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Donald Trump immune? Appeal at U.S. court

Washington, Jan 9 (Prensa Latina) On a stormy day, perhaps a harbinger of a hectic election year in the United States, former President Donald Trump showed up on Tuesday to the Federal appeals court for a hearing of oral arguments on immunity.

The former president (2017-2021) remains in the vortex of news due to the mix of election campaign-legal loopholes-court appearance that makes this a unique case in the history of the United States.

On Tuesday the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit heard arguments on whether the 2020 election subversion case against Donald Trump should be dismissed based on former White House chief’s claims of immunity.

There were no cameras in the courtroom; although, as is very common in criminal trials, a sketch artist always leaves the courtroom atmosphere captured.

The sketches published in local media showed Trump sitting in front of the judges and on the right side of his defense attorney John Sauer, listening to him. Special prosecutor Jack Smith was there too.

Past December 1, 2023, Judge Tanya Chutkan rejected his request for immunity on the grounds there is no legal text safeguarding a former president from criminal prosecution.

Five months ago, Trump, who aspires to a second (non-consecutive) term as president, had pleaded not guilty of trying to alter the 2020 election results.

On this occasion, he reappeared with similar victim posture and repeated after the hearing in a statement to reporters that he should have presidential immunity.

“I feel that as president you must have immunity, very simply,” he said from the Waldorf Astoria hotel.

“You cannot have a president without immunity,” he added as he insisted he did nothing wrong, “absolutely nothing wrong,” he stressed.

He referred that “as president, one must be able to do one’s job” and warned that his prosecution is “opening Pandora’s box.”

The three judges who studied Trump’s request for criminal immunity as former president were somewhat skeptical and it remains to be seen where the end of the thread in the skein is.

Trump´s defense attorneys will surely continue the strategy of delaying with their demands to keep out of the reach of justice the one who, despite everything, is being favorite in the Republican primaries for the presidential Nov. 5 elections.

This means that the attempts to postpone as much as possible their criminal proceedings will continue, if possible after the upcoming elections, which most likely will be a repeat of what happened in 2020.

Trump, who still denies his defeat three years ago, has proclaimed that he will win “for the third time”.

For some specialists, Trump was in court – he was not obliged to attend to- as part of his electoral marketing strategy: all the media attention on him and thus overshadow his main adversaries, Nikki Haley and Ron DeSantis, Florida Governor.

The immunity decision could pave the way – or not – for one of Trump’s four criminal prosecutions, in this case for trying to reverse the 2020 election.

The trial is scheduled to begin on March 4, just a day before the so-called Super Tuesday, when the largest number of states hold their primaries.