Conservatives blasted Democrats’ “lawfare” tactics on Tuesday, following a federal appeals court ruling that former President Donald Trump does not have presidential immunity from prosecution of alleged criminal acts relating to 2020 election interference.
Trump’s team made the appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in connection to special counsel Jack Smith’s election interference case, which Smith is notably trying to rush before the 2024 election.
“The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruling that President Donald Trump does not have immunity from prosecution sets a dangerous precedent, violates our Constitution, and threatens the very bedrock of our nation,” Republican Rep. Elise Stefanik (NY) said in a statement sent to The Daily Wire.
“President Trump’s actions surrounding election integrity were within his official duties as the President as he was investigating legitimate Constitutional questions about the election,” she continued. “The precedent set today by the D.C. Circuit’s decision means that future presidents who leave office will likely face politicized prosecutions by the opposing party.”
Stefanik added that the president having immunity “is necessary for any presidency to function properly.”
“I fully support President Trump’s efforts to appeal this unconstitutional ruling to the Supreme Court, where I expect a thoughtful decision to overturn this dangerous precedent,” she closed the statement.
Stefanik is also cosponsoring a resolution from Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) which asserts that Trump did not engage in an insurrection or rebellion against the U.S.
“Rogue Democrat operatives are attempting to use this lie to illegally take President Trump off the ballot,” Stefanik said, adding during her public comments that political opponents are “shredding the Constitution” in their pursuit to destroy Trump.
I am honored to stand as an original cosponsor on @RepMattGaetz's resolution that President Donald Trump did not engage in insurrection or rebellion against the United States. That is a fact.
Rogue Democrat operatives are attempting to use this lie to illegally take President… pic.twitter.com/ypbvKvhKqg
— Rep. Elise Stefanik (@RepStefanik) February 6, 2024
Speaker of the House Mike Johnson (R) also responded to the ruling on Tuesday, telling CNN reporter Manu Raju that the Left is using “lawfare” tactics against Trump.
“I believe they have been after President Trump for partisan political purposes, I think that’s obvious, and we call it lawfare,” Johnson said, “and I think there is no other way to describe it.”
Asked Speaker Johnson this AM about Trump losing immunity case in court and whether he thinks he should get immunity.
“I believe they have been after President Trump for partisan political purposes, I think that’s obvious, and we call it lawfare and I think there is no other way… pic.twitter.com/daT8fXtGQK
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) February 6, 2024
Mollie Hemingway, the editor-in-chief of The Federalist, responded by linking to a piece she wrote in December about the rushed effort to prosecute Trump before the 2024 election.
In the piece, Hemingway explains that the D.C. Circuit panel of judges that decided on Trump’s appeal was “particularly left-wing, even for the left-leaning D.C. Circuit.” Notably, the panel changes each month.
“Karen Henderson, the 79-year-old appointee of George H.W. Bush, is on the panel. More importantly, two relatively young Biden appointees named J. Michelle Childs and Florence Pan are also on the panel,” Hemingway wrote. “Panels in the coming months will reportedly not be as left-wing as the December panel. The scheduling question, then, becomes one of how hostile the panel of judges will be to Trump’s appeal.”
“By setting an aggressive schedule, the December panel can keep with the case and help ensure Democrats can get their conviction in time for it to affect the election,” she asserted.
Trump is expected to appeal the court’s ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court. The high court could in theory reject to hear the question on immunity and the appeals court’s decision would stand. If the court does take up the case, the decision could derail Smith’s case, delay it past the 2024 election, or it could fall before the 2024 election.
In theory, if Trump won the White House, the Department of Justice could dismiss the charges, which Trump has argued are part of a “witch-hunt” and clear political targeting. Or, as president, he could pardon himself.