Ex-White House counsel, Jim Schultz, predicted a swift defeat for former President Donald Trump in his ongoing immunity claim as he faces multiple federal indictments.
What Happened: In an interview with CNN, Schultz, who worked in the Trump administration, said Trump will “swiftly” lose his claim as the case revolving around the former president’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election now heads to the District of Columbia Circuit Court.
“So, Jack Smith has a winner with this one, right?”
“And I think in this instance, the D.C. Circuit Court is going to act swiftly.”
“And I think they’re going to knock down this immunity claim, you know, very swiftly,” he added.
This came after Jack Smith, the Justice Department special counsel, had tried to take the case straight to the Supreme Court, but his bid was turned down on Dec. 22.
Why It Matters: Trump’s legal representatives have insisted that the former president should be safe from prosecution in the case, arguing that the actions under scrutiny took place during his term in office. The judge overseeing the case, however, has already dismissed this argument.
In a legal document, Smith opposed Trump’s immunity claim, asserting that a former president could be subject to “investigation, indictment, trial, and, if convicted, punishment for conduct committed during the Presidency.”
Trump’s claim of “absolute immunity” has been criticized by former Republican leaders, who fear that endorsing such a claim could motivate future presidents to engage in illegal activities to maintain power. The group of ex-Republican officials has described Trump’s argument as “especially weak” and damaging to the Constitution.
A veteran prosecutor has predicted a high likelihood of Trump’s conviction in at least one of the four scheduled criminal trials in 2024. The first trial, related to his alleged involvement in the Jan. 6 insurrection, is set to start on March 4. The prosecutor stressed the importance of penalizing such alleged transgressions with jail time.
Meanwhile, concerns have been raised by Trump’s former staff about the potential damage to American democracy if Trump were to serve a second term.
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