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Trump Hit With Bad News

In a significant development, a federal judge, U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan, delivered a decisive blow to former President Donald Trump’s legal defense in his 2020 election subversion criminal case. Rejecting Trump’s argument of immunity, the judge also dismissed his other constitutional defenses.

Judge Chutkan’s ruling, spanning 48 pages, firmly established that even a former President does not enjoy lifelong immunity from federal criminal liability. She emphasized that while a sitting President may have certain immunities, they do not grant a perpetual “get-out-of-jail-free” card. In her words, “Former Presidents enjoy no special conditions on their federal criminal liability.” This ruling means that Trump could be subject to federal investigation, indictment, prosecution, conviction, and punishment for any criminal acts committed while in office.

Trump had asserted the immunity defense, contending that all his actions leading up to the January 6th attack on the Capitol were protected by presidential immunity. However, the judge’s ruling dismantled this argument, asserting that the Constitution and the principles governing government powers do not exempt former Presidents from the legal processes faced by ordinary citizens. She stressed that Trump’s four-year tenure as Commander in Chief did not grant him a divine right to evade criminal accountability.

Furthermore, Trump’s reference to his second impeachment and subsequent acquittal by the Senate as a shield against prosecution was also rejected by Judge Chutkan. She clarified that traditional double jeopardy principles and the Impeachment Judgment Clause do not prevent prosecution following impeachment acquittal.

Additionally, the judge dismissed Trump’s claims that the indictment violated his due process rights and that his alleged conduct was protected by the First Amendment. She pointed out that the First Amendment does not shield speech used as an instrument of a crime, reinforcing that the indictment did not violate Trump’s First Amendment rights.

This ruling represents a significant development in the legal proceedings surrounding Trump’s 2020 election subversion case, setting a precedent that no one, not even a former President, is above the law.

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