Friday Briefing: Supreme Court Hears Trump Immunity Case

Demonstrators protested outside of the Supreme Court. Credit…Haiyun Jiang for The New York Times

The Supreme Court heard Trump’s claim of immunity

After a three-hour hearing in Washington, the Supreme Court’s conservative majority seemed poised to narrow the scope of the criminal case against Donald Trump on charges that he plotted to subvert the 2020 election.

Such a ruling in the case, on whether the former president is immune from prosecution, would probably send it back to a lower court and could delay any trial until after the November election. Several Republican-appointed justices expressed worries about the long-term consequences of leaving future ex-presidents open to prosecution for their actions.

Trump, who is accused of a sprawling effort to overturn the outcome of the 2020 election, contends that he is entitled to absolute immunity from the charges. That case is one of four criminal indictments he faces, only one of which has now gone to trial in New York.

What’s next: A final ruling could come sometime in early summer. IfTrump wins, there is every reason to think he would scuttle the prosecution.

The New York trial: David Pecker, a former tabloid publisher, testified about how he helped bury scandalous stories about Trump before the 2016 election, including one involving the porn star Stormy Daniels.

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