(PartiallyPolitics.com) – On CNN, Jim Acosta highlighted a historical parallel involving former Presidents Ford and Nixon to scrutinize Donald Trump’s claim of total immunity from prosecution for his actions while in office. Acosta, during a segment, questioned the logic behind this assertion, particularly in light of Ford’s pardon of Nixon.
He posed this question to his guest, Norm Eisen, who previously led ethics oversight in the White House. Acosta asked why Ford would need to pardon Nixon if presidents indeed possessed absolute immunity from criminal prosecution for their actions while in office.
Eisen characterized Trump’s claim as remarkable and potentially far-reaching. He warned that if Trump’s view were accepted, it would set a dangerous precedent, potentially encouraging those with criminal inclinations to seek the presidency as a shield against legal accountability. He raised the specter of presidents potentially engaging in extreme criminal activities, including bank heists and murder, without fear of legal consequences.
This conversation comes against the backdrop of Trump’s efforts to dismiss a federal election interference case against him. Trump has argued that his actions while in office should grant him complete immunity, a stance that was previously rejected by Federal Judge Tanya Chutkan. Trump has since appealed this decision.
Trump faces several felony charges related to his alleged efforts to overturn the 2020 election results. Despite pleading not guilty, he continues to assert that his presidential status should exempt him from prosecution.
The issue of Trump’s claimed immunity is significant enough that Special Counsel Jack Smith has sought intervention from the Supreme Court to ensure the case progresses as scheduled. However, the Court has not yet agreed to address this matter.
Eisen stressed that the concept of absolute presidential immunity lacks support from the Constitution, historical context, or judicial precedent. He suggested that Nixon’s resignation, which led to Ford’s pardon, would not have occurred if such immunity were valid, as Nixon could have used it to shield himself.
Eisen suggested that Trump’s legal strategy might be less about winning the case and more about delaying the legal process, particularly with the 2024 presidential election on the horizon.
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