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Supreme Court decision opens the door for Trump to potentially evade trials if reelected


The US Supreme Court’s decision to consider former President Donald Trump’s case might delay any potential criminal trial related to his efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election results until after the upcoming election. This move has sparked concerns about the implications for justice and accountability in American democracy, especially because there’s a possibility he might bypass a trial if he secures the presidency in the upcoming November election and instructs his administration to dismiss the cases against him.

Trump has long argued that he is “immune” from prosecution for actions taken while in office, including his alleged role in a multi-state campaign to influence officials to reverse election outcomes and his failure to prevent a mob of his supporters from storming the Capitol. Despite federal courts dismissing these claims, the Supreme Court, with three justices appointed by Trump, has decided to review the case, effectively pausing lower court orders. This decision underscores Trump’s legal strategy of postponement, which could significantly impact the timing of any trial.

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The Supreme Court’s agreement to hear oral arguments on Trump’s “immunity” defense on April 22 has set a timeline that may push any potential trial to late summer or even 2025, depending on when the court issues its ruling. This timeline aligns with Trump’s legal strategy, ensuring that significant legal proceedings, such as pretrial motions and jury selection, will not conclude before the presidential election.

Critics, including Norm Eisen, former special counsel during Trump’s first impeachment, and Tom Joscelyn, who contributed to the final report from the House Select Committee on the Capitol attack, argue that this move undermines accountability and poses a threat to American democracy. They emphasize the importance of the public hearing the facts of the case and holding responsible parties accountable.

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The Supreme Court’s decision to review the case comes after a unanimous rebuke from a panel of appeals court judges, who stated that “citizen Trump” does not have presidential immunity for actions that challenge the foundational elements of government structure. The judges specifically criticized Trump’s alleged attempts to remain in power after losing the 2020 election as an assault on democracy.

As the Supreme Court deliberates on this matter, Trump continues to campaign for the upcoming election, framing himself as a victim of a Democratic conspiracy. Meanwhile, a parallel election interference case in Georgia has shifted focus due to controversial court filings and hearings aimed at undermining the prosecution. Additionally, the Supreme Court is expected to rule on whether Trump should be removed from ballots due to his involvement in the “insurrection,” as defined under the 14th Amendment.

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Amid these legal battles, Trump also faces a criminal trial in New York City related to hush-money payments. This case represents a significant moment of accountability for actions taken during the 2016 election campaign and may influence public perceptions of Trump’s conduct leading up to the 2020 election.

The Supreme Court’s decision on Trump’s “immunity” claims will be closely watched, as it could prevent voters from knowing whether Trump is a convicted felon before casting their ballots. Critics argue that a late decision would benefit Trump’s delay tactics at a great cost to the country and the integrity of the Supreme Court. This situation underscores the unprecedented nature of Trump’s actions and the challenges they pose to the principles of American democracy.

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