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Ghosts - Season 1
We checked for updates on 108 streaming services on 10 January 2024 at 20:51:19. Something wrong? Let us know!
Streaming, rent, or buy Ghosts – Season 1:
Currently you are able to watch "Ghosts - Season 1" streaming on BBC iPlayer for free.
S1 e1 - pilot, s1 e2 - hello, s1 e3 - viking funeral, s1 e4 - dinner party, s1 e5 - halloween, s1 e6 - pete's wife, s1 e7 - flower's article, s1 e8 - d&d, s1 e9 - alberta's fan, s1 e10 - possession, s1 e11 - sam's mom, s1 e12 - jay's sister, s1 e13 - the vault, s1 e14 - ghostwriter, s1 e15 - thorapy, s1 e16 - trevor's pants, s1 e17 - attic girl, s1 e18 - farnsby & b.
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A group of spirits restlessly squabble in an abandoned country house. To their despair, a young couple inherits the house with hopeful plans to renovate it into a luxury hotel. A group of spirits restlessly squabble in an abandoned country house. To their despair, a young couple inherits the house with hopeful plans to renovate it into a luxury hotel. A group of spirits restlessly squabble in an abandoned country house. To their despair, a young couple inherits the house with hopeful plans to renovate it into a luxury hotel.
- Mathew Baynton
- Laurence Rickard
- Lolly Adefope
- Simon Farnaby
- 243 User reviews
- 18 Critic reviews
- 1 win & 12 nominations total
- Katherine 'Kitty' Higham
- Thomas Thorne
- Julian Fawcett MP
- Lady Fanny Button
- Pat Butcher
- Alison Cooper
- Mike Cooper
- Humphrey's Body
- Barclay Beg-Chetwynde
- Charles Worthing
- Rev. Gerald Hatch
- Betty Cooper
- All cast & crew
- Production, box office & more at IMDbPro
More like this
Did you know
- Trivia Julian, Simon Farnaby's character, was influenced by a number of different politicians including Tony Blair, David Cameron, and Boris Johnson. The nature of his death was likely based on upon that of the former conservative MP Stephen Milligan, who died of autoerotic asphyxiation in 1994.
- Connections Featured in The Sara Cox Show: Episode #1.11 (2019)
User reviews 243
- Apr 17, 2019
- How many seasons does Ghosts have? Powered by Alexa
- What are the medal ribbons on the Captain's uniform? (In order, please!)In season 2 they are also upside down. In addition if he died at Button House he presumably saw no active service abroad so should not have been awarded the France and Germany StarIn season 1 the captain refers to being in Africa with Monty yet he does not wear the Africa Star!
- Is this a remake of the 1970s British children's show "The Ghosts of Motley Hall"?
- How come all the ghosts in the boiler room seem to be completely confined to that space (where they all presumably died?), whereas the others can roam around the entire premise at will regardless of what precise spot they died at?
- May 27, 2020 (United States)
- United Kingdom
- Official Facebook
- West Horsley, West Horsley, Surrey, England, Uk (Button House)
- BBC Studios
- Monumental Television
- See more company credits at IMDbPro
- Runtime 30 minutes
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A cash-strapped young couple inherit a grand country house, only to find it is both falling apart and teeming with the ghosts of former inhabitants.
- Cast: Martha Howe-Douglas, Mathew Baynton, Lolly Adefope
Who Do You Think You Are?
Sitcom about a couple who inherit a haunted country house.
EPISODE 1 • 30m
The ghostly visions return to haunt Alison, but Mike insists on a rational explanation.
EPISODE 2 • 28m
Happy Death Day
Pat begs Alison to pass on a message from beyond the grave.
EPISODE 3 • 30m
Fortune smiles on Mike and Alison when a TV company comes looking for an old house.
EPISODE 4 • 28m
Mike and Alison throw an upmarket dinner party to help resolve a thorny issue.
EPISODE 5 • 28m
Mike and Alison consider selling Button House to a hotel chain.
EPISODE 6 • 29m
Mathew baynton, lolly adefope, simon farnaby, charlotte ritchie, kiell smith-bynoe, laurence rickard.
How to watch Ghosts season 5 online from anywhere, all episodes streaming now
It's farewell to the residents of Button House
How to watch Ghosts season 5
All six episodes of Ghosts season 5 are available to watch now for FREE on BBC iPlayer in the UK. The series will also premiere on BBC One at 8:30pm on Friday, October 6. Away from home? Use a VPN to watch Ghosts season 5 from anywhere .
