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Supreme Court to rule on Trump prosecution immunity

The Supreme Court is set to issue a major ruling on Monday on whether former President Trump is immune from prosecution for acts committed while he was in office.

Why it matters

The court’s highly anticipated decision will determine whether Trump’s federal January 6 case will proceed and potentially head to trial before the November election. The Supreme Court has delayed its ruling until Monday, the last day of its current term.

The big picture

The Supreme Court heard oral arguments in April over Trump’s assertion that ex-presidents cannot be prosecuted for crimes committed while in office. Trump’s legal team has argued that his actions before the 2020 presidential election fell within the “outer perimeter” of the president’s official duties. They contend that denying Trump blanket immunity could restrict future presidents out of fear of criminal prosecution after leaving office.

Zoom in

During the arguments, the nation’s high court appeared poised to rule that former presidents have some immunity, but not the “absolute immunity” that Trump is seeking, according to Axios’ Sam Baker. Even if the Justices rule against Trump, a trial would likely not begin before September, per NBC News. The trial had originally been scheduled for earlier this year but was postponed indefinitely.

State of play

Trump, who was convicted on 34 felony counts in his New York hush money trial in May, has repeatedly sought to delay his three other criminal cases. If he wins back the White House in November, he could order the Justice Department to drop his federal charges.