Trump says it was ‘made clear’ that a president ‘has to have immunity,’ during ‘monumental’ SCOTUS arguments

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Former President Trump reacted to the ‘monumental’ hearing on presidential immunity at the Supreme Court Thursday, saying he thinks it was ‘made clear’ that a president ‘has to have immunity.’ 

The former president spoke to reporters after sitting in a Manhattan courtroom for hours Thursday—the seventh day of his criminal trial stemming from Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s investigation. 

Trump has pleaded not guilty to all 34 charges of falsifying business records in the first degree. 

While Trump sat in court listening to witness testimony, the United States Supreme Court heard arguments on the issue of presidential immunity, and whether he is immune from prosecution in a separate case—Special Counsel Jack Smith’s case related to 2020 election interference. 

Trump had requested to attend arguments in Washington D.C., but was rejected by New York Judge Juan Merchan, who has required the former president to be in court for each day of his criminal trial. 

‘I was forced to be here, and I’m glad I was, because it was a very interesting day in a certain way,’ Trump told reporters. 

‘The U.S. Supreme Court had a monumental hearing on immunity and the immunity having to do with presidential immunity,’ Trump said. ‘And I think it was made clear, I hope it is very clear that a president has to have immunity.’ 

Trump echoed his past argument that without immunity, the president would be reduced to just a ‘ceremonial’ position. 

‘That’s not what the founders had in mind,’ he said. ‘We want presidents that can get quite amazing—quite amazing.’ 

The former president said the Supreme Court justices ‘were on their game.’ 

‘So let’s see how that turns out,’ he said. ‘But again, I say presidential immunity is very powerful. Presidential immunity is imperative, or you practically won’t have a country anymore.’ 

The Supreme Court heard arguments from John Sauer, who delivered arguments on the matter on behalf of the former president and 2024 presumptive Republican presidential nominee. 

Michael Dreeben, a Justice Department prosecutor, delivered arguments on behalf of the government and Special Counsel Jack Smith. 

The high court is expected to rule on the matter by mid-June.

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