Ghosts season 5 preview
With spooky season upon us it’s time to take one last trip to Button House, as Ghosts season 5 takes to TV screens. The hit comedy returns following last year's tear jerking Christmas special as Alison (Charlotte Ritchie) and Mike (Kiell Smith-Bynoe) deal with the aftermath of the fire that closed out the previous season.
The show is written by the Horrible Histories team who also star as the hapless haunters unable to leave the dilapidated mansion Alison inherited in the pilot episode. Among the cast of deceased residents are Simon Fanarby as disgraced politician Julian, Martha Howe-Douglas as temperamental former Lady of the house Fanny, Mathew Baynton as hopeless Regency romantic Thomas and Jim Howick as perennially upbeat Scoutmaster Pat.
While full details of the plot of the final six-episodes are under wraps for now, we can expect more developments in the long teased romantic storyline involving Ben Willabond’s World War Two pilot, The Captain, and big decisions from Alison and Mike regarding their future at Button House. There’s also the promise of April Fools hijinks and a suspicious insurance agent nosing around.
With Lolly Adefope’s excitable Georgian noblewoman Kitty and Laurence Rickard’s curious caveman Robin also returning, if previous seasons are anything to go by, it’s sure to be an emotional farewell to the BBC’s spectral sitcom. Read on for full details on how to watch Ghosts series 5 for free and from anywhere.
How to watch Ghosts Season 5 online for FREE
The six-episode final series of Ghosts premieres on October 6 at 8:30pm BST on BBC One.
All episodes will be available to watch on demand on BBC iPlayer from 9:00pm the same day. It’s a completely FREE service – however, you should be a possession of a valid UK TV license, as these now cover digital content consumption, too.
Away from the UK right now? Just use a VPN to alter your IP address so you can stream your favourite TV shows and films online just like you would at home – only from anywhere.
How to watch Ghosts online from abroad
For those of you who are away from home when season 5 of Ghosts airs, you’ll be unable to watch the show like you normally would due to annoying regional restrictions. Luckily, there’s an easy solution.
Downloading a VPN allows you to stream online, no matter where you are. It's a simple bit of software that changes your IP address, meaning that you can access on-demand content or live TV just as if you were at home.
Use a VPN to watch Ghosts season 5 from anywhere.
ExpressVPN is the world's top VPN right now There are dozens of VPNs to choose from, but we recommend ExpressVPN . It's fast, straightforward to use, and simple to install. Plus, it’s compatible with a whole host of devices, a few of which includes Amazon Fire TV Stick, Apple TV, Xbox, PlayStation, and iOS and Android software.
Express VPN's flexible 30-day money back guarantee is hard to refuse. But, better yet, you can get a 49% discount and get 3 months extra FREE if you purchase their annual plan – an excellent deal for an invaluable piece of software.
Once installed, just pick the location of your home country, and click connect. You’ll then be free to enjoy Ghosts season 5 online no matter where you are.
- Try ExpressVPN 100% risk-free for 30 days
Can I watch Ghosts season 5 in the US?
Until recently, the UK version of Ghosts had its home on HBO Max in the US. However, the show left the platform in September and is currently unavailable to American audiences outside of rental and purchasing.
The US remake of Ghosts is available on HBO Max, though, and if you do want to catch that, there are two HBO Max price points - $9.99 a month with commercials, or the 4K HDR, commercial-free subscription at $15.99 that also unlocks 4K streaming and Dolby Atmos sound.
You can look to save money by paying annually. It's $99.99 per year with ads, and $149.99 without them.
Of course, Brits currently travelling in the US can use a VPN to watch Ghosts season 5 on iPlayer from abroad .
Can I watch Ghosts Season 5 in Canada?
For those in Canada, CBC Gem is home to the previous four seasons, with season 5 expected to follow. All are available to watch for free.
While CBC is free, you can also pay for the premium version of CBC Gem ($4.99 a month) to get rid of adverts. It comes with a 30-day free trial.
Can I watch Ghosts Season 5 online in Australia?
There's no word on where series 5 of Ghosts will air in Australia just yet, however previous seasons have been available for free on ABC's streaming service, iView . Other seasons are available on Stan , Paramount Plus and Britbox.
