Trump lashes out at ‘nation-destroying ruling’ after presidential immunity defence struck down

Donald Trump has lashed out at what he claims to be a “nation-destroying ruling” after his presidential immunity defence was struck down by an appeals court.

In a post on Truth Social on Tuesday, the former president called the appeals court’s ruling “nation-destroying” and repeated his baseless allegation that his multiple criminal indictments are a “political weapon” directed by President Joe Biden against him.

“A President of the United States must have Full Immunity in order to properly function and do what has to be done for the good of our Country,” Mr Trump wrote.

“A Nation-destroying ruling like this cannot be allowed to stand. If not overturned, as it should be, this decision would terribly injure not only the Presidency, but the Life, Breath, and Success of our Country.”

He continued: “A President will be afraid to act for fear of the opposite Party’s Vicious Retribution after leaving Office. I know from personal experience because I am going through it right now.

“It will become a Political Weapon used for Election Interference. Even our Elections will be corrupted and under siege. So bad, and so dangerous for our Nation. SAVE PRESIDENTIAL IMMUNITY!”

The US District Court of Appeals in Washington DC issued its ruling on Tuesday, saying that Mr Trump doesn’t have immunity from prosecution for alleged crimes committed while he was in office.

“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 ruling states.

“But any executive immunity that may have protected him while he served as president no longer protects him against this prosecution.”

The Trump legal team had argued that actions during his time in the White House were covered by presidential immunity, as part of his defence against the charges he faces for trying to overturn the 2020 election.

Now, Mr Trump’s attorneys are expected to appeal the ruling, possibly all the way to the Supreme Court.

Republican presidential candidate and former US president Donald Trump has had his defence rejected by an appeals court (AP)
Republican presidential candidate and former US president Donald Trump has had his defence rejected by an appeals court (AP)

In an all-caps post on his Truth Social account on Monday night, Mr Trump had claimed that without immunity, “every president that leaves office will be immediately indicted by the opposing party”.

“Without complete immunity, a president of the United States would not be able to properly function!” he added.

Trump campaign spokesperson Steven Cheung echoed Mr Trump’s remark in a statement after Tuesday’s ruling was released.

He called Special Counsel Jack Smith “deranged” and the prosecution against Mr Trump “unconstitutional” and a “threat” to the “bedrock of our Republic”.

“President Trump respectfully disagrees with the DC Circuit’s decision and will appeal it in order to safeguard the Presidency and the Constitution,” he said.