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Illinois officials react to SCOTUS presidential immunity ruling

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(The Center Square) – Reaction to the U.S. Supreme Court granting “absolute immunity” to the president of the United States when acting in his core constitutional duty is getting reaction from Illinois elected officials.

Monday’s ruling comes in response to former President Donald Trump’s claim that he has presidential immunity against the charges brought against him over actions he took as president. He is the first former president to face criminal charges.

“President’s exercise of his core constitutional powers, this immunity must be absolute,” the ruling said. “As for his remaining official actions, he is entitled to at least presumptive immunity.”

Trump faces charges for his role in the Jan. 6 storming of the U.S. Capitol, namely that he allegedly lied and stirred up the crowd that eventually entered the Capitol. Trump’s defenders point out he released a video calling for peaceful protests on the day of the riot.

“Today’s Historic Decision by the Supreme Court should end all of Crooked Joe Biden’s Witch Hunts against me,” Trump posted on social media. “PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN!”

President Biden’s campaign said “the ruling doesn’t change the facts” that Trump was found guilty of a hush money case in New York.

“Trump is already running for president as a convicted felon for the very same reason he sat idly by while the mob violently attacked the Capitol: he thinks he’s above the law and is willing to do anything to gain and hold onto power for himself,” Biden’s campaign said.

Trump has said he will appeal the New York conviction after sentencing July 11.

Illinois U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Springfield, said no one should be above the law, “not even a sitting United States President.”

“And yet today’s ultra-conservative Supreme Court majority ruled that not just Donald Trump, but future presidents, may be immune from abusing the levers of government to overturn an election or engage in other misconduct,” Durbin said.

Illinois U.S. Rep. Mary Miller, R-Hindsboro, praised the decision on social media.

“VICTORY in the Supreme Court today for President Trump! I was proud to join the effort to file an amicus brief in support of President Trump,” Miller said.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker released a statement saying no one ought to be above the law.

“SCOTUS today left open that possibility,” Pritzker said. “When Trump tried to overturn the results of an election he lost in 2020, it was not the official act of a president. It was the act of a despotic narcissist attempting to overthrow our democracy to cling to power, and he needs to answer for his actions.”

The ruling likely means cases against Trump in various jurisdictions will not be addressed before the November election as courts take the SCOTUS ruling under consideration.

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