Trump has some immunity in D.C. election interference case, Supreme Court rules: Highlights (2024)

Table of Contents
Trump’s Georgia election case gets more complications after immunity decision Trump slams Biden after White House remarks on immunity ruling Special counsel isn't planning to ask the Supreme Court to quickly send Trump case back to lower court Trump moves to postpone sentencing and set aside hush money verdict ‘I dissent’: Biden attacks Supreme Court immunity ruling Biden says immunity ruling means there are 'virtually no limits' on presidential power President Biden speaking about the decision Biden to deliver remarks tonight on Trump immunity ruling House Republicans sue Merrick Garland over Biden audiotapes 'Five alarm fire': Immunity ruling raises fears about future lawless presidents Immunity ruling will delay Trump’s Jan. 6 case until after the election Hillary Clinton says she joins Sotomayor in fear for democracy Former Capitol Police officer says court 'stripped the guardrails of democracy' No word from McConnell or Thune today Durbin says Alito and Thomas should have recused themselves from Trump immunity case Thomas suggests he believes special counsel's appointment was illegal: 'A private citizen cannot criminally prosecute anyone' Alina Habba says 'justices made the right decision' Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says she will seek to impeach justices What the immunity decision would mean for evidence in Trump's federal election interference trial Speaker Mike Johnson calls ruling a 'victory' What was it like inside the Supreme Court today? Biden campaign fundraises off Supreme Court immunity ruling Stefanik says immunity decision is a 'historic victory' for the rule of law Hakeem Jeffries says SCOTUS set a "dangerous precedent" Judiciary Committee to "continue to oversee" the judicial system Pelosi says the Supreme Court has 'gone rogue' in it's immunity decision Trump says all criminal and civil cases against him should now be dropped Trump allies praise immunity decision Steve Bannon says ‘I’m proud of going to prison’ as he enters lockup Sen. Blumenthal calls conservative justices ‘nakedly partisan hacks’ in immunity ruling Sen. Vance says decision may 'destroy all of Jack Smith's case' Justice Barrett says Trump still should stand trial Dissent says the president is 'now a king above the law' Steve Bannon arrives at Connecticut prison to begin sentence for defying congressional subpoenas Schumer says it's a 'sad day for our democracy' Donald Trump Jr. says ruling was 'solid' Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene says Supreme Court made the 'right decision' Any official acts can't be used as evidence at trial Roberts argues liberal dissenters are having a 'disproportionate' reaction to immunity ruling In dissent, Jackson lays out process for determining whether president has immunity Jackson argues immunity decision 'breaks new and dangerous ground' Trump praises immunity decision: 'Big win for our Constitution and democracy' In blistering dissent, Sotomayor says immunity decision 'reshapes' presidency Biden campaign says immunity ruling doesn't change what happened on Jan. 6 It's a complicated decision Supreme Court rules Trump has some immunity in federal election interference case, further delaying trial Roberts wrote the Trump immunity decision Protesters outside Supreme Court Second decision is Moody v. NetChoice Without explanation, Trump says immunity decision could have a 'bigger impact' on Biden than him First decision is Corner Post, Inc. v. Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System As expected, there are two boxes of decisions Today's decisions expected soon Former Speaker Nancy Pelosi urges Supreme Court to rule against Trump in immunity claim Where does Trump's election interference case stand? How an appeals court ruled on Trump's immunity Supreme Court set to rule on Trump immunity in election interference case

Trump’s Georgia election case gets more complications after immunity decision

Dareh Gregorian

The Supreme Court’spresidential immunity decisionis expected to add new twists to Fulton County, Georgia, District Attorney Fani Willis’ already stalled racketeering case against Trump and his allies.

The Georgia case, which involves some of the same issues in special counsel Jack Smith’s prosecution of Trump on federal election interference charges, wasofficially paused last monthuntil at least October, when an appeals court will hear arguments from Trump and some of his co-defendants challenging the presiding judge’s decision not to disqualify Willis as prosecutor.

Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee has yet to set a trial date, and one of the motions pending before him is Trump’s bid to get the chargestossed out on presidential immunitygrounds.

Read the full story here.

Trump slams Biden after White House remarks on immunity ruling

Katherine Koretski

Trump said tonight that Biden's remarks from the White House were meant to distract from his performance on the campaign trail.

"Another attack by Crooked Joe Biden against his Political Opponent. This is a really bad and incompetent guy. Wanted to deflect from his horrible campaign performance!" Trump said on his social media site, Truth Social.

Special counsel isn't planning to ask the Supreme Court to quickly send Trump case back to lower court

Ken Dilanian

Reporting from Washington

Special counsel Jack Smith is not, as of now, planning to ask the Supreme Court to move more quickly than usual to issue its official judgment based on today’s ruling.

The final judgment is what triggers the process for the case to get back to the district court. As it stands, the Supreme Court’s mandate will not issue for at least 32 days.

It’s unclear why Smith’s office is not asking for this to happen faster.One interpretation is that either way, there won’t be a trial before the election so there is no longer any time pressure.

