July 13, 2024

Biden condemns Supreme Court’s ruling on Trump immunity case

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President Biden condemned the Supreme Court’s landmark decision that former President Donald Trump is immune from prosecution for official acts he took while in office, saying it “almost certainly means that there are virtually no limits on what the president can do.” 

“This is a fundamentally new principle and it’s a dangerous precedent, because the power of the office will no longer be constrained by the law, even including the Supreme Court of the United States,” Mr. Biden said Monday in brief remarks from the White House. “The only limits will be self-imposed by the president alone.” 

The Supreme Court’s decision fell along ideological lines, with the six Republican-appointed justices concluding that former presidents have sweeping legal protections from charges for alleged acts that fell within their official duties. But the Supreme Court rejected Trumps argument that he has absolute immunity unless impeached by the House and convicted by the Senate.  

The decision all but ends the likelihood that Trump could be tried before the November election on charges he plotted to overturn his loss against Mr. Biden in 2020. 

The Supreme Court instructed the district court judge in Washington overseeing the election case to examine whether Trump’s alleged conduct detailed in the indictment were official or unofficial acts. 

“The public has a right to know the answer about what happened on Jan. 6, before they [are] asked to vote again this year. Now, because of today’s decision, that is highly, highly unlikely. It’s a terrible disservice to the people of this nation,” Mr. Biden said. 

“Now, the American people have to do what the court should have been willing to do but will not,” he continued. “The American people have to render a judgment about Donald Trump’s behavior. The American people must decide whether Donald Trump’s assault on our democracy on Jan. 6 makes him unfit for public office, the highest office in the land. The American people must decide Trump’s embrace of violence to preserve his power is acceptable.” 

The president declined to take any questions after his statement.

Mr. Biden’s campaign said Monday that the immunity ruling “doesn’t change the facts” about the Capitol riot 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 campaign said in a statement, accusing Trump of being “more unhinged” since then.

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