Trump Attorney Says It Depends On ‘Circumstances’ If President Could ‘Stage A Coup’ With Immunity

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Former President Donald Trump’s attorney Dean John Sauer argued on Thursday that a president might have criminal immunity for staging a coup after being presented with a hypothetical from a liberal justice.

Sauer went before the Supreme Court to argue presidents should have constitutional immunity from prosecution for official acts conducted during their presidency. Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan presented the hypothetical to Sauer, who said the scenario was unlikely to occur because of how framers wrote the Constitution and that whether it was an official act would “depend on circumstances.” (RELATED: Jack Smith Argues Granting Trump’s ‘Dangerous’ Immunity Claims Could Greenlight Presidential ‘Murder,’ Bribery)

“Well he’s gone, let’s say, this president who ordered the military to stage a coup,” Kagan said in the hypothetical. “He’s no longer president. He wasn’t impeached, he couldn’t be impeached. But he ordered the military to stage a coup and you’re saying that’s an official act. That’s immune.”



“I think it would depend on the circumstances whether it was an official act,” Sauer responded. “If it were an official act, again, he would have to be impeached.”

Kagan asked Sauer what he meant by his answer, reiterating the hypothetical and asking if staging a “coup” would be immune.

“If it’s an official act, there needs to be impeachment and conviction beforehand,” Sauer said, citing his interpretation of the Constitution.

Kagan pressed him on whether it would be an “official act” and Sauer said, based on the hypothetical, “it could well be.”

“That sure sounds bad, doesn’t it?” Kagan asked.

“It certainly sounds very bad, and that’s why the framers have a whole series of structural checks that have successfully, for the last two hundred and thirty four years, prevented that very kind of extreme hypothetical. And that is the wisdom of the framers,” Trump’s attorney argued.

The Supreme Court agreed in February to hear Trump’s argument to throw out his federal election interference case in Washington, D.C. based on presidential immunity. Trump was unable to attend the oral arguments as New York Judge Juan Merchan ordered him to attend the trial regarding a $130,000 payout to porn star Stormy Daniels.

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