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President Donald Trump won an important victory in the United States Supreme Court on Monday (1). The court ruled that Trump had some degree of immunity from criminal prosecution when, while still president, he tried to reverse the result of the 2020 elections.

In the Supreme Court’s understanding, presidents have absolute immunity in relation to official acts of office, understood as those attributed by the Constitution, but not in relation to unofficial acts.

The decision was supported by the Court’s six conservative justices and rejected by its three liberal justices, and is expected to apply to all future cases involving the prosecution of American presidents.

Now, the Republican can claim criminal immunity for some of the actions he took in the final days of his presidency — in a move likely to further delay the trial he faces on federal criminal charges of trying to overturn the outcome of the 2020 election.

The decision mainly affects the January 6 trial. The accusations made by special counsel Jack Smith of the Justice Department can now be questioned by the Republican’s defense on the grounds that they concern official acts.

It is up to Judge Tanya Chutkan, who is overseeing the case in the first instance of the federal circuit in Washington, to determine which acts by Trump are private and which are official. Of the four charges brought by Smith, three are conspiracy and one is obstruction of an official proceeding.

As a result, the chances of the trial beginning before the election in November are practically zero.

“The President does not enjoy immunity for his unofficial acts, and not everything the President does is official. The President is not above the law. However, Congress cannot criminalize the President’s conduct in the exercise of the responsibilities of the executive branch under the Constitution,” wrote Chief Justice John Roberts.

Biden’s campaign said the decision does not change the facts of January 6. “He [Trump] is promising to be a dictator ‘on day one,’ calling for the Constitution to be ‘eliminated’ so he can regain power, and promising a ‘bloodbath’ if he loses,” the Democrats said in a statement.


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