Trump moves to postpone sentencing and set aside hush money verdict

Trump has some immunity in D.C. election interference case, Supreme Court rules: Highlights (4)

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Trump has some immunity in D.C. election interference case, Supreme Court rules: Highlights (5)

Adam Reiss

Laura Jarrett

Zoë Richards

Adam Reiss, Laura Jarrett and Zoë Richards

Trump's attorneys in his New York hush money case indicated in a letter to the presiding judge that they want him to postpone sentencing and set aside the trial verdict as a result of the Supreme Court's presidential immunity ruling.

The lawyers said they want to brief state Judge Juan Merchan on the relevance of the high court's immunity decision and an argument that decision confirmed that the Manhattan district attorney should not have been able to offer evidence at trial about Trump’s official acts.

Trump's attorneys are seeking to throw out his conviction on 34 felony counts of falsifying business records and postpone next week’s sentencing, according to two people with direct knowledge of the matter.

News of the motion was first reported by The New York Times.

Trump's attorneys pointed to an element of the Supreme Court opinion that limits what evidence can be used at trial.The motion comes 10 days before Trump is scheduled to be sentenced in the New York trial.

The district attorney’s office declined to comment.

‘I dissent’: Biden attacks Supreme Court immunity ruling

Ginger GibsonSenior Washington Editor

Reporting from Washington

Biden tonight calledthe Supreme Court decisionon presidential immunity “a terrible disservice to the people of this nation.”

“This nation was founded on the principle that there are no kings in America. Each, each of us is equal before the law. No one, no one is above the law, not even the president of the United States. [With] today’s Supreme Court decision on presidential immunity, that fundamentally changed for all practical purposes,” Biden said.

Biden said the decision means there are now “virtually no limits on what the president can do,” a sentiment that echoed the dissents written by the liberal justices on the court.

“I dissent,” Biden said in concluding his brief remarks from the White House.

Read the full story here.

Biden says immunity ruling means there are 'virtually no limits' on presidential power

Zoë Richards

Biden said tonight that the Supreme Court's ruling means there are “virtually no limits” on presidential power.

He said voters deserved to have an answer through the courts before Election Day about what took place on Jan. 6, 2021.

"Now, because of today's decision, that is highly, highly unlikely. It's a terrible disservice to the people of this nation," he said.

Biden added that the high court's ruling means voters in November will be charged with deciding whether they want to elect Trump "now knowing he’ll be more emboldened to do whatever he pleases, whenever he wants to do it."

President Biden speaking about the decision

Ginger GibsonSenior Washington Editor

Biden is beginning to speak in remarks that are expected to be brief and in response to the decision.

Trump hailed the Supreme Court’s immunity ruling, while the White House said that “nobody is above the law” and the country needs leaders like Biden. NBC News’ Hallie Jackson reports.

Biden to deliver remarks tonight on Trump immunity ruling

Tara Prindiville

Zoë Richards

Tara Prindiville and Zoë Richards

The White House this evening said that Biden will deliver remarks at 7:45 p.m. about today's presidential immunity ruling.

Biden was initially scheduled to return to the White House from Camp David, Maryland, after 8 p.m.

House Republicans sue Merrick Garland over Biden audiotapes

Zoë Richards

Across the street from the Supreme Court, the Republican-led House Judiciary Committee today sued Attorney General Merrick Garland as part of its effort to obtain audiotapes from special counsel Robert Hur’s interview of Biden tied to his handling of classified documents.

"Garland violated, and continues to violate, his legal obligation by refusing to produce to the Committee the audio recordings of the Special Counsel’s interviews with President Biden and Mark Zwonitzer when those recordings are not covered by executive privilege, and, even if they were, executive privilege has been waived," House attorneys wrote.

The panel’s lawsuit seeks a court order requiring Garland to produce the audio recordings of Hur's interviews with Biden and Zwonitzer, the ghostwriter of Biden's 2017 memoir.

The panel had previously issued a subpoena to Garland, and the GOP-controlled Housevoted to hold him in contemptlast month for refusing to release the special counsel's recordings. The Justice Department declined to bring contempt charges against Garland.

Biden in May asserted executive privilegeover the recordings with Hur, which were released in transcripts in March.

'Five alarm fire': Immunity ruling raises fears about future lawless presidents

Lawrence HurleySupreme Court reporter

Reporting from Washington

When President Gerald Ford pardoned Richard Nixon in 1974, it was under the assumption that his predecessor could have been prosecuted for his efforts to impede the investigation into the Watergate scandal.

But under the new rule implemented by the Supreme Court today that partially immunized Donald Trump in his election interference case, there may not have been any need for such a pardon.

“Richard Nixon would have had a pass,” John Dean, Nixon’s White House counsel, said on a call with reporters today.

Read the full story here.

Immunity ruling will delay Trump’s Jan. 6 case until after the election

Trump has some immunity in D.C. election interference case, Supreme Court rules: Highlights (10)

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Ryan J. Reilly

Daniel Barnesis reporting from the federal courthouse.

Lawrence HurleySupreme Court reporter

Ryan J. Reilly, Daniel Barnes and Lawrence Hurley

The Supreme Court’spresidential immunity decisionwill further delay Trump’s Washingtoncriminal caserelated to hisefforts to stop the transfer of powerin the lead-up to theJan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, virtually guaranteeing that Trump’s trial won’t start before Election Day.

