CLC Responds to U.S. Supreme Court decision in Trump v. United States

Washington, D.C. – The U.S. Supreme Court today ruled that a President is immune from criminal prosecution based on any exercise of his “core” presidential powers, even if his goal was to overturn a lawful election. 

The Court majority thus made clear that any corrupt order given to the Department of Justice is immune – and it presumably follows that a President is free as well to give any order to the military, however criminal, without fear of prosecution. 

The Court did rule that Trump can still be prosecuted for some official acts, and for any “unofficial acts.” That means that some parts of the pending federal indictment against Trump in D.C. may survive. But there will first need to be months if not years of judicial work to sort out precisely which criminal charges, if any, remain permissible.   

Paul M. Smith, senior vice president of Campaign Legal Center, released the following statement:

"Our democracy depends on the rule of law. That means that any elected officials who intentionally abuse their powers, especially in an effort to undermine democratic accountability, should be held accountable. That includes the President of the United States. 

"The U.S. Supreme Court had an opportunity to make it clear that no one is above the law. Instead, it has paved the way for an extremely dangerous new form of government, unprecedented in the history of our nation, by immunizing vast swaths of illegal and harmful presidential conduct from prosecution.

"In the meantime, the Court’s ruling makes it highly unlikely that a trial for the former President will occur before Election Day, depriving voters of the right to know whether someone running in the 2024 presidential election is guilty of attempting to overthrow the last one. But the long-term consequences of this ruling go far beyond 2024 and our current controversies."