Transcript: David Becker appeared on the television program “Face the Nation” on February

Transcript of an interview with CBS election law contributor David Becker, founder of the Center for Election Innovation and Research, on the legal cases against former President Donald Trump, which aired on Face The Nation on February 11, 2024.

MARGARET BRENNAN: We are joined by CBS News election law contributor David Becker, founder of the Center for Election Innovation and Research. David, it has been a busy week in terms of presidential legal matters. Let’s start with the decision from the D.C. circuit that a former president is not immune from criminal prosecution. Donald Trump has said he plans to appeal this to the Supreme Court. Do you think they will take up the case?

DAVID BECKER: It is highly likely that he will appeal before the deadline tomorrow. However, I do not believe the Supreme Court will take up the case. The D.C. circuit, which is often considered the second highest court in the land, issued a unanimous and strong opinion rejecting the idea that a president has blanket immunity for any criminal acts. This opinion was written by three judges appointed by two different presidents from different parties, making it very compelling for the majority of the Supreme Court.

MARGARET BRENNAN: This decision will have significant implications if the Supreme Court upholds it. Trump has repeatedly claimed that everything is rigged, including this case. He argues that without total immunity, the opposing party can extort and blackmail the president by threatening to indict them for actions taken while in office. Is there any truth to this?

DAVID BECKER: The D.C. circuit addressed this argument in their opinion and found that the executive branch and the public have a right to expect accountability from the president. Additionally, this argument shows a lack of understanding of the criminal justice system. The cases against Trump were brought before grand juries, where prosecutors had to present evidence and obtain indictments from citizens. This process is not influenced by political parties or agendas.  

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