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Republican group launches ad campaign against presidential immunity

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As former President Donald Trump looks to the U.S. Supreme Court for answers on his claims of presidential immunity, a Republican group has launched an ad campaign in opposition.

Republicans for the Rule of Law launched a $2 million TV ad campaign featuring conservatives arguing that the Supreme Court should reject the former president’s immunity claim.

Supreme Court justices are considering a case involving Trump and whether presidents have immunity from criminal prosecutions. Trump’s team argued that the president must have immunity for a functioning democracy to flourish, while the attorney for the federal government argued that presidents don’t enjoy blanket criminal immunity.

The nation’s highest court heard those oral arguments in the case on April 25.

The ad campaign is set to air in 12 states, including Alabama and Texas and states that are directly affected by these arguments, such as Georgia and Pennsylvania.

“Our constitutional system is predicated on legal accountability and equal justice under the law, even for presidents and past presidents,” said Sarah Longwell, executive director of Republicans for the Rule of Law. “Conservatives feel this in our bones: No man or woman is above the law. In this case, that means rejecting the ‘absolute immunity’ claim.”

As president, Trump picked three members of the nine-member U.S. Supreme Court: Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett.

In late May, a New York jury convicted Trump, 77, of 34 counts of falsifying business records. Under New York state law, falsifying business records in the first degree is a Class E felony with a maximum sentence of four years in prison per count. Sentencing in that case is set for July 11.

Trump is preparing to face President Joe Biden in a November rematch for the White House.

In New York, the case was focused on Trump’s alleged sexual encounter with an adult film actress in 2006 and a $130,000 payment to her in 2016 to keep her quiet ahead of the 2016 election. Trump denied the encounter happened. A jury convicted him at trial.

It remains to be seen when the Supreme Court will rule on the case. All opinions of the Supreme Court are usually handed down by the last day of the Court’s term (the day in late June/early July when the Court recesses for the summer). Except this deadline, there are no rules concerning when decisions must be released.

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