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AOC Threatens Major Response After Supreme Court Immunity Ruling

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has announced her impeachment plans for the Supreme Court.

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, in a congressional hearing, rests her head on her hand as if thinking
Nathan Howard/Getty Images

In response to the Supreme Court’s disastrous 6–3 decision on Monday granting Trump expansive immunity from criminal prosecution, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez issued a stern condemnation of the court’s “corruption crisis beyond its control” and vowed to issue articles of impeachment against the Supreme Court once Congress reconvenes after Labor Day.

Twitter screenshot Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez @AOC: The Supreme Court has become consumed by a corruption crisis beyond its control. Today’s ruling represents an assault on American democracy. It is up to Congress to defend our nation from this authoritarian capture. I intend on filing articles of impeachment upon our return.

“Today’s ruling represents an assault on American democracy,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote in response to the Supreme Court deciding on Monday that presidents are above the law. “It is up to Congress to defend our nation from this authoritarian capture.” Ocasio-Cortez’s bold declaration prompted a since-deleted response from Representative Veronica Escobar saying, “Count me in,” suggesting there may soon be more lawmakers behind the effort.

Prior to Monday’s ruling in Trump v. United States, the Supreme Court significantly expanded its judicial power and overturned the Chevron doctrine—and then further obliterated modern administrative law in yet another case. The Supreme Court also dismantled a law used to convict hundreds of Capitol rioters on the basis that the relevant subsection of the law comes after an irrelevant subsection, a barely cogent legal argument that conservative justice Amy Coney Barrett described as “textual backflips.”

According to the Constitution, Supreme Court justices “shall hold their Offices during good Behaviour,” meaning justices remain on the Supreme Court until they either step down, die, or are removed by impeachment. Impeaching a Supreme Court justice requires a simple majority vote in the House followed by a conviction in the Senate with a two-thirds majority vote—meaning the success of AOC’s prospective efforts to impeach any Supreme Court justice relies in part on Democrats winning control of the House and substantially increasing their majority in the Senate, as well as ginning up enough support to pursue impeachment in the first place.

The only Supreme Court justice ever to be impeached was Samuel Chase in 1804. The House successfully passed articles of impeachment against Chase on charges that he used his position to promote his political agenda, which at the time the House’s impeachment articles described as “tending to prostitute the high judicial character with which he was invested, to the low purpose of an electioneering partizan.” Despite the House’s successful impeachment vote, the Senate later acquitted Chase.

It’s unclear whether the articles of impeachment Ocasio-Cortez intends to file would be levied against all six conservative justices behind the majority opinion in the immunity ruling, or whether the effort would focus on specific justices, such as Clarence Thomas and his chronic failure to disclose gifts from conservative billionaires or Samuel Alito and his wife’s love of far-right flags. Regardless, it’s a massive threat that will take a Herculean effort to pull off.

Steve Bannon’s Podcast Somehow Just Got Even Worse

Representatives Matt Gaetz, Marjorie Taylor Greene, and Lauren Boebert will each take a turn guest-hosting Bannon’s show.

Steve Bannon speaks while people hold up signs behind him
David Dee Delgado/Getty Images

Political conspiracy theorist Steve Bannon is turning to establishment conservatives to guest-host his podcast while he serves his prison sentence—and they’re all too ready to take on the job.

A couple dozen guest hosts are slated to take over Bannon’s far-right podcast, War Room, before he wraps up his stint in federal prison. The names filling up the time slots—and effectively elevating the fringe platform—include top conservative lawmakers such as Representatives Matt Gaetz, Marjorie Taylor Greene, and Lauren Boebert.

They’ll join the likes of alt-right conspiracy theorist and white supremacist Jack Posobiec, Trump administration officials Kash Patel and Peter Navarro (who will join once he finishes his own prison sentence on July 17), former Fox News commentator Monica Crowley, and, strangely, Osama bin Laden’s niece, Noor bin Laden.

Bannon headed to prison Monday for defying a congressional subpoena from the house January 6 investigative committee. The former Trump adviser played a key role in the effort to overturn the 2020 presidential election results and helped stoke the anger among conservatives that boiled into the January 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol building. Bannon is scheduled to be released November 1, just days before the next election.

