Supreme Court live updates: Trump, Biden campaign react to SCOTUS immunity ruling

Supreme Court live updates: Trump, Biden campaign react to SCOTUS immunity ruling
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(WASHINGTON) — The Supreme Court on Monday handed down a historic decision on whether a former president is shielded from criminal liability for “official acts” taken while in the White House.

In the case, Donald Trump aimed to secure such immunity to try to quash the federal election subversion prosecution brought by special counsel Jack Smith.

Smith charged Trump with four felony counts, including conspiracy to defraud the United States and conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, over his efforts to hold onto power after his 2020 election loss. Trump pleaded not guilty and has denied any wrongdoing. The trial was set to start on March 4, but has been delayed while the high court considers the immunity question.

Here’s how the news is developing. All times Eastern:

Jul 01, 11:47 AM
Trump fundraises off immunity ruling

Former President Donald Trump’s campaign sent out an email fundraising off the Supreme Court decision on presidential immunity.

“BREAKING FROM TRUMP: Supreme Court gives TOTAL IMMUNITY for official acts!” Trump campaign’s fundraising email said.

“Official acts cannot be illegally prosecuted – BIG WIN FOR DEMOCRACY &; OUR CONSTITUTION!” the fundraising email continues, calling the case a “witch hunt” and saying it “should’ve never happened.”

Jul 01, 11:34 AM
Jackson argues ruling ‘breaks new and dangerous ground’

Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson issued a dissent in the Supreme Court’s presidential immunity ruling arguing it “breaks new and dangerous ground.”

“So, how does this new Presidential accountability model work? An initial problem is the lack of clarity regarding what this new model entails,” she wrote.

Jackson added that the ruling “unilaterally altered the balance of power between the three coordinate branches of our Government as it relates to the Rule of Law, aggrandizing power in the Judiciary and the Executive, to the detriment of Congress.”

Jackson and Justice Sonia Sotomayor both penned dissents. Justice Elena Kagan joined Sotomayor in her dissent.

The split 6-3 opinion was authored by Chief Justice John Roberts.

Jul 01, 11:16 AM
‘It makes a mockery of the principle … that no man is above the law,’ Sotomayor says in dissent

In her dissent, Justice Sonia Sotomayor pushed back against the conservative justices’ ruling on former President Donald Trump’s immunity case.

Sotomayor contended in her dissent that the ruling “makes a mockery of the principle, foundational to our Constitution and system of Government, that no man is above the law.”

She argued the conservative justices invented “an atextual, ahistorical, and unjustifiable immunity that puts the President above the law.”

“That holding, which will prevent the Government from using a President’s official acts to prove knowledge or intent in prosecuting private offenses, is nonsensical. Argument by argument, the majority invents immunity through brute force,” she added.

Sotomayor also said the ruling opens up the possibility that when a president uses their official powers in any way, they will be “insulated from criminal prosecution.”

“Orders the Navy’s Seal Team 6 to assassinate a political rival? Immune. Organizes a military coup to hold onto power? Immune. Takes a bribe in exchange for a pardon? Immune. Immune, immune, immune,” Sotomayor wrote.

Justices Elena Kagan and Ketanji Brown Jackson joined Sotomayor in her dissent.

The split 6-3 opinion was authored by Chief Justice John Roberts.

Jul 01, 11:03 AM
Special counsel Jack Smith declines to comment

Special counsel Jack Smith’s office declined to comment on the Supreme Court ruling, a spokesperson told ABC News.

The court’s ruling will affect whether former President Donald Trump faces a federal trial this year on four felony counts brought by Smith, including conspiracy to defraud the U.S. and obstruction of an official proceeding, for his attempts to overturn his 2020 election loss to President Joe Biden.

Jul 01, 10:48 AM
Trump reacts to SCOTUS ruling

Former President Donald Trump released a statement about the Supreme Court’s presidential immunity decision in a post on his social media platform.


