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  • Writer's pictureDonald V. Watkins

Supreme Court’s Ruling on Presidential Immunity is Expected to End Donald Trump’s "Hush Money" Case

By: Donald V. Watkins

Copyrighted and Published on May 31, 2024

An Editorial Opinion

Yesterday, Republican presidential nominee Donald J. Trump was convicted on all 34 felony counts in his New York state court "hush money" case. Trump is scheduled for sentencing on July 11, 2024.

So, What Happens Next?

For the reasons stated in my March 14, 2024 article, the U.S. Supreme Court will issue a ruling in June that is widely expected to end Trump's criminal exposure in all four of his state and federal criminal cases.

Once the Court's ruling is issued, Trump's lawyers in his New York case will promptly present the presidential immunity defense in a renewed motion to dismiss the case.

Judge Juan Merchan will have no choice but to vacate Trump's 34 felony convictions and dismiss his criminal case, with prejudice. As such, there will be no sentencing of Donald Trump in this case.

How Does Presidential Immunity Impact Trump's 34 Felony Convictions Post-Trial?


Like most Americans, the Supreme Court is aware of Donald Trump's New York criminal case and yesterday's 34 "guilty" verdicts. The Court is not inclined to allow any state or federal criminal case to interfere with the 2024 presidential race in a way that favors or hurts either one of the two major party nominees. For example, in March, the Court put Trump back on the ballot in Colorado after state election offficials kicked him off.


Donald Trump’s New York state court “hush money” case will likely end with the Supreme Court's ruling on presidential immunity, even though Trump has already been convicted on each one of the 34 felony counts in the indictment.  A motion to vacate the convictions and dismiss the case may be presented to Judge Merchan at any time, upon a showing of immunity from prosecution.

The reason for a dismissal of the criminal charges in Trump's New York case is simple -- Donald Trump (and persons acting on his behalf) did not reimburse Michael Cohen for the “hush money” payments he made to porn actress Stormy Daniels until February 14, 2017.  Even then, the authorized signatories for Trump's Revocable Trust Account made the first three monthly payments.

Donald Trump signed reimbursement checks made payable to Cohen from his personal bank account, beginning on May 23, 2017. Trump was well into his presidency when he began signing the reimbursement checks.

It is undisputed that Donald Trump was a sitting president when all 11 reimbursement payments were made to Michael Cohen. The Supreme Court will define the doctrine of presidential immunity broad enough to cover this circumstance.


It will not matter that Michael Cohen committed crimes with his "hush money" payments to Stormy Daniels prior to Trump assuming the presidency in January 2017. Donald Trump’s personal participation in Cohen “hush money” scheme began AFTER he became president. As such, Trump actions in the "hush money" case would be covered by the Supreme Court's newly recognized and broad doctrine of presidential immunity.

What is more, prosecutors in New York did not charge Donald Trump with participating in a "hush money" conspiracy with Michael Cohen. Trump is the lone defendant in his New York "hush money" case and the payment to Cohen occurred after he assumed office as president.

Trump will likely win a dismissal of the "hush money" charges after the Supreme Court grants him immunity from all criminal prosecutions, state and federal.




Donald Trump is the luckiest criminal defendant I know.  Despite his cadre of mediocre criminal defense lawyers in all four of his criminal cases, Trump will likely walk away from these four criminal prosecutions because of a new judicially-recognized presidential immunity that is not expressed in the U.S. Constitution or any federal statute.


It also appears that the Supreme Court is determined to make the rematch between Donald Trump and Joe Biden an election that will be decided by voters at the polls, without any interference from federal and state prosecutors. 


Two shady U.S. presidents (i.e., Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton) had their sycophants in the Department of Justice (DOJ) create and fortify the concept of presidential immunity from criminal prosecution "out of thin air" in September 24, 1973 and October 16, 2000 DOJ memos to cover their asses upon their exit from the presidency.


The Supreme Court does not have to birth the concept of presidential immunity.  All the Court has to do is expand the scope of the presidential immunity enunciated in these DOJ memos and add judicially-created exceptions for treason and murder.  This, the Court will do.

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May 31

In deed. Donald Trump is the luckiest criminal defendent I've seen in my life time. Although I disagree with the U.S. Supreme Court "Presidential Immunity that benefits Trump, I'm elated that the purpose of their ruling is to ascertain as planned for both Joe Biden and Donald.Trump square-off this fall for President of the United States.

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