“It doesn’t matter that I’m in prison,” Bannon told The Daily Beast on Sunday. “The show will be bigger.… They’re making me a martyr.”

“The audience will not notice any difference in the intensity, the urgency, the topics we cover, contributors,” he continued.

But the 70-year-old’s perspective on his own imprisonment is still a bit askew from the reality of his situation. Rather than viewing it as an immediate and legally expected consequence of failing to respond to a mandatory congressional inquiry, Bannon seemed to believe the prison sentence boiled down to an effort to shutter his peripheral political platform. For the alt-right, that makes the podcast’s longevity a symbolic success.

“It’s very simple,” Bannon said. “I’m a political prisoner, because I have a very successful platform that reaches the common man. They hate that; they will do anything to shut that down.”

Meanwhile, the former Trump strategist seemed ready to take on his sentence, telling the Beast that he wasn’t expecting any “special deals.”

“I’m just showing up tomorrow,” Bannon told the publication. “Let’s roll.”

The Disturbing Footnote in Supreme Court’s Trump Immunity Ruling

In a short footnote, Chief Justice John Roberts says the federal cases against Donald Trump cannot continue if he is elected.

Chief Justice John Roberts looks up
Leah Millis/Pool/Getty Images)

As a part of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling Monday on presidential immunity, the highest court in the land officially determined that a sitting president cannot be criminally prosecuted, promising an abrupt end to some of Donald Trump’s remaining criminal trials should he be elected in November.

While the Department of Justice has long held that a sitting president cannot be criminally prosecuted, the Supreme Court has never explicitly ruled on the issue—until now. In one brief footnote of his majority opinion granting sweeping protections to the president, Chief Justice John Roberts reaffirmed the department’s rule.

“Our decision in Clinton permitted claims alleging unofficial acts to proceed against the sitting President,” he wrote, referring to Clinton v. Jones, a civil suit brought against former President Bill Clinton over conduct from before he was president. “In the criminal context, however, the Justice Department ‘has long recognized’ that ‘the separation of powers precludes the criminal prosecution of a sitting President.’”

The decision in Trump v. United States has gutted Jack Smith’s indictment alleging that the former president attempted to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential elections; it also makes clear that if Trump is elected, he won’t face justice for crimes committed out of office, either.

If he makes it back into the White House, Trump will likely never face trial over allegations that he illegally kept a trove of classified documents and obstructed their return, a trial that has faced significant delays at the hands of a Trump-appointed judge, pushing its start date to well after the election.

The Supreme Court decision further incentivizes Trump to do anything necessary to seize the presidency in November, so that he can evade prosecution for his alleged crimes. This significantly increases the vigor with which the former president will oppose the results of the democratic elections if he doesn’t come out victorious.

Steve Bannon Press Conference Outside Prison Ends in Total Disaster

MAGA mastermind Steve Bannon tried to offer his last words before heading to prison. It did not go to plan.

Steve Bannon and Marjorie TAylor Greene hold a press conference

As Steve Bannon turned himself in to Danbury federal prison in Connecticut on Monday to serve out a four-month stint for refusing to testify to Congress for his role in the January 6, 2021, Capitol insurrection, demonstrators led by ruckus royalty Anarchy Princess carried signs reading, “Bleach blonde bad built butch body” behind Bannon ally Marjorie Taylor Greene and smirkingly chanted, “Lock him up” against competing chants of “USA,” which inadvertently aided in the cacophony.

Demonstrators drowned out the MAGA press conference with cowbells and chants, making Bannon’s last words before heading off to the big house indecipherable.

Bannon was found guilty on two counts of contempt of Congress after refusing to comply with a congressional subpoena in 2022 and sentenced to four months in federal prison. He unsuccessfully attempted to appeal his conviction, with the Supreme Court refusing to save him just last week. Greene has fumed at Bannon’s conviction, calling it “a DISGRACE to our country, and an affront to the principles of justice it was founded upon.”

Anarchy Princess first came to prominence when she stood behind Trump ally Peter Navarro during his own press conference after he too was found guilty of contempt of Congress, in September 2023. During that presser, Anarchy Princess’s simple yet effective antics ruffled Navarro’s feathers so much he attempted to take her sign blazoned with the words “Trump lost (and you know it!),” which she deftly kept out of his reach as she reminded him, “You’re already facing charges.”

