Former President Donald Trump recently addressed the media following what he described as a “momentous day” in the appeal hearing related to the ongoing 2020 election case. Trump focused on two primary points during his speech: his belief in the unfairness of political opponents being prosecuted by the Department of Justice (DOJ), and his ongoing claims of voter fraud in the previous elections.
The DC Circuit Court of Appeals conducted a hearing today to deliberate on the potential dismissal of the federal election subversion case against Trump. The focus of the hearing was on Trump’s assertion of presidential immunity. No cameras were allowed in the courtroom during the proceeding.
Trump conveyed his satisfaction with the concessions made during the hearing, claiming they were “very, very big, very powerful points.” He further criticized the Biden administration’s DOJ for prosecuting a political opponent, implying that it was a tactic due to their poor performance in the polls.
He stated, “They’re losing in every poll. They’re losing in almost every demographic… I think they feel this is the way they’re going to try and win. And that’s not the way it goes.”
“When they talk about a threat to democracy, that’s your real threat to democracy,” Trump said. Reiterating his stance, he also claimed to have uncovered “tremendous voter fraud” and criticized the press for not reporting on these findings.
The notion that the 3-judge panel already has an order written conveys an expectation or perception that the panel is likely to affirm Judge Chutkan’s decision. This indicates a perception that the decision on whether Trump has immunity from criminal prosecution is more or less predetermined in favor of Judge Chutkan’s stance, which is that Trump does not have such immunity.
Trump concluded his remarks by expressing confidence in the legal process, however, stating, “We’ll see how it all works out.” He concluded by reiterating his position of innocence and stressed that the appeal hearing concentrated on actions he took during his presidency.
It is clear this 3-judge panel already has an order written to support Judge Chutkan's ruling that Trump does not have immunity from criminal prosection.
There is a slim change the panel could rule it does not have jurisdiction at this time bc the appeal is premature and…
— Julie Kelly 🇺🇸 (@julie_kelly2) January 9, 2024
In legal terms, this would mean the panel believes it’s not the right time or place to hear the case yet. If this happens, Judge Chutkan’s order would remain effective, and the pretrial deadlines, which are currently on hold, would proceed as commentator Julie Kelly noted.
Trump’s team potentially seeking recourse at the Supreme Court (SCOTUS) and asking for another stay indicates an expectation that should the appeals court decision not be in Trump’s favor, his legal team would likely escalate the matter to the highest court in the United States. A “stay” in this context refers to a legal order to temporarily halt the proceedings or the enforcement of a lower court’s order.
According to a CBS News/YouGov poll conducted in January, a majority of US adults, 64%, believe that former President Trump should not be granted immunity from criminal prosecution for actions undertaken during his presidency. This view is shared by a vast 86% majority of Democrats and approximately two-thirds of independent voters, while 69% of Republicans are in favor of granting Trump immunity.
The poll also indicated a general public support for the election-related charges against Trump. Notably, the public’s disagreement with Trump’s immunity claim is especially pronounced, as evidenced by the wide margin in the poll results.