Presidents Have Absolute Immunity on Core Constitutional Powers

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The Supreme Court ruled Monday in Trump v. United States that a former president has substantial immunity from prosecution for official acts committed in office. However, not for unofficial acts.

The Court sent the matter back to a lower court. The justices did not apply the ruling to whether or not former President Trump is immune from prosecution regarding actions related to alleged efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election.

Jonathan Turley


The question stemmed from Special Counsel Jack Smith’s federal election interference case in charging President Trump with conspiracy to defraud the United States. The charges are conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, obstruction of an attempt to obstruct an official proceeding, and conspiracy against rights.

Those charges stem from Smith’s months-long investigation into whether Trump was involved in the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot and any alleged interference in the 2020 election result.

Trump pleaded not guilty to all charges. He argued he should be immune from prosecution for official acts committed by the president of the United States.

It was the usual 6-3 decision in a matter like this.


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