Schumer: ‘Disgraceful’ Trump immunity decision will ‘weaken’ democracy

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) slammed the Supreme Court’s “disgraceful” decision Monday to shield former President Trump’s official acts from prosecution, which will delay his trial on Jan. 6-related charges.

Schumer warned the 6-3 decision “enables the former President to weaken our democracy by breaking the law.”

“This is a sad day for America and a sad day for our democracy. The very basis of our judicial system is that no one is above the law. Treason or incitement of insurrection should not be considered a core constitutional power afforded to a president,” he said.

Schumer also warned that the Supreme Court has undermined its credibility, echoing the criticisms of other Senate Democrats who have accused conservative justices on the court of becoming partisan players.

“This decision undermines the credibility of the Supreme Court, and suggests that political influence trumps all in our courts today,” Schumer said.

The Supreme Court on Monday morning ruled that Trump is immune from prosecution for his official acts as president, but directed lower courts to decide whether Trump’s actions in the lead-up to and on the day of the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol were taken in an official or private capacity.

Other Democrats also railed against the decision.

“The Supreme Court has put lawbreaking presidents like Donald Trump above the law. This cravenly political decision to shield President Trump grants him a legal armor that no other citizen enjoys,” said Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, in a statement on the social platform X.

“My stomach turns with fear & anger that our democracy can be so endangered by an out-of-control Court. The members of Court’s conservative majority will now be rightly perceived by the American people as extreme & nakedly partisan hacks – politicians in robes,” Blumenthal said.

Sen. Peter Welch (D-Vt.), another member of the Judiciary Committee, said the court “has lost all credibility” and slammed conservative Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito for not recusing themselves from Trump-related cases because of their wives’ political activism or expressions of partisan favor.

“This activist Supreme Court has unconscionably allowed Donald Trump to evade criminal liability, a move that all but ensures he will never face justice for his attempts to subvert our democracy. It defies logic and our nation’s democratic principle that no person is above the law. Today the Supreme Court stood up for a political figure rather than the rule of law,” Welch said in a statement.

Welch said Thomas and Alito, in particular, showed a “glaring lack of impartiality” before voting with the majority to grant Trump significant immunity.

“It is clear that Donald Trump does not believe the law applies to him. This decision makes it clear that conservative justices of this Supreme Court believe the same,” he said.

Copyright 2024 Nexstar Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to The Hill.