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Federal judge denies Trump’s claim of presidential immunity, rules against request to drop case


A federal judge in Washington, D.C. denied former President Trump’s claim of presidential immunity on Friday and ruled against his request to drop the Jan. 6 case.

U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan of the District of Columbia, responding to Trump’s claim that the Constitution grants him “absolute immunity from criminal prosecution for actions performed within the ‘outer perimeter’ of his official responsibility,” wrote that the former president doesn’t have a “lifelong ‘”get-out-of-jail-free’ pass.”

“Former Presidents enjoy no special conditions on their federal criminal liability. Defendant may be subject to federal investigation, indictment, prosecution, conviction, and punishment for any criminal acts undertaken while in office,” Chutkan wrote in her opinion.

Responding to Trump’s First Amendment argument, Chutkan wrote that the Constitution doesn’t protect speech that’s used “as an instrument of a crime.”

TRUMP IS NOT IMMUNE FROM CIVIL LAWSUITS RELATED TO JAN. 6, FEDERAL APPEALS COURT RULES

Former President Donald Trump

Former U.S. President Donald Trump waves to the crowd on the field during halftime in the Palmetto Bowl between Clemson and South Carolina at Williams Brice Stadium on November 25, 2023 in Columbia, South Carolina. (Sean Rayford/Getty Images)

Trump is charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, obstruction of and attempt to obstruct an official proceeding and conspiracy against rights. 

Earlier on Friday, a federal appeals court ruled that Trump isn’t immune from civil lawsuits stemming from the events of Jan. 6, 2021.

BIDEN JUSTICE DEPARTMENT SAYS TRUMP CAN BE SUED BY POLICE, DEMOCRATS OVER JAN. 6 RIOT

A court sketch depicts former President Donald Trump’s legal representation in court

A court sketch depicts former President Donald Trump’s legal representation appearing before U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan in Washington D.C. on Friday, August 11, 2023. (William J. Hennessy Jr.)

Sri Srinivasan, the Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, wrote in the court’s opinion that Trump isn’t entitled to immunity.

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Trump speaking

HOUSTON, TEXAS – NOVEMBER 02: Republican presidential candidate former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at Trendsetter Engineering Inc. on November 02, 2023 in Houston, Texas. Former President Trump’s visit to Houston marks his second stop in Texas since earlier this year. The visit comes as his sons Don Jr. and Eric testified at his civil fraud in New York trial today. Trump may be forced to sell off his properties after a judge ruled that he committed fraud for years while building his real estate empire. (Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images) (Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

“The district court largely rejected his claim of immunity, and President Trump now appeals. The sole issue before us is whether President Trump has demonstrated an entitlement to official-act immunity for his actions leading up to and on January 6 as alleged in the complaints,” Srinivasan wrote. “We answer no, at least at this state of the proceedings.”

Fox News’ Greg Norman contributed to this report.



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