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Former Trump White House lawyer expects Supreme Court will reject immunity bid

By Jake Beardslee · February 7, 2024

In brief…

  • Former Trump lawyer expects unanimous Supreme Court rejection of immunity claims
  • Federal court also unanimously ruled against Trump's immunity arguments
  • Trump criticized ruling, vowing to appeal to the Supreme Court
  • Case seen as major test on presidential immunity for Supreme Court
  • Acquittal could aid potential 2024 run, but conviction could sway voters
A federal appeals court ruled against Trump’s claims of immunity from criminal prosecution, which his former White House lawyer expects the Supreme Court will also unanimously reject, but the case represents a pivotal test of presidential immunity that could impact his potential 2024 run.  Michael Vadon/Wikimedia

Former Trump White House lawyer Ty Cobb forecasted that the Supreme Court will reject unanimously the ex-president’s assertions of immunity from criminal prosecution, in a recent interview with The Hill’s Niall Stanage. Cobb stated “The immunity case should be a 9-0 case on the Supreme Court,” arguing there is no precedent or constitutional basis for the immunity arguments made by Trump’s legal team.

Cobb’s comments come after a federal appeals court panel unanimously rejected Trump’s immunity claims in the criminal case related to efforts to overturn the 2020 election. The judges wrote, “We cannot accept that the office of the Presidency places its former occupants above the law for all time thereafter.”

Trump criticized the ruling on Truth Social, warning it would diminish the power of the presidency. His spokesperson pledged to appeal to the Supreme Court to “safeguard the Presidency and the Constitution.”

The case presents a key test on presidential immunity for the Supreme Court. While Trump appointed three of the six conservative justices, most legal experts believe the flaws in his immunity arguments make a unanimous rejection likely.

However, the Court could stall or rule narrowly, and acquittal in any trials could still allow Trump to mount a 2024 run. But conviction could sway many voters - a recent poll found 53% of voters in key states would not back a convicted Trump.