Instead, the high court’s ruling sets the stage for hearings before U.S. District JudgeTanya Chutkanon what allegations in special counsel Jack Smith’s indictment should be considered official acts and, therefore, potentially immune from prosecution. Her ultimate decisions could then be subjected to further appeal, meaning that a Trump trial is unlikely to happen until well into 2025. If Trump wins in November, a trial is unlikely to happen at all.

Read the full story here.

Hillary Clinton says she joins Sotomayor in fear for democracy

Hillary Clinton reacted to the Supreme Court's immunity ruling on X, writing that she agreed with the final line of Justice Sonia Sotomayor's dissenting opinion: "With fear for our democracy, I dissent."

"It will be up to the American people this November to hold Donald Trump accountable," Clinton said.

Former Capitol Police officer says court 'stripped the guardrails of democracy'

Ryan J. Reilly

Former Capitol Police Sgt. Aquilino Gonell, who was at the Capitol during the Jan. 6 riot, was outside the Supreme Court for the decision today.

In a statement, he said, "The Supreme Court just further stripped the guardrails of democracy. It’s Absurd and dangerous."

He added: "The GOP and right wing leaning Supreme Court have gone rogue, detached from reality and abandoned the truth. If Biden invokes a mob and sends it to attack the Supreme Court/congress, would the GOP accept that or hold Biden accountable?"

Posting a picture on X of an article with the headline "The President Can Now Assassinate You, Officially," he also said, "The Supreme Court failed to recognize that they themselves could be targeted."

No word from McConnell or Thune today

Frank Thorp Vproducer and off-air reporter

Neither Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell nor Senate Minority Whip John Thune has issued a statement since the immunity ruling.

But notably, after McConnell voted to acquit Trump in his second impeachment trial, the Senate GOP leader said “former presidents are not immune from being held accountable”in both criminal and civil courts.

"In the language of today, President Trump is still liable for everything he did while he was in office as an ordinary citizen unless the statute of limitations is run, still liable for everything he did while he was in office," he said. "He didn’t get away with anything yet. Yet. We have a criminal justice system in this country. We have civil litigation. And former presidents are not immune from being accountable by either one."

Durbin says Alito and Thomas should have recused themselves from Trump immunity case

Kathryn Gilroy

Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin condemned Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito for not recusing themselves from the Trump immunity case.

"It is disgraceful that Justice Thomas and Alito brazenly refused to recuse themselves from this case," Durbin said. "As I've said before, the appearance of impropriety or partiality require recusal. Until Chief Justice Roberts uses his existing authority to enact an enforceable code of conduct, I will continue to push to pass the Supreme Court Ethics, Recusal, and Transparency Act."

Democrats had called for Alito to recuse himself from two Trump-related cases over two controversial flags that were flown outside his homes in Virginia and New Jersey. Calls for Thomas to recuse himself from the cases center on trips he took that were paid for by billionaire GOP donor Harlan Crow and that he failed to disclose on his financial forms. Both justices declined to step aside.

Thomas has also for years faced criticism over the political activism of his wife, Ginni Thomas.

Thomas suggests he believes special counsel's appointment was illegal: 'A private citizen cannot criminally prosecute anyone'

Ken Dilanian

In his concurrence, Justice Clarence Thomas weighs in on the question argued before Judge Aileen Cannon the other day: whether Jack Smith’s appointment was legal.Thomas strongly suggested he believes that it was not, in part because no law establishes the current office of special counsel.

"I write separately to highlight another way in which this prosecution may violate our constitutional structure," Thomas wrote. "In this case, the Attorney General purported to appoint a private citizen as Special Counsel to prosecute a former President on behalf of the United States. But, I am not sure that any office for the Special Counsel has been 'established by Law,' as the Constitution requires."

He added that "if there is no law establishing the office that the Special Counsel occupies, then he cannot proceed with this prosecution. A private citizen cannot criminally prosecute anyone, let alone a former President."

Alina Habba says 'justices made the right decision'

Kathryn Gilroy

Trump legal spokesperson Alina Habba said on Fox News that she thinks "that the justices made the right decision" and that the "American people think that these cases should have never existed."

Citing Nixon v. Fitzgerald, Habba said that "absolute immunity is important for all presidents. I’ve said it time and time again. I’ve argued on immunity for President Trump, and I think they did get right that they recognize absolute immunity exists."

She added: “It is a good day when court rest recognizes constitutional rights of presidents and the executive branch, but we should never have been in this situation to start with. This is a disgrace to America,” and “it’s election interference at its finest.”

Habba also said she doesn't "see how this case could go forward before the election."

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says she will seek to impeach justices

Elleiana GreenElleiana Green is a Digital Politics intern with NBC News

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., said in a statement posted to X that today's Supreme Court ruling is an "assault on American democracy" and that she intends to file articles of impeachment.

"The Supreme Court has become consumed by a corruption crisis beyond its control," she added.

She did not say which justices she intends to target — six voted with the majority.