Stan has a FREE 30-day trial, after which prices start at AU$10 per month. Paramount Plus is AU$8.99 per month and includes a free trial. Britbox is also AU$8.99.
Brits travelling to Australia can use a VPN to stream the new series as you would at home.
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Tom is a freelance writer, predominantly focusing on film and TV. A graduate of Film Studies at University of South Wales, if he's not diving in to the Collector's Edition Blu Ray of an obscure 80s horror, you'll find him getting lost with his dog or mucking about in the water with his board.
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- Genres Comedy
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- Runtime 27 min
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How to watch Father Brown season 11 online — episodes out now
Vampires, heists and dancers sharpen Father Brown's focus
Watch Father Brown season 11 stream FREE
Watch from anywhere.
Revolving around plots as madcap as deadly leafy greens, cut-throat dance contests, nuns in the frame, fake deaths, elaborate heists, attempted murder at a crime-writing festival, and even a full-scale vampire hunt, Father Brown (Mark Williams) will need to have his wits about him if he's to get through season 11 unscathed.
Read on below for how to watch Father Brown season 11 online for free. And should you find yourself away from home, you can stream the series from anywhere with a VPN .
► U.K. date and time: Father Brown season 11 premiered on BBC One at 1:45 p.m. GMT on Friday, Jan. 5. • FREE — BBC iPlayer (U.K.) • Watch anywhere — Try ExpressVPN 100% risk free
The daytime TV juggernaut has pulled out all the stops for season 11, which welcomes Sylvester McCoy, Ingrid Oliver, Ian Gelder and John Light to Kembleford as guest stars. Some are more welcome than others.
If you thought that Father Brown's sparring partner, the light-fingered art aficionado Hercule Flambeau, was scheming, wait until you meet his estranged father Gabriel Hawksworth, the man who taught him everything he knows.
And while it's wonderful to see Sister Boniface (Lorna Watson) back at St Mary's and allied with her old friend, it isn't long before she wishes she'd never set foot out of Great Slaughter.
Read our guide below for how to watch Father Brown season 11 online and from anywhere in the world.
How to watch Father Brown season 11 online and FREE with BBC iPlayer
Father Brown season 11 premiered Friday, January 5 at 1:45 p.m. GMT on BBC One . Subsequent instalments of the 10-episode season are airing at the same time each Friday.
Father Brown season 11 will also be available to stream through the FREE on-demand service BBC iPlayer (with a TV licence).
Traveling outside the U.K.? Don't worry — as we explain below, you can watch it live or on-demand with the help of a VPN.
How to watch Father Brown season 11 online from anywhere with a VPN
Currently traveling in a country where BBC iPlayer isn’t available? With the right VPN (Virtual private network), you can continue to access your usual platforms and watch your favorite shows online no matter where in the world you are.
We've evaluated many options, and the best VPN is ExpressVPN . It meets the VPN needs of the vast majority of users, offering outstanding compatibility with most devices and impressive connection speeds. It's also affordable at $12.95 per month. (Signing up for longer periods of six months or a year reduces the cost even more down to a minimum of $6.67).
Safety, speed and simplicity combine to make ExpressVPN our favorite VPN service. It's also compatible with loads of devices and there's a 30-day money-back guarantee if you want to try it out.
Check out the 12-month plan for the best value.
Using a VPN is incredibly simple.
1. Install the VPN of your choice . As we've said, ExpressVPN is our favorite.
2. Choose the location you wish to connect to in the VPN app. For instance if you're in the U.S. and want to view a U.K. service, you'd select U.K. from the list.
3. Sit back and enjoy the show. Head to BBC iPlayer and stream new episodes of Father Brown season 11 online.
How to watch Father Brown season 11 in the U.S.
Father Brown season 11 will premiere with a double-header on Tuesday, January 23, on BritBox . Subsequent episodes will come out each Tuesday.
A BritBox subscription will set you back $8.99 a month, or you can sign up for an annual subscription for $89.99 per year. Whichever, you choose, if you're new to the service you'll get a 7-day FREE trial .
Traveling outside the U.S.? Don't worry — as we explain below, you can watch Father Brown live or on-demand from anywhere if you download a safe, secure VPN .
