Former President Trump claims that he should have immunity, even when it comes to the assassination of US enemies while in office, otherwise, political opponents will seek to prosecute him.
His assertion was made in connection to the president being the commander-in-chief who commands the military while in office, not that he would seek to assassinate political opponents as the left is claiming. Trump ordered the assassination of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani in 2020 who had plotted against and killed American soldiers.
Almost all presidents who have been in office have been involved in military decisions that require deadly force when it comes to America’s enemies. To strip a former president of immunity would leave them wide open to political persecution once they leave office.
The media is spinning the comments as Trump specifically saying he should be immune from prosecution concerning the assassination of political opponents. A tactic that leftists disingenuously attempted to use against his attorneys earlier this week as they argued that the former president had presidential immunity once he left office.
REPORTER: Do you agree with your lawyers that you could not be prosecuted if you ordered Seal Team 6 to kill a political opponent?
TRUMP: A president has to have immunity pic.twitter.com/ntLHSCDBF8
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) January 11, 2024
What Trump put forth was that he should have presidential immunity as other presidents before him have had.
“During arguments in a Washington, DC courtroom on Tuesday, Trump attorney D. John Sauer, was questioned on whether, hypothetically, a president could order the killing of a rival by the US military and be immune from any legal consequences,” The Independent reported.
“Mr. Saur said that prosecution would only be allowed following impeachment and a conviction by the Senate. He was then pressed by Judge Florence Pan, who said: ‘I asked you a yes or no question. Could a president who ordered SEAL Team 6 to assassinate a political rival … would he be subject to criminal prosecution?'” the outlet continued.
“Qualified yes – if he is impeached and convicted first,” replied Sauer who was referring to the constitutional procedure in the Senate not the assignment of guilt by leftist political opponents over a blatant conspiracy theory.
“Given that you’re conceding that presidents can be criminally prosecuted, under certain circumstances, doesn’t that narrow the issues before us to… can a president be prosecuted without first being impeached and convicted?” Judge Florence Y. Pan, an appointee of President Joe Biden to the court. said. “[A]ll your other arguments seem to fall away, your separation of powers arguments fall away, your policy arguments fall away if you concede that a president can be criminally prosecuted under some circumstances.”
Trump Notifies All Past Presidents of the Statue of Limitations and if he Doesn’t Have Immunity, None of them Do
“By the way, the statute of limitations goes back 6 years, and sometimes more than that.”
Calm, cool, and collected. It’s going to be so much… pic.twitter.com/i6gFW58bdd
— MJTruthUltra (@MJTruthUltra) January 10, 2024
The litigator arguing for the US government, Assistant Special Counsel James Pearce, claimed that Sauer’s response portrayed “an extraordinarily frightening future” because that premise would potentially place presidents above the law.
Trump was asked on Thursday whether he agreed with his attorney’s assessment or not.
“On immunity [it’s] very simple,” the former president replied at a press conference during his ongoing civil fraud trial in New York.
“If a president of the United States does not have immunity, he’ll be totally ineffective because he won’t be able to do anything because it will mean he’ll be prosecuted, strongly prosecuted perhaps, as soon as he leaves office by the opposing party. So a president of the United States, I’m not talking just me, has to have immunity,” Trump contended.
Presidential candidate Nikki Haley jumped at the chance to mock Trump over a presidential immunity legal defense, calling it “ridiculous” during Wednesday night’s Republican debate in Iowa.
“No, that’s ridiculous. That’s absolutely ridiculous,” Haley claimed according to The Independent. “You can’t go and kill a political rival and then claim, you know, immunity from a president. I think we have to start doing things that are right.”
Again, that is not what Trump or his lawyer said.