A federal judge on Friday rejected former President Trump’s argument that he is immune from his charge of criminal subversion in the 2020 election, while also denying his other constitutional defenses.
“Whatever immunities a sitting President enjoys, the United States has only one Chief Executive at a time, and that position does not provide a lifetime ‘get-out-of-jail-free’ pass, the Former President has no special conditions on his federal criminal liability,” US District Judge Tanya Chutkan wrote in the 48-page ruling.
“The accused may be subject to federal investigation, indictment, prosecution, conviction, and punishment for any criminal act committed while in office,” he added.
Trump asserted an immunity defense in October, arguing that all of his actions leading up to the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol were protected by presidential immunity.
The former president faces four criminal charges in the case, with the Justice Department special counsel’s office Jack Smith saying that he conspired to defraud the United States, obstructing the certification of votes cast of Congress, as well as a conspiracy “against the right to vote and have one’s vote counted.”
The former president pleaded not guilty to the charges last August.
Trump also pointed to his second impeachment, noting that the Senate failed to boot him from office after his efforts to oppose the peaceful transfer of power were quickly brought before the upper chamber.
He pointed out that his acquittal by the Senate means that he cannot be charged.
But Chutkan, an Obama appointee, also rejected that argument.