The House is controlled by Republicans, meaning her effort is unlikely to get traction.

What the immunity decision would mean for evidence in Trump's federal election interference trial

Daniel Barnesis reporting from the federal courthouse.

Today’s decision sets out a lot of rules about what evidence can or cannot be used in Trump’s election interference trial, assuming we ever get there.

As part of today’s ruling, the court held if a certain allegation in the indictment is determined to be an “official act,” prosecutors cannot introduce “testimony or private records of the President probing the official act itself.”

However, the court has left a narrow path for prosecutors to show jurors evidence of official acts if, and only if, that evidence can be found in the public record.

“But of course the prosecutor may point to the public record to show the fact that the President performed the official act,” Roberts writes. “And the prosecutor may admit evidence of what the President allegedly demanded, received, accepted, or agreed to receive or accept in return for being influenced in the performance of the act.”

So if there is a video of Trump speaking to the media or otherwise discussing any of the acts in the indictment — such as the call pressuring Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to overturn Biden's win — those statements could be introduced as evidence.

What prosecutors would not be able to do is put someone like Mark Meadows or another presidential adviser on the witness stand and have them tell jurors about their discussions with Trump.

Speaker Mike Johnson calls ruling a 'victory'

Kathryn Gilroy

House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La, said “today’s ruling by the Court is a victory for former President Trump and all future presidents, and another defeat for President Biden’s weaponized Department of Justice and Jack Smith.”

He adds in a statement: "The Court clearly stated that presidents are entitled to immunity for their official acts. This decision is based on the obviously unique power and position of the presidency, and comports with the Constitution and common sense. As President Trump has repeatedly said, the American people, not President Biden’s bureaucrats, will decide the November 5th election.”

What was it like inside the Supreme Court today?

Trump has some immunity in D.C. election interference case, Supreme Court rules: Highlights (17)
Trump has some immunity in D.C. election interference case, Supreme Court rules: Highlights (18)

Gary Grumbach

Rebecca Shabad

Gary Grumbach and Rebecca Shabad

When Chief Justice John Roberts announced that he had the opinion in the Trump immunity case, nearly everyone in the courtroom gallery was on the edge of their seats.

All eight present justices (Justice Neil Gorsuch was absent today) were looking ahead into the gallery during the introduction of the opinion.

Roberts ticked through the various official duties of a president, including commanding the nation’s armed forces, to appoint judges — even on this court, he said — and to oversee international diplomacy.

“Not all the actions that the president takes are within the exclusive theater” of official duties, Roberts said, but the ones that are must be protected. “The president must be able to govern” without risk of prosecution or imprisonment, Roberts said.

“No immunity,” Roberts said, “applies to the president’s unofficial conduct.” That line, however, is clearly where the justices in the majority stopped. “Drawing that decision can be difficult,” he said, lamenting that neither the district court nor appeals court provided guidance on how to distinguish between official and unofficial conduct.

Roberts listed seven reasons why the court made the decision it did, including what he called a lack of precedent, that the “issues are quite difficult,” and that lower courts did not provide the above guidance.

Roberts then prebutted Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s dissent, saying that the minority dissenters believe today’s decision will lead to “dire consequences.” If they did not make the decision they did today, Roberts said that “the end result would be an executive branch that cannibalizes itself.”

“The president is not above the law,” Roberts said as he wrapped up his majority opinion read.

During Sotomayor’s dissent, Justice Clarence Thomas seemed to have a hard time keeping his eyes open, and at times was leaning so far back in his chair, it appeared to be testing the limits of the chair’s flexibility. Roberts and Samuel Alito were reading along with Sotomayor, while Alito, Elena Kagan, Ketanji Brown Jackson and Brett Kavanaugh were looking into and around the gallery.

A “president’s use of any official power for any purpose, even the most corrupt purpose,” is now almost certain to be immune from prosecution, Sotomayor said. “The majority invents immunity through brute force.”

She then took the court through a few examples of actions she believes the president can now take, with this newfound-immunity. Order the Navy Seal Team Six to assassinate a political rival? “Immune. He’s the commander-in-chief,” she said with snark.

“With fear for our democracy, I along with the framers, dissent," she said.

Biden campaign fundraises off Supreme Court immunity ruling

Sahil Kapur

Reporting from Washington

In a new fundraising email a few hours after the immunity ruling, the Biden campaign wrote to supporters: "If Trump wins again, he’ll be even more dangerous and unhinged because he knows the courts won’t hold him back."

The campaign wrote that the "Supreme Court just granted Donald Trump breathtaking immunity from prosecution," and added: "We cannot overstate how unprecedented this ruling is. One of the dissenting opinions states if the president '[o]rders the Navy’s Seal Team 6 to assassinate a political rival' they will be 'Immune'" — quoting Justice Sonia Sotomayor's dissent.

The email encouraged recipients to donate, providing links to do so.

Stefanik says immunity decision is a 'historic victory' for the rule of law

Elleiana GreenElleiana Green is a Digital Politics intern with NBC News

Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y. and a Trump vice president contender, said the president "must have immunity" in order for a presidency to "function properly" in a statement posted on X.

