Supreme Court Rules Partial Immunity for Trump: Impact on Jan. 6 Charges Explained

Trump faces tight legal timeline as election approaches.

by Nouman Rasool
Supreme Court Rules Partial Immunity for Trump: Impact on Jan. 6 Charges Explained
© Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

The Supreme Court ruled in the case, granting at least for now partial immunity to former President Donald Trump from charges of misconduct that arose before or during his time as president. In a major 6-3 decision on July 1, the Court ruled that Trump is not absolutely immune to prosecution - an opinion reflective of careful dotting and crossing in presidential accountability.

Or what our legal research indicated: That the justices drew a bright line between his official conduct, which could not be prosecuted, and anything he does as an ordinary citizen or candidate for office. The decision compels lower courts to reconsider which of Trump's actions before and after the Jan.

6 events count as "unofficial" and hence might be fair game for prosecutors. This resetting could hamper a fair trial under the guidelines of the Supreme Court then. As Trump faces a Sen., The Supreme Court order delaying proceedings in the case “is a huge political victory for Trump,” Thrush tweeted, since it could offer a path to shield him from prosecution prior to Nov.

That strategy overlaps with the Justice Department's unwritten "60-day rule" — an effort to avoid politically charged legal actions and other public statements close to elections. Still, the rule was famously ignored in 2016 when, days before election day, word leaked out from the FBI about a reopened investigation into Hillary Clinton's emails.

Election Season Trial

Since the case, which is overseen by U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan, was filed well before election season began it isn't subject to this rule; meaning a trial could still come too close to an upcoming election Despite the logistical challenges that could be faced with a legal battle spurred by Trump's habit of suing his opponents, Special Counsel Jack Smith has said he is prepared to move fast.

The legal drama is playing out even as public opinion, fanned by continuing news coverage and polls that now show a solid majority of Americans—60% in one released last week from Politico/Ipsos--believes Trump deserves to be tried before the election.

Among the things Trump is having to work through are multiple legal battles, including a New York case where he was convicted on 34 felony counts of conspiracy and dishonesty over an election interference scheme in 2016 and a federal trial related to mishandling classified documents, which has been pushed back due to pre-trial motions.

In addition, federal prosecutors investigating the January 6 insurrection have expected that a sprawling case against Trump could include charges of conspiracy and obstruction — all based on extensive DOJ investigations.

He also faces legal scrutiny into his role in a bid to overturn Georgia’s 2020 election results, with a trial tentatively set not to begin until after the next election.