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Judge denies Trump immunity claims in 2020 election case


In a recent special counsel election case, a federal judge rejected the immunity claims made by former President Donald Trump, dismissing the notion that presidential immunity shields a former office holder from prosecution. U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan firmly stated that Trump's time as the Commander in Chief did not grant him the right to evade criminal accountability.


The charges against Trump, brought by special counsel Jack Smith, include conspiracy to defraud, conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, obstruction of an official proceeding, attempt to obstruct an official proceeding, and conspiracy against rights. Trump entered a plea of not guilty to all counts earlier this year in August.


Judge Chutkan, in her decision issued on Friday, emphasized that although a sitting President may have certain immunities, there is only one Chief Executive at a time, and holding the position does not confer a lifelong "get-out-of-jail-free" pass. Former Presidents, she noted, are subject to federal criminal liability without any special conditions.


Furthermore, Trump had argued that his acquittal during his second impeachment trial in the Senate would bar any further prosecution. Judge Chutkan rejected this claim as well, stating that neither traditional double jeopardy principles nor the Impeachment Judgment Clause prohibit a prosecution following impeachment acquittal.


In summary, the federal judge's ruling underscores the principle that even a former President is not above the law.

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