Judges sound sceptical of Trump’s immunity defence.
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Judges sound sceptical of Trump’s immunity defence.

Trump’s argument that former presidents should be immune from criminal prosecution has been sharply contested by appeal court judges.

Mr Trump’s lawyers said his time in office protects him from charges related to his alleged attempt to overturn the 2020 election in a landmark case.

However, the justice department argued that the presidency was not above the law.

Trump, the frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination, left the Iowa campaign trail to attend the event.

On Tuesday, his motorcade entered and exited the Washington DC courthouse through the rear garage. During the 75-minute hearing, Mr Trump sat silently with his attorneys.

Later, he told reporters from the Waldorf-Astoria hotel, which was until recently a Trump hotel, that his side was “doing very well” in the case, and that the Biden administration was harassing him.

According to special counsel Jack Smith, the Republican attempted to overturn Democratic President Joe Biden’s election win.

Trump, who is at the age of 77, says he should not be charged with a crime since he was acting as president at the time. In the course of defending civil and criminal cases, he has cited presidential immunity for a number of years.

In any case, it is widely expected that the case will end up at the US Supreme Court, where conservatives hold a 6-3 majority, regardless of the outcome of the appeals judges.

Depending on the outcome of this case, it could have a significant effect on the future of the American presidency and what an individual holding the office can be allowed to do.

It may also delay Mr Trump’s trial for weeks or months during a 2024 presidential campaign in which he is a leading candidate.