Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) calls Donald Trump’s legal team’s argument about a president being immune from prosecution “utterly ludicrous,” after one of the former president’s attorneys suggested in court that a president can assassinate his political rivals and not be prosecuted unless he’s convicted by the Senate.
“The presentation in the D.C. Circuit Court of appeals before the three-judge panel was astounding. Donald Trump and his lawyers essentially asserted that the president has the right to assassinate people, to kill people without any prospect of prosecution unless they’re first impeached by the House and convicted in the Senate,’ Raskin said during an interview on CNN’s ‘The Situation Room’ Tuesday.
Trump’s lawyer John Sauer argued before the three-judge panel on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals that Trump’s federal election subversion case should be dismissed because Trump was not convicted in the Senate trial after the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
That argument led to Judge Florence Pan posing a hypothetical scenario to Sauer about a president ordering Seal Team Six to assassinate a political opponent.
“He would have to be and would speedily be, you know, uh, impeached and convicted before the criminal prosecution–,” Sauer answered.
“But there would be no criminal prosecution, no criminal liability for that?” Pan asked.
Sauer answered that a president is immune from criminal prosecution unless he’s impeached by the House and convicted in a Senate trial.
“As a member of Congress, my first thought was, well, then if the president is going to order out for the assassination of his political rivals, and say there’s a narrow margin in the Senate of a two or three vote in the opposition party, what’s to keep him from murdering members of the Senate to make sure that he doesn’t get convicted there in order to deny a two-thirds majority?” Raskin said. “He could kill them and then he can’t be impeached or convicted because he’s murdered his opposition and can’t be prosecuted for it because he hasn’t been impeached or convicted.”
“Trump’s argument is utterly ludicrous,” Raskin added.