US Supreme Court will decide if former president Donald Trump can be prosecuted over Capitol riot

US Supreme Court will decide if former president Donald Trump can be prosecuted over Capitol riot

The US Supreme Court has said it will decide on whether Donald Trump can be prosecuted for alleged interference with the 2020 election.

Under the court’s schedule, issued on Wednesday, it will start to hear the case in late April, with a decision likely no later than the end of June

The court, which has a 6-3 conservative majority, said in an unsigned statement that it will consider “whether and if so to what extent does a former president enjoy presidential immunity from criminal prosecution for conduct alleged to involve official acts during his tenure in office”.

The court, three of whose nine members were appointed by Mr Trump, 77, has previously said presidents are immune from civil liability for official acts.

But Mr Trump, the odds-on favorite to be the Republican Party’s nominee for this year’s ballot, has claimed that he should also be protected from criminal prosecution.

So far, his theory that former presidents enjoy absolute immunity for any official actions has been rejected by lower courts.

Earlier this month, a US court of appeals panel backed district Judge Tanya Chutkan’s decision to proceed with the case.

It ruled Mr Trump can be prosecuted for what he did in the White House and in the run-up to the riots of 6 January 2021, when a mob of Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol.

Supreme Court justices will also hear Mr Trump’s appeal to remain on the presidential ballot despite attempts to kick him off because of his efforts following his election loss in 2020.

During arguments earlier this month, the court seemed likely to side with Mr Trump and a decision in that case could come any time.

The election interference case, brought by special counsel Jack Smith, is one of four prosecutions Mr Trump faces as he seeks to reclaim the White House.

Mr Trump is set to go on trial in New York next month over alleged hush money payments made to porn actor Stormy Daniels.