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Supreme Court's Trump Immunity Ruling Poses Threat to Georgia RICO Case

 July 3, 2024

The U.S. Supreme Court's recent ruling on presidential immunity could significantly impact the ongoing legal battles involving Donald Trump.

The decision, which mandates lower courts to identify which of Trump's actions are protected under presidential immunity, may weaken the prosecutions against him in both Washington, D.C., and Georgia, as the Washington Examiner reports.

Supreme Court Decision on Presidential Immunity

The Supreme Court's ruling came in response to arguments presented by Donald Trump regarding his case in Washington, D.C. This decision requires a lower court judge to sift through Trump's federal election interference indictment to determine which actions are protected under presidential immunity and which are not.

Judge Tanya Chutkan is now tasked with deciding which of Trump's official acts are immune from prosecution and which are only presumptively immune. This process is expected to be meticulous and may evolve into something of a mini-trial over the next few months.

The Supreme Court's guidelines suggest that special counsel Jack Smith's case against Trump may weaken after immunized acts are removed from consideration.

Impact on Trump's Georgia Case

Trump's legal challenges are not limited to Washington, D.C. The Supreme Court's decision is also expected to affect his case in Georgia. In Georgia, a similar process might be required to distinguish between Trump's official and private acts.

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis has indicted Trump and 18 co-defendants for allegedly violating Georgia's racketeering laws by attempting to overturn the 2020 election. The indictment includes numerous acts, such as phone calls, meetings with state lawmakers, false statements on his X account, and communications with DOJ officials.

The Supreme Court has ruled that a president's communication with the DOJ is always immune from prosecution. Other actions, such as communications with state officials or public statements, will need a lower court judge's decision under the new framework.

Challenges in Georgia's Legal Proceedings

Judge Scott McAfee, presiding over Trump's case in Georgia, previously ruled that Willis was not disqualified from participation despite allegations of a conflict of interest. Trump has appealed McAfee’s decision, and the matter is now under review by the Georgia Court of Appeals.

Trump has requested to dismiss his Georgia case based on presidential immunity. McAfee is awaiting the Supreme Court's decision before making a ruling. Georgia-based lawyer Allegra Lawrence-Hardy noted that McAfee lacks jurisdiction until the appellate court addresses Trump's appeal, which is expected to occur in the first quarter of 2025.

A mini-trial exercise similar to the one in Washington is anticipated in Georgia. The impact of the ruling on Trump's co-defendants is unclear but may provide some relief for individuals such as Jeffrey Clark and Mark Meadows.

Potential Outcomes for Co-defendants

Georgia State University law professor Anthony Michael Kreis indicated that Clark is unlikely to face charges in the same case as Trump due to evidence protected by immunity. However, the case against Meadows is more complex and not ruled out.

Both the cases in Washington and Georgia may extend over several months. If Trump wins the presidential election, he could potentially use his pardon power for his federal case, but not the Georgia case.

Lawrence-Hardy, speaking on a call with reporters, expressed skepticism about the trial court's jurisdiction to rule on the motion or conduct its own mini-trial prior to the election. "It is very unlikely that the trial court will even have jurisdiction to rule on this motion or to have its own mini-trial prior to the election," she said.

Lawrence-Hardy also pointed out that the Supreme Court's immunity argument closely tracks the briefing in this case.

Implications for Future Legal Proceedings

Anthony Michael Kreis, in a post on X, remarked on the improbability of Jeff Clark being tried alongside Donald Trump simultaneously. "As a consequence, it’s rather unlikely that Jeff Clark will ever be tried alongside Donald Trump at the same time," Kreis stated.

Regarding Mark Meadows, Kreis noted the complexity of his case: "The Meadows issue will be considerably more complex."

The Supreme Court's ruling on presidential immunity introduces a new dynamic in the legal proceedings against Trump, with significant implications for the strength and direction of the cases in both Washington, D.C., and Georgia.


The Supreme Court's ruling on presidential immunity requires lower courts to distinguish between Trump's official and private acts, impacting the strength of prosecutions in Washington, D.C., and Georgia. Judge Tanya Chutkan and Judge Scott McAfee will play pivotal roles in determining the outcome of these cases.

The ruling's implications for co-defendants such as Jeffrey Clark and Mark Meadows add another layer of complexity to an already intricate legal scenario. Both cases are expected to extend over several months, with potential political ramifications depending on the outcomes of the trials and the upcoming presidential election.