President Trump’s attorney John Sauer appeared before a three-judge panel for the DC Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday morning to argue Trump’s immunity claims in Jack Smith’s DC case.
The three-judge panel hearing oral arguments on immunity claims: Florence Pan (Biden appointee), Michelle Childs (Biden appointee), and Karen Henderson (George W. Bush appointee).
Recall that Jack Smith went completely off the rails and told a federal appeals court that Trump’s immunity argument would allow him to order his supporters to murder opposing lawmakers.
Trump’s lawyers argued that Trump is immune from federal prosecution for alleged ‘crimes’ committed while he served as US President.
“In 234 years of American history, no president ever faced criminal prosecution for his official acts. Until 19 days ago, no court had ever addressed whether immunity from such prosecution exists,” Trump’s lawyers wrote in last month’s filing, according to CBS News. “To this day, no appellate court has addressed it. The question stands among the most complex, intricate, and momentous issues that this Court will be called on to decide.”
Jack Smith argued Trump is not immune from prosecution because he could order the murder of his political opponents or sell nuclear secrets.
“The implications of the defendant’s broad immunity theory are sobering. In his view, a court should treat a President’s criminal conduct as immune from prosecution as long as it takes the form of correspondence with a state official about a matter in which there is a federal interest, a meeting with a member of the Executive Branch, or a statement on a matter of public concern,” according to Jack Smith’s 82-page filing reviewed by The Gateway Pundit.
Jack Smith’s team argued that if Trump is protected by the presidential immunity argument, what could stop him from telling his “inciting his supporters during a State of the Union address to kill opposing lawmakers…”
“That approach would grant immunity from criminal prosecution to a President who accepts a bribe in exchange for directing a lucrative government contract to the payer; a President who instructs the FBI Director to plant incriminating evidence on a political enemy; a President who orders the National Guard to murder his most prominent critics; or a President who sells nuclear secrets to a foreign adversary, because in each of these scenarios, the President could assert that he was simply executing the laws; or communicating with the Department of Justice; or discharging his powers as Commander-in-Chief; or engaging in foreign diplomacy. Under the defendant’s framework, the Nation would have no recourse to deter a President from inciting his supporters during a State of the Union address to kill opposing lawmakers—thereby hamstringing any impeachment proceeding—to ensure that he remains in office unlawfully,” Jack Smith wrote.
Oral arguments in the DC Circuit Court of Appeals began on Tuesday morning. In the meantime Judge Chutkan ordered a stay on all proceedings in Jack Smith’s DC case pending appeal.
A three-judge panel heard oral arguments on Tuesday and appeared skeptical of Trump’s immunity claims – one judge, a Biden appointee, asked attorney John Sauer if Trump would be subject to criminal prosecution if he ordered SEAL Team 6 to assassinate his political rivals.
“Could a president who ordered SEAL Team 6 to assassinate a political rival, and is not impeached, would he be subject to criminal prosecution?” Judge Florence Pan, a Biden appointee asked John Sauer.
John Sauer replied, “If he were impeached and convicted first… my answer is qualified yes, there is a political process that would have to occur under the structure of our Constitution which would require impeachment and conviction by the Senate in these exceptional cases…”
Of course this is an absurd hypothetical question that echoes Jack Smith’s argument to the federal appeals court.
To no one’s surprise, CNN was having a field day with this and piled on John Sauer.
Trump’s immunity argument gets destroyed when a federal appeals court judge asks, “Could a president order S.E.A.L. Team 6 to assassinate a political rival? That is an official act and order to Seal Team 6?” pic.twitter.com/yUhZy8iTbQ
— Sarah Reese Jones (@PoliticusSarah) January 9, 2024
If the DC Circuit Court of Appeals rules that Trump does not have presidential immunity, Trump will take the fight to the US Supreme Court and request another stay.