Bannon will be in prison until just before the general election, serving his time in a facility slightly less glamorous than the “Club Fed” minimum-security facility he had hoped for, due to yet another open criminal case against him in New York.* Bannon is accused of defrauding donors with empty promises to build a border wall. He pleaded not guilty to charges of money laundering, fraud, and conspiracy in September 2022 and is expected to stand trial this September in the same courthouse that convicted Trump.

* This article originally misstated when Bannon will get out of prison.

The Most Chilling Line in Supreme Court’s Trump Immunity Ruling

The court not only handed Donald Trump ultimate power, but it also gave him an extra boost to handle future trials against him.

Donald Trump stands and smiles weirdly
Samuel Corum/Getty Images

With its ruling in favor of presidential immunity Monday morning, the Supreme Court has heavily undermined much of the evidence expected to be used against Donald Trump in his pending criminal trials. 

In the ruling, the court stated that “testimony or private records of the President or his advisers probing such conduct may not be admitted as evidence at trial,” referring to anything a president does as an “official” act.

Much of the evidence gathered against Trump in his January 6 trial, for example, relies on what he said to his advisers and to Vice President Mike Pence, as well as records that were kept on such discussions in the White House. It could also erase evidence of Trump speaking to lawmakers on the evening of January 6 to delay the certification of Biden’s victory. According to the Supreme Court, all such evidence is now unusable, an interpretation that, fortunately for Trump, guts that case against him. 

As some commentators on X (formerly Twitter) noted, even the Watergate case against former President Richard Nixon would have been heavily undermined by Monday’s ruling. In the 1974 case United States v. Nixon, Nixon was required to deliver audiotapes of his conversations in the Oval Office to a district court, which contained damning evidence against him and ultimately led to his resignation.

Twitter screenshot Curtis @RebrandNuggets:
The tapes revealing Nixon and Haldeman engineering a cover-up would be excluded in a prosecution and would be presumed immune?
Twitter screenshot GOP Jesus @GOPJesusUSA:
Nixon called. He’s like his tapes back.
Twitter screenshot Kat Abu @abughazalehkat:
rip richard nixon, you would’ve loved this decision

It’s little wonder that Trump immediately celebrated Monday morning’s ruling, as he very likely will escape prosecution for January 6. But, as other commentators on social media noted, the Supreme Court has very well opened the door for Joe Biden to discuss taking outrageous actions in his capacity as president, since the ability to gather evidence against him has been rendered moot.

Twitter Screenshot Andrew Lawrence @ndrew_lawrence:
joe biden now has the opportunity to create several scotus vacancies in the funniest ways possible
Twitter screenshot Adrian Daub @adriandaub:
This decision is obviously a travesty but I will point out that Biden has the opportunity to do the funniest thing right now
Blue Sky Screenshot Adam Serwer
The “joe biden has the chance to do the funniest thing ever” jokes are now literally correct

Supreme Court Immunity Ruling Destroys Independent Justice Department

Chief Justice John used Donald Trump’s immunity ruling to casually wreck the concept of an independent Department of Justice.

Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts looks up
Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc/Getty Images

The Justice Department will no longer be an independent authority on the law, thanks to the Supreme Court’s ruling on Donald Trump’s immunity case Monday. Instead, it will be an arm to be leveraged by the Oval Office, with open communication enabled between the federal law enforcement agency and the presidency for all future investigations.

Chief Justice John Roberts slipped the allowance into his majority opinion, as the justices ruled 6–3 in Trump’s favor along ideological lines. In a quiet sentence, Roberts argued that the fresh take on the executive branch relationship would help the president carry out his constitutional duties.

“The president may discuss potential investigations and prosecutions with his Attorney General and other Justice Department officials to carry out his constitutional duty to ‘take care that the laws be faithfully executed,’” Roberts wrote.

“And the Attorney General, as head of the Justice Department, acts as the President’s ‘chief law enforcement officer’ who ‘provides vital assistance to [him] in the performance of [his] constitutional duty to ‘preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution,’” Roberts continued, citing a precedent from an immunity case argued for Cabinet members, Mitchell v. Forsyth.

This means that if Trump returns to office, he will have free rein to wield the Justice Department as he sees fit—and he and his allies have already given plenty of indications as to what they plan to do.