She added, "Today's Supreme Court decision is a historic victory for President Donald Trump, the Constitution, the rule of law, and the American people."

Hakeem Jeffries says SCOTUS set a "dangerous precedent"

Kathryn Gilroy

House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., said in a press release that "no one, including the twice-impeached former President, should be above the law. The Constitution is sacredly obligatory upon all. That’s what makes America special. "

He adds "Today’s Supreme Court decision to grant legal immunity to a former President for crimes committed using his official power sets a dangerous precedent for the future of our nation. The Framers of the Constitution envisioned a democracy governed by the rule of law and the consent of the American people. They did not intend for our nation to be ruled by a king or monarch who could act with absolute impunity. House Democrats will engage in aggressive oversight and legislative activity with respect to the Supreme Court to ensure that the extreme, far-right justices in the majority are brought into compliance with the Constitution."

Judiciary Committee to "continue to oversee" the judicial system

Kathryn Gilroy

Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, who is chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said on X that "the Judiciary Committee will continue to oversee dangerous lawfare tactics in our judicial system."

He added that "hyper-partisan prosecutors like Jack Smith cannot weaponize the rule of law to go after the Administration's chief political rival, and we hope that the Left will stop its attacks on President Trump and uphold democratic norms."

Pelosi says the Supreme Court has 'gone rogue' in it's immunity decision

Elleiana GreenElleiana Green is a Digital Politics intern with NBC News

In a press release, Rep. Nancy Pelosi said the Supreme Court's credibility has been "further diminished in the eyes of all those who believe in the rule of law.”

The Supreme Court has "gone rogue" as the "claim of total presidential immunity is an insult to the vision of our founders, who declared independence from a King," she said.

Trump says all criminal and civil cases against him should now be dropped

Ginger GibsonSenior Washington Editor

Basking in a win at the Supreme Court, Trump said all of the cases against him should now be dropped, including a civil case that covered business practices from before he took office.

He continued to assert that Biden is behind the prosecutions he faces, a point he frequently makes with no evidence to back it up.

“Today’s Historic Decision by the Supreme Court should end all of Crooked Joe Biden’s Witch Hunts against me, including the New York Hoaxes — The Manhattan SCAM cooked up by Soros backed D.A., Alvin Bragg, Racist New York Attorney General Tish James’ shameless ATTACK on the amazing business that I have built, and the FAKE Bergdorf’s 'case,'" Trump wrote on his social media page Truth Social, adding in all capital letters: "Proud to be an American."

Trump allies praise immunity decision

Kathryn Gilroy

Former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson responded on X, saying, "Today’s HISTORIC SCOTUS victory on presidential immunity has stopped Biden and the Department of 'Justice' from their attempt to twist the law in order to persecute his political opponents."

He added that "they know they can’t beat him at the ballot box so they tried to tie him up in their campaign of lawfare. Luckily, SCOTUS held the line against tyranny showing that America is still a country that upholds the rule of law.”

Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., posted on X that "the Supreme Court isn't 'protecting Trump.' SCOTUS is simply ensuring the ruthless Biden admin follows the RULE OF LAW!"

Steve Bannon says ‘I’m proud of going to prison’ as he enters lockup

Summer Concepcion

Shortly before reporting to prison on a four-month sentence for defying congressional subpoenas, Bannon said his imprisonment makes him a “political prisoner” of Democrats.

“I’m a political prisoner of Nancy Pelosi. I’m a political prisoner of Merrick Garland. I’m a political prisoner of Joe Biden, the corrupt Biden establishment,” he said in remarks to reporters in front of the prison.

“It’s Nancy Pelosi and Merrick Garland that made me a martyr, right?” he continued. “But martyrs die, and I’m far from dead, baby.”

Bannon said he is “proud" to serve his prison sentence, arguing that he is standing up to “tyranny” by Democrats.

“I am proud to go to prison. If this is what it takes to stand up to tyranny, if this is what it takes to stand up to the Garland corrupt criminal DOJ, if this is what it takes to stand up to Nancy Pelosi, if this is what it takes to stand up to Joe Biden, I’m proud to do it,” he said.

Bannon also decried Trump’s sentencing on all 34 courts in his hush money trial in New York on July 11, saying that his own four-month prison sentence is “nothing” compared to Trump’s “very sham trial.”

Sen. Blumenthal calls conservative justices ‘nakedly partisan hacks’ in immunity ruling

Sahil Kapur

Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., said the Supreme Court has “put lawbreaking presidents like Donald Trump above the law” in what he called a “cravenly political decision to shield President Trump” and delay his criminal trial.

In a statement, Blumenthal, a senior member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said the ruling bestows “an unwise and unjust broad shield for him and other presidents who flout and flagrantly abuse their office.”

“This is a license for authoritarianism,” he said. “My stomach turns with fear and anger that our democracy can be so endangered by an out-of-control Court. The members of Court’s conservative majority will now be rightly perceived by the American people as extreme and nakedly partisan hacks — politicians in robes.”

Sen. Vance says decision may 'destroy all of Jack Smith's case'

Kathryn Gilroy

Sen. JD Vance, R-Ohio and a Trump vice president contender, posted on X that the ruling was "a massive win, not just for Trump but the rule of law."

