Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Donald Trump Is About To Discover That Presidential Immunity Only Applies To Official Acts

Taking classified documents to Mar A Lago is not a power delegated to the president by Congress.

ScottCDunn
3 min readFeb 20, 2022

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Remember the Trump rallies where The Former Guy would rile up the audience with a story about Hillary Clinton? I remember how they’d chant, “Lock her up! Lock her up! Lock her up!” I saw the videos. I saw the enthusiasm. I read the articles claiming that Clinton had passed classified information through her personal email server in her house. I read that her server was compromised. Trump’s team campaigned on that issue as if he were so much better than Clinton.

Then Trump became president, and whenever Trump was accused of doing anything wrong, he claimed presidential immunity. In a lawsuit filed against him for his part in the insurrection at the capitol on January 6th of last year, one of Trump’s defenses was immunity while he was president. Urging people to “fight like hell” doesn’t sound like an official act to me.

In the last week, we learned that Trump took White House documents to his Mar A Lago Resort. They weren’t just any documents, they were classified documents. Not an official act. I don’t hear any Democrats chanting “Lock Him!”

We also learned that Trump had been tearing up documents and clogging up toilets with them. The Presidential Records Act requires that certain documents be preserved. Trump didn’t preserve some of them, and in so doing, exceeded the authority granted to him by Congress. Any act committed by a president beyond the authority delegated to him by the Constitution, Congress, or the people is not an official act.

A man who believes he is immune from prosecution during his term as President of the United States has nothing to hide. Whatever we might think of the president, we know that if a Democrat had behaved the same way in the White House, the GOP would be all over the news, speaking from behind podiums everywhere but the Senate, about how awful this president is. They were all over Hillary, and she was just Secretary of State.

Let’s be clear. No one has absolute immunity from anything. A person only has as much power as everyone else is willing to give…

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