The decision from the conservative majority overturned a federal appeals court ruling that had unanimously rejected all three of Trump’s presidential immunity arguments in his January 6 case, “patiently, painstakingly, and unsparingly” dismantling his arguments in an “airtight” opinion, according to George Conway, a conservative attorney and ex-husband of former Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway.

Monday’s ruling has effectively killed the January 6 trial, which would have been overseen by U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan.

Supreme Court’s Trump Immunity Ruling Decimates Jack Smith’s Case

The court’s decision on Donald Trump’s immunity doesn’t just delay his trial. It guts the entire case against him.

A person holds an anti-Donald Trump protest sign outside the Supreme Court
Al Drago/Bloomberg/Getty Images

The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling Monday that the president is entitled to presumptive immunity from all official acts has severely undermined the case against Donald Trump for seeking to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election, making it even less likely he will face justice for his actions.

In his majority opinion granting sweeping protections to the president, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote that part of the Department of Justice’s indictment against the former president “alleges that Trump and his co-conspirators ‘attempted to enlist the Vice President to use his ceremonial role at the January 6 certification proceeding to fraudulently alter the election results.’”

“In particular, the indictment alleges several conversations in which Trump pressured the Vice President to reject States’ legitimate electoral votes or send them back to state legislatures for review,” Roberts continued.

“Whenever the President and Vice President discuss their official responsibilities, they engage in official conduct,” wrote Roberts, meaning that Trump can no longer be prosecuted for outright demanding that his former Vice President Mike Pence not certify the 2020 election results.

“Presiding over the January 6 certification proceeding at which Members of Congress count the electoral votes is a constitutional and statutory duty of the Vice President,” Roberts said. “The indictment’s allegations that Trump attempted to pressure the Vice President to take particular acts in connection with his role at the certification proceeding thus involve official conduct, and Trump is at least presumptively immune from prosecution for such conduct.”

The ruling established that the president may not be indicted on conduct that is immune to prosecution, specifically including conversations between the president and his allies, nor can those acts be considered when trying to prove guilt.

“Testimony or private records of the President or his advisers probing such conduct may not be admitted as evidence at trial,” the ruling stated—a surprising new precedent in the face of 1974’s United States v. Nixon, which required then-President Richard Nixon to deliver tapes of his conversations in the Oval Office to a district court, a ruling that ultimately paved the way for his resignation.

A major part of special counsel Jack Smith’s case against Trump hinges on the allegation that Trump knew he had lost the election but continued to urge his supporters to subvert it via unlawful means. This includes demanding Pence delay certifying the nation’s votes, which Trump’s lawyer John Lauro essentially admitted in August was illegal. But now, those conversations cannot be used as evidence in the case.

Monday’s decision has effectively gutted Trump’s January 6 trial, which would have been overseen by U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan. Trump has already started celebrating, and it’s clear it also would’ve made Nixon pretty happy.

Trump Celebrates Supreme Court Giving Him Total Power in Immunity Case

Donald Trump can’t wait for what comes next.

Donald Trump smiles weirdly
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Donald Trump is celebrating after the Supreme Court ruled Monday morning on partisan lines that presidents have “presumptive immunity from prosecution for all of his official acts.”

On Truth Social, the former president and convicted felon immediately posted, “BIG WIN FOR OUR CONSTITUTION AND DEMOCRACY. PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN!”

Of course Trump would be happy with this ruling. On Sunday night, Trump was practically begging the Supreme Court for a favorable ruling, and that is what he got from the six conservative justices on the court. The ruling throws into question whether there are any lines that a president can cross while in office. It also throws the federal trial over Trump’s attempts to intervene in the certification of the 2020 election into jeopardy, and allows him to breathe easier yet again regarding the criminal cases against him.

Currently, the only criminal verdict against him is his conviction on hush-money charges in New York. Trump’s Georgia election interference case against him is currently held up as his legal team attempts to get prosecutor Fani Willis thrown off of the case. His classified documents case has been continuously delayed by Judge Aileen Cannon, whom he appointed.

And now, if Trump were to return to the White House as president, he can in theory do whatever he wants and never have to fear prosecution. Those actions could be quite dangerous: Trump’s allies have spoken of retribution against those who sought to hold him accountable in the first place, and use the Justice Department against his opponents. He’s poised to give Christian nationalists a bigger role in his administration the second time around, and to clamp down on immigration with mass deportation camps. There’s also his general anti-democracy activities.