He continued saying, "I'm still digesting but this may well destroy all of Jack Smith's case against the president."

Justice Barrett says Trump still should stand trial

Trump has some immunity in D.C. election interference case, Supreme Court rules: Highlights (25)

Alana Satlin

Justice Amy Coney Barrett issued a concurring opinion, agreeing with the majority that Trump has some immunity from prosecution but that the decision shouldn't get in the way of his standing trial.

"A President facing prosecution may challenge the constitutionality of a criminal statute as applied to official acts alleged in the indictment,”she said, noting that the court rejected Trump's broader immunity claims. “If that challenge fails, however, he must stand trial."

She also said she agreed with the dissent's opinion that immune conduct should still be allowed to be used as evidence in his trial.

"I appreciate the [majority's] concern that allowing into evidence official acts for which the President cannot be held criminally liable may prejudice the jury," but, "the Constitution does not require blinding juries to the circ*mstances surrounding conduct for which Presidents can be held liable."

Dissent says the president is 'now a king above the law'

Trump has some immunity in D.C. election interference case, Supreme Court rules: Highlights (26)

Alana Satlin

Another scathing line from Sotomayor's dissent:

Let the President violate the law, let him exploit the trappings of his office for personal gain, let him use his official power for evil ends. Because if he knew that he may one day face liability for breaking the law, he might not be as bold and fearless as we would like him to be. That is the majority’s message today. Even if these nightmare scenarios never play out, and I pray they never do, the damage has been done. The relationship between the President and the people he serves has shifted irrevocably. In every use of official power, the President is now a king above the law.

Steve Bannon arrives at Connecticut prison to begin sentence for defying congressional subpoenas

Trump has some immunity in D.C. election interference case, Supreme Court rules: Highlights (27)

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Summer Concepcion

Vaughn Hillyard

Andy Weir

Summer Concepcion, Vaughn Hillyard and Andy Weir

Steve Bannon has arrived to report to prison at Danbury, Connecticut. Supporters standing outside of the prison chanted his name upon his arrival.

Bannon, an ally of Trump who has pushed his baseless claims of a rigged 2020 election, was sentenced to four months in prison for refusing to comply with subpoenas from the House Jan. 6 committee, which requested his testimony in its probe into the Capitol attack on Jan. 6, 2021.

Bannon told NBC News that he is set to be released from prison Oct. 31, the week before the November presidential election.

Schumer says it's a 'sad day for our democracy'

Elleiana GreenElleiana Green is a Digital Politics intern with NBC News

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said "This is a sad day for America and a sad day for our democracy," in a statement posted to X.

A “disgraceful decision” by the Supreme Court, Schumer said the decision will allow the former President to “weaken our democracy by breaking the law.”

Schumer added, "Treason or incitement of an insurrection should not be considered a core constitutional power afforded to a president."


Donald Trump Jr. says ruling was 'solid'

Kathryn Gilroy

Former President Donald Trumps oldest son, Donald Trump Jr., posted on Truth Social after the Supreme Court ruling.

"Solid SCOTUS ruling today. I'm sure the corrupt prosecutors and Dc judge will work overtime to continue their lawfare. It's all they have left."

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene says Supreme Court made the 'right decision'

Elleiana GreenElleiana Green is a Digital Politics intern with NBC News

Awaiting Steve Bannon's arrival at federal prison in Danbury, Conn., Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene told NBC News that the Supreme Court made the "right decision" in Trump's immunity case. She also said special counsel Jack Smith should be "defunded."

Any official acts can't be used as evidence at trial

Ginger GibsonSenior Washington Editor

In writing his decision, Roberts made clear that anything the lower court determines to be an "official act" cannot be used as evidence in a criminal trial — meaning it's entirely off limits to prosecutors even if it would corroborate evidence deemed unofficial.

"Presidents cannot be indicted based on conduct for which they are immune from prosecution. On remand, the District Court must carefully analyze the indictment’s remaining allegations to determine whether they too involve conduct for which a President must be immune from prosecution," Roberts wrote. "And the parties and the District Court must ensure that sufficient allegations support the indictment’s charges without such conduct. Testimony or private records of the President or his advisers probing such conduct may not be admitted as evidence at trial."

Roberts argues liberal dissenters are having a 'disproportionate' reaction to immunity ruling

Daniel Arkin

Chief Justice John Roberts, writing in his majority opinion,appeared to argue that the liberal justices overreacted to the court’s decision in their dissents.

"As for the dissents, they strike a tone of chilling doom that is wholly disproportionate to what the Court actually does today," Roberts wrote.

The three justices who make up the court's liberal bloc — Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan and Ketanji Brown Jackson — all dissented from the court's majority opinion and argued that it created a dangerous new precedent for American presidents.

Sotomayor, for example, wrote that she lodged her dissent “with fear for our democracy."

In dissent, Jackson lays out process for determining whether president has immunity

Daniel Arkin

In her dissent, Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson appeared to run through the process by which the U.S. legal system could decide whether a president has immunity, based on the language of the majority opinion in Trump v. U.S.

