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US: Trump probe into election fraud attempt to begin later

US: Trump probe into election fraud attempt to begin later

The case against the former President of the United States Donald Trump Election rigging efforts are scheduled to begin later than planned. The responsible federal court in the capital Washington announced on Friday (local time) that the start of the trial, originally scheduled for March 4, would be postponed. A new date will be set later. The background to this is the obvious legal questions in this case. Trump, who is seeking a re-election bid for the Republican presidential nomination in November, faces four criminal charges in the middle of an election year.

In the case in Washington, the 77-year-old was charged with federal charges for his efforts to change the outcome of the 2020 presidential election. Trump lost the election to Democrat Joe Biden, but he has not admitted his defeat to this day. Instead, Trump later tried to change the outcome of the election in various ways. His campaign against the election result culminated in an unprecedented, violent attack by his supporters on the US Capitol on January 6, 2021.

Other processes

The indictment charges Trump with four counts of conspiracy against the United States. If convicted, he could face a lengthy prison sentence. Trump has denied all the allegations and has seen the prosecution against him as an attempt by his political opponents to prevent him from running for another term. According to experts, a conviction would not legally bar a Republican from running in the November election — especially if a legal ruling could be reached by then is highly questionable.

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The hearing is one of four in Washington facing the Republican presidential nominee. Trump has also been indicted on various charges in New York, Miami and Atlanta. He is the first former president in US history to face trial for alleged crimes.

Basic question

In the election fraud case in Washington, Trump recently raised a fundamental legal question that still needs to be clarified. Thus, it was already expected that the move might be delayed. The question is whether the office of the President protects against criminal prosecution. An appeals court in Washington is currently handling the clarification. A decision must be made on whether the Republican can be sued at the federal level — or whether he is protected by immunity as a former president. A decision in this regard is still pending.

Depends on the outcome of the question of immunity. On the one hand, it means that the impeachment against Trump for election fraud stands or declines. The result is also important for the election campaign. Last but not least, the decision on immunity from criminal prosecution is of great importance to future presidents. If they truly enjoy immunity, they may commit crimes in office.

© dpa-infocom, dpa:240202-99-852753/3