An attorney who previously served in the White House during Donald Trump’s administration has raised concerns about potential “retribution” by the former president against President Joe Biden if Trump were to win the upcoming November election. Currently facing legal challenges in four jurisdictions, including the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, where he is being prosecuted by Special Counsel Jack Smith for his actions to overturn the 2020 presidential election, Trump contends that the cases against him are politically motivated and aimed at aiding Biden’s reelection.
On Tuesday, a federal court rejected an argument put forth by Trump’s legal team, asserting that he should be immune from prosecution. Subsequently, during an interview on CNN with Erin Burnett, former Trump White House lawyer Ty Cobb was asked to provide insights into Trump’s reaction to the court ruling.
Burnett questioned Cobb about Trump’s assertion that the decision could “terribly injure the presidency and, in fact, the United States itself,” with Trump suggesting that all future presidents might become targets for political retribution, thus putting American democracy at risk.
Cobb responded by expressing his belief that if Trump were to be elected again, there might be concerns about retribution against President Biden. However, he clarified that he saw no legal basis for such actions and doubted their viability. Cobb pointed out that the 44 presidents who preceded Trump did not entertain the idea of committing intentional criminal acts, and historical precedent did not support the argument that presidents are above criminal processes.
“What about the argument… that Trump himself made today, saying that the decision would, ‘terribly injure the presidency and in fact the United States itself. All future presidents would be targets for political retribution. American democracy could be at risk.’ What’s your response to such sweeping terminology?” she asked.
Well, I do believe that if Trump is elected that President Biden could be in danger of retribution. But I don’t believe there’s a legal basis for it and I don’t think it would go very far. The 44 presidents that preceded President Trump did not waste a second, I think, debating whether they should commit an intentional criminal act. So, I don’t really buy that argument. History doesn’t suggest that it’s true.
Trump also claimed that the Supreme Court took away his immunity. That was immunity that is nowhere promised to anybody, and nobody since Nixon has believed that presidents are above criminal process. So, I think everything he said today – his rhetoric for his base, red meat – none of it’s true.
Refuting Trump’s claim about the Supreme Court stripping away his immunity, Cobb emphasized that such immunity was not promised to anyone, and since the Nixon era, it has not been widely accepted that presidents are exempt from criminal proceedings. Cobb concluded by characterizing Trump’s statements as rhetoric tailored for his base, containing elements that he deemed untrue.
Trump, who has pleaded not guilty to the 91 criminal counts he faces, is currently seen as the frontrunner for the Republican nomination for president. The situation highlights the intersection of legal proceedings, political rhetoric, and potential future scenarios in the context of the upcoming election.