"From the structure of the paradigm, it appears that the first decision point is whether the alleged criminal conduct involves one of the President’s 'core' powers," Jackson wrote. "If so (and apparently regardless of the degree to which the conduct implicates that core power), the President is absolutely immune from criminal liability for engaging in that criminal conduct. If not, then one must proceed to consider whether the conduct qualifies as an 'official' act or 'unofficial' act of that President."

"If the crime is an official act, the President is presumptively immune from criminal prosecution and punishment," Jackson added. "But even then, immunity still hinges on whether there is any legal or factual basis for concluding that the presumption of immunity has been rebutted. Alternatively, if the charged conduct is an unofficial act (a determination that, incidentally, courts must make without considering the President’s motivations, ante, at 18), the President is not immune."

Jackson argues immunity decision 'breaks new and dangerous ground'

Daniel Arkin

Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, in her dissent, accused the conservative justices who wrote the majority opinion in Trump v. U.S. of breaking "new and dangerous ground," departing from what she characterized as a tradition of "individual accountability."

"With that understanding of how our system of accountability for criminal acts ordinarily functions, it becomes much easier to see that the majority’s ruling in this case breaks new and dangerous ground," Jackson wrote.

"Departing from the traditional model of individual accountability, the majority has concocted something entirely different: a Presidential accountability model that creates immunity — an exemption from criminal law— applicable only to the most powerful official in our Government," she added.

She goes on later in the dissent to say, "even a hypothetical President who admits to having ordered the assassinations of his political rivals or critics, or one who indisputably instigates an unsuccessful coup, has a fair shot at getting immunity under the majority’s new Presidential accountability model."

Trump praises immunity decision: 'Big win for our Constitution and democracy'

Summer Concepcion

Minutes after the Supreme Court ruled that he has some immunity in his federal election case, Trump took to his Truth Social platform to tout the ruling.

"Big win for our Constitution and democracy. Proud to be an American!" Trump wrote in all caps.

In blistering dissent, Sotomayor says immunity decision 'reshapes' presidency

Daniel Arkin

In an impassioned dissent, Justice Sonia Sotomayor blasted the court's majority decision in Trump v. U.S., writing in part that the opinion permanently changes the nature of the American presidency.

"Today’s decision to grant former Presidents criminal immunity reshapes the institution of the Presidency," Sotomayor wrote. "It makes a mockery of the principle, foundational to our Constitution and system of Government, that no man is above the law. Relying on little more than its own misguided wisdom about the need for 'bold and unhesitating action' by the President, ante, at 3, 13, the Court gives former President Trump all the immunity he asked for and more."

"Because our Constitution does not shield a former President from answering for criminal and treasonous acts, I dissent," Sotomayor added.

She added in her opinion, “The indictment paints a stark portrait of a President desperate to stay in power.”

Biden campaign says immunity ruling doesn't change what happened on Jan. 6

Trump has some immunity in D.C. election interference case, Supreme Court rules: Highlights (36)
Trump has some immunity in D.C. election interference case, Supreme Court rules: Highlights (37)
Trump has some immunity in D.C. election interference case, Supreme Court rules: Highlights (38)

Gabe Gutierrez

Rebecca Shabad

Gabe Gutierrez and Rebecca Shabad

A senior Biden campaign adviser said that today's ruling "doesn't change the facts" about what happened on Jan. 6, 2021.

"Donald Trump snapped after he lost the 2020 election and encouraged a mob to overthrow the results of a free and fair election," the adviser said. "Trump is already running for president as a convicted felon for the very same reason he sat idly by while the mob violently attacked the Capitol: he thinks he’s above the law and is willing to do anything to gain and hold onto power for himself."

The adviser said that Trump "has only grown more unhinged" since Jan. 6.

“He’s promising to be a dictator ‘on day one,’ calling for our Constitution to be ‘terminated’ so he can regain power, and promising a “bloodbath” if he loses," the adviser said. "The American people already rejected Donald Trump’s self-obsessed quest for power once — Joe Biden will make sure they reject it for good in November.”

It's a complicated decision

Ginger GibsonSenior Washington Editor

This isn't like some Supreme Court decisions we see come down where it is immediately clear what the outcome will mean.

There will be a lot of reading and explaining before the whole scope of the decision is clear.

Supreme Court rules Trump has some immunity in federal election interference case, further delaying trial

Lawrence HurleySupreme Court reporter

Reporting from the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court on Monday ruled that Donald Trump has immunity for some of his alleged conduct as president in his federal election interference case but maybe not for other actions, adding another obstacle to a trial taking place.

In a novel and potentially consequential case on the limits of presidential power, the justices rejected Trump’s broad claim of immunity, meaning the charges will not be dismissed, but said some actions closely related to his core duties as president are off-limits to prosecutors.

Read more about the decision here.

Roberts wrote the Trump immunity decision

Daniel Arkin

Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the majority decision in the Trump immunity ruling.

It's a complicated ruling — attempting to draw a line between official and unofficial acts.

