Court rules Trump does not have immunity from prosecution

Judges J. Michelle Childs, Florence Pan and Karen LeCraft Henderson
Judges J. Michelle Childs, Florence Pan and Karen LeCraft Henderson Getty Images/AP/From ALM

The three-judge appeals court panel that issued the ruling Tuesday includes two judges, J. Michelle Childs and Florence Pan, who were appointed by Joe Biden and one, Karen LeCraft Henderson, who was appointed by George H.W. Bush.

In their unanimous opinion, the appeals court found that former President Donald Trump is not protected from criminal prosecution under the separation of powers clause.

“Here, former President Trump’s actions allegedly violated generally applicable criminal laws, meaning those acts were not properly within the scope of his lawful discretion,” they wrote, meaning that existing case law “provide him no structural immunity from the charges in the Indictment.”

They continued: “Properly understood, the separation of powers doctrine may immunize lawful discretionary acts but does not bar the federal criminal prosecution of a former President for every official act.”

The three appeals court judges said that Trump asked them to find “for the first time that a former President is categorically immune from federal criminal prosecution for any act conceivably within the outer perimeter of his executive responsibility,” they wrote.

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