Judge Tanya Chatkan ruled Friday that Donald Trump does not enjoy immunity from criminal prosecution for his actions while he was president of the United States, putting the brakes on the Republican tycoon’s bid to drop charges of conspiring to overturn the presidential election. 2020 elections.

As he pointed out, there is no legal basis to conclude that US presidents cannot face criminal charges after they leave the White House. Because Donald Trump is the first current or former US president to face criminal charges, Chatkan’s verdict is the first court decision to confirm that “no citizen in the US, not even the president, is above the law.”

Donald Trump, who is considered the favorite to win the Republican presidential nomination in 2024, has the right to appeal the decision, delaying the start of the trial until the Court of Appeals and possibly the Supreme Court consider the issue. The trial is currently scheduled to begin in March.

Chatkan’s verdict brings Trump one step closer to being indicted for attempting to interfere in the vote count and congressional ratification of Democrat Joe Biden’s election victory.

The Republican tycoon has pleaded not guilty and accuses prosecutors of seeking to hurt his campaign. The case is one of four criminal charges facing Trump, who is seeking a second term in the White House.