The campaign of former President Donald Trump said this week that it would appeal a federal court’s decision that he does not have immunity from prosecution in the federal case regarding the aftermath of the 2020 election. The news came as a chorus of Republicans criticized the decision of the D.C. Court of Appeals, which ruled unanimously in favor of special counsel Jack Smith’s argument.
The three judges of the appeals court ruled that Trump can be prosecuted for his actions following the November 2020 election. The court’s ruling stated that for the “purpose of this criminal case, former President Trump has become citizen Trump, with all of the defenses of any other criminal defendant.”
“But any executive immunity that may have protected him while he served as President no longer protects him against this prosecution,” the court’s judges wrote.
Trump has consistently stated that presidents should have immunity for their actions in office, even after leaving the White House. He has argued on social media that should there not be immunity for presidents, future chief executives would be prosecuted by the opposite party when they leave the White House.
The Trump campaign wrote in a statement that the prosecution of Trump was “unconstitutional under the doctrine of Presidential Immunity and the Separation of Powers. Prosecuting a President for official acts violates the Constitution and threatens the bedrock of our Republic.”
Statement from Trump Campaign on DC Court of Appeals Immunity Ruling: pic.twitter.com/jfSbzxFdnV
— Karoline Leavitt (@kleavittnh) February 6, 2024
The statement from Trump campaign spokesman Steven Cheung said that the former president “respectfully disagrees” with the decision and “will appeal it in order to safeguard the Presidency and the Constitution.”
On social media, the former president called the decision a “Nation-destroying ruling.” He wrote that the decision “cannot be allowed to stand.”
“If not overturned, as it should be, this decision would terribly injure not only the Presidency, but the Life, Breath and Success of our Country,” he added.
The former president argued that immunity was needed so that presidents could “do what has to be done for the good of our Country.”