Jul 01, 10:44 AM
Biden campaign reacts to SCOTUS ruling

A senior Biden campaign advisor released a statement about the court’s ruling on immunity, stating, “Today’s ruling doesn’t change the facts, so let’s be very clear about what happened on January 6: Donald Trump snapped after he lost the 2020 election and encouraged a mob to overthrow the results of a free and fair election.”

The campaign argued that Trump “thinks he’s above the law and is willing to do anything to gain and hold onto power for himself.”

Jul 01, 10:36 AM
Supreme Court rules president has no immunity for unofficial acts

The Supreme Court ruled 6-3 on the immunity case against former President Donald Trump stating, “The President enjoys no immunity for his unofficial acts, and not everything the President does is official.

The ruling, in which all of the liberal justices dissented,” added, “The President is not above the law. But under our system of separated powers, the President may not be prosecuted for exercising his core constitutional powers, and he is entitled to at least presumptive immunity from prosecution for his official acts.”

Jul 01, 9:41 AM
‘It’s a BIG decision,’ Trump says

With the Supreme Court poised to rule in Trump’s presidential immunity case, former President Donald Trump is continuing to push his defense, saying Monday’s decision with be a “big” and “important” one.

“It is a BIG decision, an important decision, a decision which can affect the Success or Failure of our Country for decades to come. We want a GREAT Country, not a weak, withering, and ineffective one. STRONG PRESIDENTIAL IMMUNITY IS A MUST!” Trump posted on his social media platform on Sunday.

Jul 01, 9:35 AM
View from Trump’s legal world ahead of today’s ruling

While Trump’s team is focused on the implications this ruling will have on the Jan. 6 case, they are also particularly interested in how this could affect his other outstanding criminal cases.

Why’s that?

Trump’s lawyers have an outstanding motion to dismiss the Florida classified documents case based on presidential immunity.

While it’s not likely that case will go to trial before the election, the judge in that case, Judge Aileen Cannon, has indicated she wants to wait for the Supreme Court decision before she entertains that motion. And, given her unpredictability, the Trump legal team believes the ruling could give Cannon yet another avenue to throw the case’s future in doubt.

The best case scenario for Trump’s lawyers would be for the Supreme Court to rule he has full immunity for any actions taken while in office, which is not likely. The worst case would be that the justices uphold lower court rulings that said criminal laws apply to ex-presidents like they apply to everyone.

What do they expect? Not a full win for either side.

If the Supreme Court says its mandate could go into effect immediately, Trump’s lawyers expect Judge Tanya Chutkan to get the ball rolling very soon after in the Jan. 6 case and likely schedule a briefing in the next week and a status conference once the mandate is docketed.

There would also likely be action in Florida, where Judge Cannon could move to schedule a briefing or an in-person hearing on the motion to dismiss.

Jul 01, 9:19 AM
‘Disturbing’: What legal experts had to say about immunity arguments

When the justices appeared open to the idea of some level of immunity for former presidents, it was a shock for many veteran court observers.

“It was surprising to hear, at least from some of the justices, the possibility that a president could somehow commit criminal misconduct for which they could never be held liable in court,” said constitutional law expert Michael Gerhardt. “I think that has struck many people as just, up until now, inconceivable.”

One point that stood out to Gerhardt was when Justice Elena Kagan pressed Trump attorney John Sauer if a president could order the military to stage a coup and be immune. Sauer said, in their view, a president could.

“The answer that she got was one of the most disturbing I’ve ever heard at the Supreme Court,” he said.

Read more about reaction to the April arguments here.

Jul 01, 6:41 AM
Five key takeaways from arguments heard in April

The high court in April heard historic arguments on whether former President Donald Trump can be criminally prosecuted related to his efforts to overturn his 2020 election loss.

Trump denies all wrongdoing and insists he should have “absolute immunity” for any “official acts” while in office.

Read the five takeaways from arguments this past April.

Jul 01, 6:35 AM
Court will convene at 10 a.m.

The Supreme Court is expected to convene at 10 a.m. Monday.

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