JD Vance says the president has ‘immunity’ ahead of anticipated Supreme Court ruling

Sen. JD Vance (R-Ohio) said Sunday that he believes presidents have legal immunity for actions they commit while in the White House, but declined to go as far as to say President Biden should not be prosecuted for unspecified criminal activity.

Vance, considered a finalist to be former President Trump’s vice presidential candidate, predicted in a CBS “Face the Nation” interview with Margaret Brennan that the Supreme Court is likely to find Trump immune from criminal prosecution in a decision expected Monday.

“I want people who commit crimes to face the appropriate response in law,” Vance said. “The problem that I have, Margaret, is not with which Democrats should prosecute which Republican and vice versa; it’s let’s get out of the prosecuting of people based on their politics.”

When asked if that idea precluded Biden from being prosecuted in the future, Vance said that decision would be up to a future attorney general.

“But Donald Trump did not say that he’s trying to throw his political opponent in jail,” the senator added.

Trump has repeatedly committed to seeking “revenge” against his political opponents if reelected, and has infamously called for rivals like Hillary Clinton to be “locked up.”

The Supreme Court is set to decide Monday whether Trump is immune from criminal prosecution as he faces a case over his alleged attempts to overturn the 2020 election and actions surrounding the Jan. 6 Capitol riots.

Vance predicted that the court will find that Trump can’t be tried.

“I’m very confident that the fundamental principle here is the president’s got to be able to do his job in the same way that police officers, judges, prosecutors, enjoy some immunity, that principle has to apply to the president too,” he said.

No president had ever been charged with a crime before Trump, making the concept of immunity a novel one.

Vance said the concept of presidential immunity is necessary for the work, an argument shared by Trump’s legal defense.

“We know that the president has to have immunity to do his job,” Vance said. “Should Barack Obama be prosecuted for droning American citizens in Yemen? There are so many examples of presidents — Democrats and Republicans — who would not be able to discharge their duties, if the Supreme Court does not recognize some broad element of presidential discretion.”

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