Toobin: Trump’s Jan. 6 case will ‘never be tried’ after Supreme Court ruling

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Toobin: Trump’s Jan. 6 case will ‘never be tried’ after Supreme Court ruling

Legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin said Monday he expects the federal election subversion case against former President Trump will never head to trial, after the Supreme Court ruled core presidential powers are immune from criminal prosecution.

“It’s a big, big victory for Donald Trump,” Toobin said on CNN’s “AC360,” referring to the 6-3 ruling that sends Trump’s federal election case back to district court to determine whether his acts leading up to Jan. 6, 2021, merit protection.

“It means that the January 6 case — the case before Judge Chutkan in the District of Columbia — is, at a minimum, delayed until after the election, but I think will never be tried,” he continued.

Toobin noted Chief Justice John Roberts’s majority opinion specified that official conduct cannot even be part of the evidence presented when prosecuting unofficial acts, making it difficult to find admissible evidence to support the case.

Toobin also said the “official conduct” definition is so broad that it “seems to eat up the entire indictment, in my view, in the January 6 case.”

“So, I think, either Judge [Tanya] Chutkan, or an appeals court or the Supreme Court will wind up dismissing the January 6 case, because it involves official conduct,” he said.

In the majority opinion, Roberts wrote that former presidents have broad immunity from prosecution — a decision that stopped just short of granting Trump the total immunity he sought, but that nonetheless helped him by likely delaying that trial beyond the November election.

The decision also took a sledgehammer to some of special counsel Jack Smith’s indictment of Trump, determining various actions Trump took to remain in power after losing the election were indeed protected.

“At least with respect to the president’s exercise of his core constitutional powers, this immunity must be absolute. As for his remaining official actions, he is entitled to at least presumptive immunity,” Roberts wrote in his majority opinion.

“There is no immunity for unofficial acts,” the court determined elsewhere in the opinion.

The decision returns the case to district court, where proceedings in the case have been paused while the high court weighed Trump’s immunity claims. Chutkan, who is overseeing the matter, must now weigh the issue for a second time as well as other pending efforts by Trump seeking to toss the case.