With Monday’s Supreme Court ruling, it’s not just Trump who is celebrating, it’s all of his allies and bad actors who are eyeing November’s election as an opportunity to push their agendas without fear from the law. 

Donald Trump Jr. Mocks Jack Smith Over Supreme Court Ruling

The younger Trump celebrated his father essentially receiving absolute immunity.

Donald Trump Jr. raises his fists above his head
Jeff Kowalsky/AFP/Getty Images

Donald Trump Jr. cheered his father’s massive victory on presidential immunity that essentially puts him above the law.

The Supreme Court handed Donald Trump a seismic win in his immunity case Monday, giving his legal team more than they asked for in terms of what qualifies as prosecutable official acts of the presidency while effectively killing Trump’s January 6 criminal trial.

But that wasn’t enough for Trump’s eldest son, who was quick to amplify the news that the former president can’t be held accountable for some of his actions related to the effort to overturn the 2020 election results. And Don Jr. couldn’t resist throwing another dig at special counsel Jack Smith, whose January 6 case against the presumptive Republican presidential nominee is now in tatters.

“Solid SCOTUS ruling today,” posted Don Jr. “I’m sure the corrupt prosecutors and DC judge will work overtime to continue their lawfare. It’s all they have left.”

Sotomayor Slams Supreme Court Immunity Ruling in Terrifying Dissent

The three liberal Supreme Court justices, led by Sonia Sotomayor, warn democracy is at risk after the Supreme Court’s Trump presidential immunity case.

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor speaks
Jacquelyn Martin/Pool/Getty Images

In a devastating 6–3 decision issued Monday, the conservative supermajority of the Supreme Court did what it was installed by Trump to do and twisted the Constitution to shield Trump from criminal liability for crimes he committed in office. The case was brought to the Supreme Court by Trump in an attempt to evade prosecution for his alleged attempts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.

The decision effectively gives a green light to all future presidents to commit as many crimes as they want while in office. As Justice Sonia Sotomayor put it, “the President is now a king above the law.”

Sotomayor led in the chilling dissent, joined by liberal justices Elena Kagan and Ketanji Brown Jackson. Sotomayor’s dissent is charged with fierce criticisms of the decision, noting that the conservative majority “invents an atextual, ahistorical, and unjustifiable immunity that puts the President above the law” and “makes a mockery of the principle, foundational to our Constitution and system of Government, that no man is above the law.

Sotomayor shredded the conservative decision by examining the intentions laid out by the Founding Fathers in contrast to the current ambitions of Trump and the justices aligned with him—a seemingly originalist examination refuting the conservative justices’ recent trend of augmenting the law to come to a politically advantageous decision.

“Relying on little more than its own misguided wisdom about the need for ‘bold and unhesitating action’ by the President, the Court gives former President Trump all the immunity he asked for and more.”

“The President of the United States is the most powerful person in the country, and possibly the world,” Sotomayor wrote. “When he uses his official powers in any way, under the majority’s reasoning, he now will be insulated from criminal prosecution. Orders the Navy’s Seal Team 6 to assassinate a political rival? Immune. Organizes a military coup to hold onto power? Immune. Takes a bribe in exchange for a pardon? Immune. Immune, immune, immune.”

“Let the President violate the law, let him exploit the trappings of his office for personal gain, let him use his official power for evil ends. Because if he knew that he may one day face liability for breaking the law, he might not be as bold and fearless as we would like him to be. That is the majority’s message today. Even if these nightmare scenarios never play out, and I pray they never do, the damage has been done.”

Sotomayor’s dissent cast dark clouds over the fate of the country, writing, “The relationship between the President and the people he serves has shifted irrevocably. In every use of official power, the President is now a king above the law.”

“Never in the history of our Republic has a President had reason to believe that he would be immune from criminal prosecution if he used the trappings of his office to violate the criminal law,” wrote Sotomayor. “Moving forward, however, all former Presidents will be cloaked in such immunity. If the occupant of that office misuses official power for personal gain, the criminal law that the rest of us must abide will not provide a backstop,” she added.

“With fear for our democracy, I dissent,” Sotomayor concluded.