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Friday, May 24, 2024

JUDGES SKEPTICAL OF TRUMP’S IMMUNITY CLAIM IN ELECTION SUBVERSION CASE

Date:

WASHINGTON, (REUTERS) – A Washington appeals court questioned Donald Trump‘s claims that he is immune from criminal charges for trying to overturn the 2020 election, as the former U.S. president on Tuesday warned he could prosecute Joe Biden if he returns to the White House.

Trump looked on as his legal team sought to convince a panel of three judges that former presidents should not be prosecuted for actions they took in office. Trump is due to go to trial in March on federal charges of election subversion.

Judges reacted skeptically to that argument.

“You’re saying a president could sell pardons, could sell military secrets, could tell SEAL Team Six to assassinate a political rival?” Judge Florence Pan asked Trump lawyer D. John Sauer.

Sauer said that a former president could be charged for such conduct only if they were first impeached by the House of Representatives and convicted in the Senate.

Trump did not address the court, or speak to news media that waited outside the courthouse. He did, however, confer quietly with his attorneys several times during the hearing.

With the Republican state-by-state presidential nominating contest due to kick off next week, Trump used the hearing as an opportunity to claim he is the victim of political persecution.

In a video posted to social media ahead of the hearing, Trump said he could prosecute Democratic President Joe Biden if he wins the November presidential election.

“If I don’t get immunity then crooked Joe Biden doesn’t get immunity,” Trump said. “Joe would be ripe for indictment.”

With the Republican state-by-state presidential nominating contest due to kick off next week, Trump used the hearing as an opportunity to claim he is the victim of political persecution.

In a video posted to social media ahead of the hearing, Trump said he could prosecute Democratic President Joe Biden if he wins the November presidential election.

“If I don’t get immunity then crooked Joe Biden doesn’t get immunity,” Trump said. “Joe would be ripe for indictment.”

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