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The US Supreme Court will determine the argument for Trump’s criminal immunity on April 25

By Andrew Chung

(Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court has set April 25 as the date it will hear the case Donald Trump‘s claim of presidential immunity from prosecution on charges related to his efforts to overturn his 2020 election loss — the last day of oral arguments of his current term.

The court released its updated arguments calendar a week after agreeing to hear the case and gave the former president a boost by suspending criminal charges by special prosecutor Jack Smith. The company had previously announced the week in which it would hear the case, but the exact date was not stated.

The justices will review a lower court’s rejection of Trump’s claim of immunity from prosecution because he was president when he took actions to unseat the president. Joe Biden‘s election victory over him.

Trump, the first former president to face criminal charges, is poised to become the Republican candidate to challenge the Democratic president in the Nov. 5 U.S. elections. His last rival for the nomination, former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, withdrew from the race on Wednesday.

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The immunity case pushes the country’s highest judicial body, whose 6-3 conservative majority consists of three judges appointed by Trump, back into the election battle.

The Supreme Court on Monday awarded Trump a major victory by ensuring he remains on the presidential ballot. The justices barred states from disqualifying candidates for federal office under a constitutional provision dealing with insurrection, reversing a court decision to bar him from the ballot in Colorado for his conduct in connection with the attack on the Capitol of January 6, 2021 by his supporters.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled 3-0 against Trump’s immunity claim on February 6, rejecting his request for “unfettered authority to commit crimes that would neutralize the most fundamental check on executive power — the recognition and implementation of election results.”

In August 2023, Smith filed four federal charges against Trump in the election subversion case. A March 4 trial date was postponed as Trump filed his immunity claim, without a new date yet set.

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Trump has three other pending criminal cases, including a trial in New York state court on March 25 over hush money paid to a porn star. Trump has pleaded not guilty in all these cases, attempting to portray them as politically motivated.

Smith accused Trump of conspiring to defraud the United States, obstructing and conspiring to obstruct the congressional certification of Biden’s election victory, and conspiring against Americans’ right to vote.

Trump and his allies falsely claimed the 2020 election was stolen and devised a plan to use fake electors to thwart Congress’ approval of Biden’s victory. Trump also tried to pressure then-Vice President Mike Pence to cancel the certification. Trump’s supporters attacked the Capitol in an attempt to prevent the certification.

If Trump regains the presidency, he could try to use his powers to end the prosecution or possibly pardon himself for any federal crimes.

In a separate case set to be heard on April 16, the Supreme Court has agreed to decide whether a man involved in the attack on the Capitol can be charged with obstructing an official proceeding — congressional approval of the election results of 2020. That case has potential consequences for Trump, because Smith has filed two charges of obstruction.

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(Reporting by Andrew Chung in New York; Editing by Will Dunham)

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