Turley Says SCOTUS Justices Are ‘Advancing Fairly Extreme Arguments’ In Immunity Case

[Screenshot/Fox News]

Nicole Silverio Media Reporter
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George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley said the Supreme Court justices are “advancing fairly extreme arguments” relating to former President Donald Trump’s presidential immunity claim.

The nine justices heard oral arguments regarding Trump’s claim he is entitled to “absolute immunity” relating to actions taken during his time in office Thursday. Turley argued in a New York Post op-ed that both the liberal and conservative justices are set to “plunge into a constitutional abyss” given they are on the extremes.

“Both parties are advancing fairly extreme arguments,” Turley said Friday. “You’ve got the Special Counsel [Jack Smith] saying a president has no immunity and you have the other side saying a president has complete immunity. And the justices, the three liberal justices, clearly seem to be intending to support the special counsel. But the other justices wanted to find a third option, and they didn’t buy the government saying ‘you have to trust us, we’re the government.’ You know, you can almost see some of these justices looking north towards New York. Because the third lawyer in that room was [Manhattan District Attorney] Alvin Bragg, because everything they were discussing about political cases is unfolding at the same time in New York.”

Bragg is charging Trump with a 34-count indictment alleging he falsified business records to cover up a $130,000 hush money payment to former porn actress Stormy Daniels. The payment was allegedly made by Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen to keep allegations of an extramarital affair between Daniels and Trump undisclosed before the 2016 election. (RELATED: Turley Says SCOTUS Could Throw ‘Wrench’ Into Jack Smith’s Case Against Trump) 

The trial relating to Bragg’s indictment is happening simultaneously to the Supreme Court’s oral arguments.

Turley said “at least four” justices appear slated to return the case back to the lower courts in the near future. He cast doubt that the lower courts will finalize the decision and hold a trial before the 2024 election.

Trump requested he be immune from Special Counsel Jack Smith’s four-count indictment alleging that he engaged in conspiracy in an attempt to overturn the 2020 presidential results on January 6, 2021.

A three-judge panel at the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected Trump’s immunity claims in a Feb. 6 decision. The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to take up the presidential immunity case Feb. 28.

“For the purpose of this criminal case, former President Trump has become citizen Trump, with all of the defenses of any other criminal defendant,” the panel wrote. “Former President Trump lacked any lawful discretionary authority to defy federal criminal law and he is answerable in court for his conduct.”

District Court Judge Tanya Chutkan paused the initial December trial date due to Trump’s appeal of the lower court’s decision. The judge later vacated the March 4 date, noting the court would “set a new schedule if and when the mandate is returned.”