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Former White House lawyer predicts swift defeat of Trump’s immunity attempt

By Jake Beardslee · January 3, 2024

In brief…

  • Former White House lawyer predicts Trump will swiftly lose immunity claim in court
  • Supreme Court declined to take up the immunity issue, case goes to Circuit Court
  • Special counsel Smith argues past presidents can be prosecuted for conduct in office
  • Lawyer says Circuit Court will quickly knock down Trump's immunity argument
  • Filing states presidents can face charges once out of office like any citizen
A former White House lawyer believes the appeals court will rapidly reject Trump's claim of immunity from prosecution over his efforts to overturn the 2020 election results.  Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America/Wikimedia

Former White House ethics lawyer Jim Schultz predicted on Monday that former President Trump will swiftly lose his claim for immunity in the federal investigations against him. The Supreme Court recently declined to take up the issue of whether Trump can be prosecuted for trying to overturn the 2020 election. Special counsel Jack Smith had asked the court to quickly resolve the immunity issue to keep the case on schedule, but the court denied the request.

The case now goes to the D.C. Circuit Court. Schultz believes “the D.C. Circuit Court is going to act swiftly” in rejecting Trump’s immunity claim. He told CNN “they’re going to knock down this immunity claim, you know, very swiftly.” Trump’s legal team argues he should have immunity from prosecution because the alleged conduct happened while he was president. But this claim was already rejected by the original judge.

According to The Hill, Smith asserted in a filing that a past president can still “face investigation, indictment, trial, and, if convicted, punishment for conduct committed during the Presidency.” He argued that once out of office, a president “may face federal criminal prosecution like any other citizen.”