Schumer plans to strip Trump of immunity following SCOTUS ruling

Jul 10, 2024 | Latest News | 0 comments

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Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., announced plans to draft legislation allowing former President Trump to be held accountable for behavior following the 2020 election.

Schumer said his proposed bill will classify Trump’s actions related to challenging the results of the 2020 election “unofficial,” thereby removing the immunity protections granted under a recent Supreme Court ruling.

The ruling, handed down July 2, concluded that a president retains substantial prosecutorial immunity for official acts committed in office.

“American democracy stands today at a perilous crossroads,” Schumer said in recent Senate floor remarks. referring to Trump’s behavior as “election subversion acts.” 

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“[The Supreme Court] incorrectly declared that former President Donald Trump enjoys broad immunity from criminal prosecution for actions he took while in office.”

Schumer went on to compare Trump to former President Richard Nixon, claiming the court agreed with the iconic defense Nixon gave journalist David Frost in 1977.

“When the president does it, that means it’s not illegal,” Schumer recalled.

“We were all taught in grade school that there are no kings here in America, but what the conservative justices have done is effectively place a crown on Donald Trump’s head,” he went on.

He went on to predict if Trump is elected, the Supreme Court will only continue to hand down “disastrous rulings” and that Jan. 6, 2021, will be seen as the starting point for chaos in the U.S.

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“Donald Trump and the MAGA right will plunge our country into an abyss of extremism the vast majority of Americans oppose and which America has really never seen.”

A request for further comment from Schumer was not returned. 

Brian Hughes, a senior adviser to Trump’s campaign, ripped Schumer’s announcement, saying he, like all “Biden Democrats,” will do whatever it takes to “weaponize” the legal system against the Republican nominee.

“Working against the Constitution to undermine the independence of the Supreme Court is simply the latest proposal that demonstrates this corrupt and deranged fact,” Hughes said.

“SCOTUS rightly protected the powers of the president – all presidents, not just Donald Trump – which is fundamental to the balance of power between the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government.”

While any bill text could not be found on Congress’ official website as of yet, Schumer’s plans were preceded by other top Democrats’ bills that appeared to respond to Trump’s actions in office.

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., who is now the state’s U.S. Senate nominee, drafted a comprehensive bill in July 2023 called the Protecting Our Democracy Act.

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The 225-page bill addressed issues including congressional oversight of presidential pardons, a focus on presidential “emoluments” and a section entitled “Ensuring No President is Above the Law.”

Another Democrat, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, also previously drafted legislation regarding Supreme Court criticisms.

During the announcement of that bill, he said he believes the bench “has been captured by special interests – much like a railroad commission in the 1890s might have been captured by railroad barons to decide things their way.”

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