interference. Polling suggests that a Trump conviction would matter even to many Republican voters.
READ MORE: WaPo Slams ‘Unconscionable’ Trump Trial Delays, Claims They Put Election in ‘Jeopardy’
In its ruling, the DC Circuit wrote that “For the purpose of this criminal case, former President Trump has become citizen Trump, with all of the defenses of any other criminal defendant” and that “any executive immunity that may have protected him while he served as President no longer protects him against this prosecution.”
Trump is expected to appeal the decision to either the full DC Circuit or the Supreme Court. Most experts seem to think this will become a Supreme Court case before it’s all over.