President Donald Trump has asked for a dismissal of an ongoing lawsuit in Washington D.C. in an attempt to shield himself from prosecution.
The suit was originally brought by the District of Columbia and the State of Maryland, accusing the president of profiting off of his time in office by accepting foreign payments to businesses he partially owns.
In response to this, Trump has appealed to the U.S. District Judge on the case and asked to have the suit dismissed. He is claiming that as President of the United States he is immune to prosecution and that no case can be brought against him while he is in office.
At the heart of this issue is the ‘Supremacy Clause’. This clause states that the laws of the United States are superior to state and local laws. In other words, federal law trumps all other law. Therefore, if a federal law provides an immunity from prosecution then it is a ‘valid claim’.
This is why President Trump has asked for the dismissal and why the Judge is now forced to weigh whether or not a person, in this case the President, can indeed be immune to prosecution while in office.
The decision is a difficult one and the implications could have far-reaching consequences across the nation. If the immunity is allowed, then it could set a precedent that will make it next to impossible to bring any criminal cases against a sitting president.
There are also constitutional questions at play here. It is yet to be seen how this case will be resolved but whatever the outcome this will certainly be a landmark case with major far-reaching impacts.