"This case poses a question of lasting significance: When may a former President be prosecuted for official acts taken during his Presidency? In answering that question, unlike the political branches and the public at large, the Court cannot afford to fixate exclusively, or even primarily, on present exigencies. Enduring separation of powers principles guide our decision in this case. The President enjoys no immunity for his unofficial acts, and not everything the President does is official. 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. That immunity applies equally to all occupants of the Oval Office," Roberts wrote.

Protesters outside Supreme Court

Protesters gather outside the Supreme Court ahead of a decision on Trump’s claim of immunity from criminal prosecution.

Trump has some immunity in D.C. election interference case, Supreme Court rules: Highlights (43)
Trump has some immunity in D.C. election interference case, Supreme Court rules: Highlights (44)

Second decision is Moody v. NetChoice

Daniel Arkin

The second decision of the day, announced just after 10:20 a.m. ET, is a ruling in Moody v. NetChoice. Justice Elena Kagan wrote the majority opinion, which was 9-0.

“Our unanimous agreement regarding NetChoice’s failure to show that a sufficient number of its members engage in constitutionally protected expression prevents us from accepting NetChoice’s argument regarding these provisions. In the lower courts, NetChoice did not even try to show how these disclosure provisions chill each platform’s speech," Kagan wrote.

Without explanation, Trump says immunity decision could have a 'bigger impact' on Biden than him

Jake Traylor

In a pretaped interview with radio host John Fredericks that aired this morning, Trump said he thinks the immunity ruling will have "a bigger impact on Joe Biden" than himself.

“You know, the immunity statement that’s coming out, they say on Sunday, on Monday, that is going to be very interesting to see what happens, but I think it has a bigger impact on Joe Biden than it has on me, actually,” Trump said, without explaining.

Trump has suggested that if he returns to office, he could prosecute Biden or other political foes.

Asked what he thinks will happen at his hush money sentencing hearing next week, Trump said he believes “there should be no sentence.” He was found guilty in May of 34 counts of falsifying business records and faces a range of possible sentences, including probation, a fine or prison time.

Trump also spoke about Biden staying in the race and said people are saying they “can’t get him out” but could maybe use the 25thamendment if necessary.

First decision is Corner Post, Inc. v. Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System

Rebecca Shabad

The first decision released just after 10 a.m. is Corner Post, Inc. v. Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. It's a 6-3 decision written by Justice Barrett.

As expected, there are two boxes of decisions

Rebecca Shabad

There are two boxes of decisions in the Supreme Court press room, which was expected.

The Supreme Court’s decision to rule in favor of a Jan. 6 rioter could be seen as a win for former Donald Trump’s base, but it may have the opposite effect on independent voters in battleground states. NBC News’ Kristen Welker and Danny Cevallos analyze the implications on the 2024 election.

Today's decisions expected soon

Daniel Arkin

It's 10 a.m. ET, which means today's Supreme Court rulings will start coming in shortly. We're expecting three decisions today, including an opinion in the high-stakes Trump immunity case.

Former Speaker Nancy Pelosi urges Supreme Court to rule against Trump in immunity claim

Alexandra Marquez

Former Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sunday said she hoped the court would rule against Trump’s claim of immunity, telling MSNBC’s Jen Psaki, “If the court tomorrow says that the former president is above the law, they will have done a grave disservice to justice in our country.”

She added, “Let us hope that they ... show us some allegiance to their oath of office to support and defend the Constitution of the United States, and that just because you’re president doesn’t mean you’re immune from prosecution if you break the law.”

Where does Trump's election interference case stand?

Megan Lebowitz

Trump's election interference trial could be delayed until after the November election, depending on how the justices rule this morning.

The Supreme Court could send the case to a lower court for decisions about which of Trump's actions could be considered official acts, which would further delay the case.

If a trial is delayed until after the election and Trump is re-elected, there are questions about whether he would pardon himself.

How an appeals court ruled on Trump's immunity

Megan Lebowitz

A federal appeals court in February ruled against Trump's argument that he was immune from prosecution for alleged acts while president.

The court noted that "former President Trump has become citizen Trump," dismissing Trump's assertion that former presidents have immunity.

"But any executive immunity that may have protected him while he served as President no longer protects him against this prosecution," the appeals court said.

Supreme Court set to rule on Trump immunity in election interference case

Lawrence HurleySupreme Court reporter

The Supreme Court on Monday is expected to issue its long-anticipated ruling on whether former President Donald Trump can claim immunity from prosecution for at least some of his actions in seeking to overturn the 2020 election.

Chief Justice John Roberts announced Friday that Monday would be the last day of rulings in the current nine-month court term, with the Trump case one of four yet to be decided.

The rulings will be issued one by one, starting at 10 a.m., with the Trump case likely to be the last.

The court has already faced fierce criticism from the left — both for hearing the Trump case in the first place, thereby preventing a trial from taking place in March, and for taking so long to decide it, making it difficult if not impossible for a trial to begin before the election.

Trump faces a four-count indictment for his efforts to overturn the 2020 election that culminated in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol, in which a mob of his supporters sought to prevent Congress from certifying President Joe Biden’s election.

Read the full story here.

Trump has some immunity in D.C. election interference case, Supreme Court rules: Highlights (2024)
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