Supreme Court Will Likely Send Trump Presidential Immunity Case to Lower Courts, Lindsey Graham Says

Supreme Court Will Likely Send Trump Presidential Immunity Case to Lower Courts, Lindsey Graham Says
Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court pose for their official photo at the Supreme Court in Washington on Oct. 7, 2022. (Front L–R) Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Clarence Thomas, Chief Justice John Roberts, Justices Samuel Alito and Justice Elena Kagan. (Back L–R) Justices Amy Coney Barrett, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Ketanji Brown Jackson. (Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images)

The U.S. Supreme Court will likely send former President Donald Trump’s presidential immunity case back to the lower courts for further review, said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Sunday

The nation’s highest court last week heard arguments made by President Trump’s lawyers and special counsel Jack Smith’s team regarding whether the 45th president should be declared immune from prosecution in connection to Mr. Smith’s election case. President Trump has argued that he should enjoy absolute immunity from prosecution, while the special counsel says otherwise.

Some conservative-leaning justices appeared to lean toward either agreeing with at least some of President Trump’s arguments, while others, including Chief Justice John Roberts, suggested that the case be sent back to an appeals court in Washington. Earlier this year, a panel of judges on that court rejected the former president’s arguments, setting up his appeal to the Supreme Court.

Mr. Graham, who is also a lawyer, said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union” that he believes the high court is “gonna find that presidential immunity exists for President Trump like every other president, but you’ve got to be within the scope of being president. I think they’ll send it back to the lower courts to find out exactly what actions fall within presidential immunity and what are considered personal.”

“I think that’s the way this will end—there will be some immunity for some of the actions,” Mr. Graham said.

The South Carolina senator said he believes “there’s no absolute immunity in the Constitution,” adding, “You know, we don’t become a banana republic here.”

“We prosecute, you know, our political opponents, which is going on really in many jurisdictions,” he continued. “But I think the immunity question will be decided partially for Trump and some legal, some factual analysis as to when and where it applies.”

Chief Justice Roberts suggested last week that he was unconvinced by arguments fielded by judges in the Washington appeals court’s ruling. “As I read it, it says simply a former president can be prosecuted because he’s being prosecuted,” he said.

Meanwhile, in Mr. Graham’s interview, the senator was critical of the four cases against President Trump, including the New York City trial that is centering on allegations that his campaign had falsified business records in 2016. He described the cases as “political” and said Americans would see through it and instead focus on issues closer to them.

“So I think most Americans are not going to decide how to vote based on Trump’s legal troubles, but their troubles they face—inflation, crime or broken border—your poll tells me everything I need to know about these legal problems for Trump,” he added. “People are looking at their problems, not Trump’s legal problems.”

The 2024 president hopeful must remain in a Manhattan court every day the trial is in session, the judge has said. President Trump, who is also subject to a partial gag order, has said the case is politicized, meant to keep him quiet, and keep him off the campaign trail for president, where he is the presumptive Republican nominee.

Lindsey Graham
Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) speaks during a press conference held by members of a bipartisan group of U.S. Senators in Tel Aviv, Israel, on Oct. 22, 2023. (Gil Cohen-Magen/AFP via Getty Images)

In the meantime, President Trump has not had a campaign rally since the trial started, although two are planned for next week in the battleground states of Michigan and Wisconsin. An incoming storm forced him to abruptly postpone a North Carolina rally on April 20. On his one day off from the trial this week he played golf.

The former president has taken to Truth Social, his social media platform where he has just shy of 7 million followers, to call the trial a “witch hunt” and election interference while accusing the judge of being conflicted.

Last week, several witnesses offered testimony in the trial, including a former Trump assistant, a bank official, and former National Enquirer publisher David Pecker.

He faces criminal charges in New York of falsifying business records to cover up a hush money payment made by his lawyer at the time to adult performer Stephanie Clifford, also known as Stormy Daniels, a move prosecutors claim was meant to influence the 2016 election. The former president has denied her allegations that they engaged in an extramarital affair a decade earlier and has pleaded not guilty, saying the payments were normal legal expenses.

Trump campaign spokesperson Karoline Leavitt predicted the case would backfire.

“As this witch-hunt continues, President Trump’s support from Americans of all backgrounds will continue to grow as they watch Joe Biden and the Democrats put on this bogus show trial six months before the election,” she told Reuters this weekend.

Reuters contributed to this report.

From The Epoch Times

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