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Attorney General Bridget Hill backs amicus brief supporting Trump’s Supreme Court presidential immunity case

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost submitted the legal document to the high court, with Hill and Alaska AG Treg Taylor included listed as additional counsel.

Equal Justice Under Law engraving above entrance to US Supreme Court Building. Supreme Court faces the US Capitol Building. (Shutterstock)

CHEYENNE, Wyo. — Wyoming Attorney General Bridget Hill has given her support to Donald Trump for his upcoming hearing with the Supreme Court regarding his immunity claims.

On March 19, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost submitted an amicus brief — a document from an expert providing insight or support for a legal case — to the U.S. Supreme Court in support of Trump’s position on his immunity claims. Hill, as well as Alaska Attorney General Treg Taylor, signed on to the brief as “additional counsel.”

Hill, Yost and Taylor position themselves “in support of petitioner” former President Donald Trump, according to the legal document. In his case, Trump claims he is protected by presidential immunity to federal indictments levied against him for attempting to overturn the 2020 election. Trump has pleaded “not guilty” to the criminal charges. The U.S. Supreme Court elected to pick up the former president’s immunity case on Feb. 28. Hearings are scheduled to begin April 25.

The amicus brief

Yost states that the U.S. Constitution grants the president a broad, but not limitless, amount of immunity. However, “deciding where presidential immunity ends and presidential accountability begins must start with the known unknowns,” Yost writes. These factors include the president’s actions and the context in which they executed such choices. Standards, not rules, are the best guidelines to look toward when assessing the head of state’s actions, the brief states.

“Announcing a test for presidential immunity in this case’s posture might seem unusual,” Yost states in the brief. “After this case, the idea of pressing criminal charges against a current or former President will always be on the table. Announcing a test now, before all the facts are aired, not only aids the trial process, but may well ‘turn the national temperature down.’”

Yost proposes in the brief that courts should adopt the following two-pronged test to better measure presidential immunity:

  • Consider how an alleged criminal act is connected to the president’s powers as defined in Article II of the Constitution.
  • Conclude whether the urgency of the situation warranted the president’s actions. Yost and his fellow attorneys general argue that in times of heightened urgency like war, the circumstances call for greater degree of presidential immunity.

In the brief, the Ohio AG states he believes the nation has entered unprecedented times. Throughout the Trump presidency and beyond, impeachment and threats of presidential prosecution are increasingly common, Yost argues.

“A line of normal behavior has been crossed — the special counsel actually boasts in his own brief that a president has never before been criminally prosecuted,” Yost said in a news release announcing the amicus brief. The special counsel he refers to is U.S. Department of Justice attorney Jack Smith, who is prosecuting Trump for the 2020 election charges. “In the same way that impeachment has apparently been normalized, it seems likely that we will see future cases in which a prosecutor charges a chief magistrate.”

A full copy of the legal document can be viewed below.