Supreme Court Kicks Trump Immunity Case Back Down to Lower Court, All But Ends Chance of Trial Before Election

The Supreme Court kicked Donald Trump’s presidential immunity arguments down to a lower court on Monday, effectively pushing a potential criminal trial on charges that the former president tried to overturn the 2020 election well past the November election.

The majority opinion, written by Chief Justice John Roberts, said the Washington District court must determine what of Trump’s alleged conduct is immune from prosecution. The brief said the lower court’s decision, which rejected Trump’s immunity claims outright, lacked “factual analysis” and would require further briefing.

“BIG WIN FOR OUR CONSTITUTION AND DEMOCRACY,” Trump posted on Truth Social just minutes later. “PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN!”

Trump’s lawyers said the ruling undermines special prosecutor Jack Smith’s case – and could also impact his classified documents charges based in Florida.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s dissent opinion sounded the alarm on the underlying immunity argument, suggesting there would be no “backstop” if a sitting president uses the office to commit crimes for personal gain.

“Never in the history of our Republic has a President had reason to believe that he would be immune from criminal prosecution if he used the trappings of his office to violate the criminal law,” Sotomayor wrote. “Moving forward, however, all former Presidents will be cloaked in such immunity. If the occupant of that office misuses official power for personal gain, the criminal law that the rest of us must abide will not provide a backstop … With fear for our democracy, I dissent.”

Sotomayor appeared agitated as the decision was read Monday. When it was her turn to speak, she went further, saying the ruling was “utterly indefensible” and makes any president “a king above the law.”

Clarence Thomas was the only justice to issue a separate concurrence, suggesting Smith’s appointment as special counsel was outside “our constitutional structure.” Smith’s appointment is also a central piece of Trump’s defense in the documents case.

This story is developing …

The post Supreme Court Kicks Trump Immunity Case Back Down to Lower Court, All But Ends Chance of Trial Before Election appeared first on TheWrap.