William Baude Explains Trump’s Lack of Immunity from Lawsuits

Trump claims immunity as President in lawsuit
Tal Kopan
April 18, 2017

President Donald Trump is claiming he cannot be sued now that he has won the White House -- a defense in a lawsuit that alleges Trump incited rally-goers to violence when they allegedly assaulted protesters during the 2016 campaign.


But the court decided unanimously in former President Bill Clinton's case that he could face a lawsuit for actions he allegedly took prior to becoming President, leading to his famous impeachment. In that case, former Arkansas state employee Paula Jones alleged Clinton sexually harassed her when he was governor of Arkansas.

"Generally speaking, things done before the President is president, in the President's ordinary capacity, there's no special immunity from suit," said University of Chicago Law School professor William Baude, who works on immunity. "(The concept is) about preserving your ability to do your job; it doesn't apply before you had your job"

William Baude