Friday Briefing

Demonstrators outside the Supreme Court on Thursday.Credit…Haiyun Jiang for The New York Times

Supreme Court appeared to favor presidential immunity

The Supreme Court’s conservative majority appeared ready yesterday to rule that former presidents have some degree of immunity from criminal prosecution, which could further delay the criminal case against Donald Trump on charges that he plotted to subvert the 2020 election.

Such a ruling would most likely send the case back to the trial court, ordering it to draw distinctions between official and private conduct. Though there was seeming consensus among the justices that the criminal case could eventually go forward based on Trump’s private actions, the additional proceedings could make it hard to conduct the trial before the 2024 election in November.

If Trump wins the White House, he can order the Justice Department to drop the charges against him. Here are takeaways from the argument.

In Trump’s New York trial, on charges of falsifying business records, David Pecker, the former publisher of The National Enquirer, told jurors in vivid detail how Trump depended on him to buy and bury damaging stories that could have derailed Trump’s 2016 campaign.

A U.S. Army vessel assisting in the construction of the floating pier.Credit…Kristen Zeis for The New York Times
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