Judge denies Trump immunity claims in 2020 election case

 U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan wrote that the position of the president "does not confer a lifelong ‘get-out-of-jail-free’ pass."

Published: December 1, 2023 8:17pm

Updated: December 1, 2023 8:39pm

A federal judge on Friday rejected former President Donald Trump's claims of immunity in special counsel Jack Smith's election case, insisting that presidential immunity did not prevent the prosecution of a former office holder.

"Defendant's four-year service as Commander in Chief did not bestow on him the divine right of kings to evade the criminal accountability that governs his fellow citizens,"  U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan wrote, according to The Hill.

Smith has charged Trump with conspiracy to defraud, conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, obstruction of, and attempt to obstruct an official proceeding, and conspiracy against rights. He pleaded not guilty to all counts in August of this year.

Chutkan, in her Friday decision, asserted that "[w]hatever immunities a sitting President may enjoy, the United States has only one Chief Executive at a time, and that position does not confer a lifelong 'get-out-of-jail-free' pass, Former Presidents enjoy no special conditions on their federal criminal liability."

Trump had further argued that his acquittal in the Senate during his second impeachment, moreover, would bar his prosecution, a claim Chutkan also rejected.

"[N]either traditional double jeopardy principles nor the Impeachment Judgment Clause provide that a prosecution following impeachment acquittal violates double jeopardy," she wrote.

Ben Whedon is an editor and reporter for Just the News. Follow him on X, formerly Twitter.

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