How to watch Father Brown season 11 in Australia
Father Brown fans in Australia can watch season 11 of the show from Tuesday, January 16, once again on BritBox . The show will follow a weekly release pattern.
A BritBox subscription costs AU$8.99 per month or AU$89.99 a year after a 7-day FREE trial .
Remember: if you're based in Australia but aren't there at the moment, you could still connect to BritBox and stream Father Brown season 11. All you need is a VPN such as ExpressVPN .
Can you watch Father Brown season 11 in Canada?
At the time of publication, there's no word on when viewers in Canada will be able to watch Father Brown season 11.
Abroad and unable to access BBC iPlayer? As mentioned above, a VPN will let you stream Father Brown season 11 online no matter where you are.
Father Brown season 11 cast
- Mark Williams as Father Brown
- Lorna Watson as Sister Boniface
- Tom Chambers as Chief Inspector Sullivan
- Claudie Blakley as Mrs Isabel Devine
- Ruby-May Martinwood as Brenda Palmer
- John Burton as Sergeant Goodfellow
- John Light as Hercule Flambeau
- Sylvester McCoy as Dr McClurgy
- Ian Gelder as Gabriel Hawksworth
- Ingrid Oliver as Gaynor Garfield
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Aatif is a freelance journalist and copywriter based in the UK. He’s written about technology, sport and politics for a wide range of publications including TechRadar, What Hi-Fi?, The Independent, Trusted Reviews, and Newsweek. These days, he focuses mainly on streaming at Future, an arrangement that combines two of his greatest passions: live TV and penny-pinching. When he's not attending a top-flight English soccer match, you can find him perfecting his table tennis skills.
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How to watch Call The Midwife season 13 online or on TV
Return to Nonnatus House for Call the Midwife season 13
- Watch in the UK
- Watch in the US
- Watch everywhere else
- Release date
After a hugely successful Call the Midwife season 12 and Call the Midwife Christmas special 2023 , fans are now enjoying Call the Midwife season 13 as the show takes us back to Poplar, and this time we join our Nonnatus House favorites in March 1969.
UK: BBC iPlayer (free with TV licence) US: PBS (free, but later release) How to use a VPN to watch any stream
It is a time of new faces and fresh challenges for our favorite midwifery team as they welcome pupil midwives Joyce Highland (Renee Bailey) and Rosalind Clifford (Natalie Quarry).
Meanwhile, as the team tackles a host of tricky cases and deals with conditions ranging from tetanus to tuberculosis, the second episode sees Shelagh and Sister Veronica fighting to help a single mother having her second child while living in substandard housing, while Trixie learning to drive offers some light relief.
You can watch Call the Midwife season 13 for FREE in the UK on the BBC iPlayer streaming service from Sunday, January 7. But don't worry if you're on holiday while it's on, because you can watch Call the Midwife season 13 on iPlayer from anywhere with a VPN .
Ready to settle in for Sunday evenings with your favorite nurses from Poplar? Here's how to watch Call the Midwife season 13 from anywhere in the world and for free — we've got all the streaming information you'll need below.
How to watch Call the Midwife season 13 in the UK
BBC One is airing Call the Midwife season 13 on TV at 8 pm UK from Sunday, January 7. The next episode airs on Sunday, January 14.
The episode will also be available to watch online on BBC iPlayer — both as it goes out and on-demand afterward.
BBC One and iPlayer are free to watch for TV licence fee payers. You can also catch up with all 12 series of Call the Midwife on iPlayer now .
If you're trying to access BBC iPlayer while outside the UK, you might want to try a VPN to allow you to watch from abroad . Check out the full instructions for doing so further down this page.
How to watch Call the Midwife season 13 in the US
Call the Midwife season 13 will go out on PBS on Sunday, March 17.
As well as on TV, you can stream Call the Midwife for free on the official PBS site or PBS app devices such as Android, iOS, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Samsung Smart TV, Chromecast and Android TV.
All previous 12 seasons of Call the Midwife are now available to watch on Netflix in the US.
How to watch Call the Midwife season 13 from anywhere with a VPN
You can watch Call the Midwife on any of the streaming services above by using a VPN — no matter where you are in the world.
Normally a streaming service will know where you are trying to tune in from and block you if you're not in the right country but a Virtual Private Network (VPN) is an app that hides your location. That means you can access your usual sports and entertainment services even while you're traveling abroad.
Our favorite VPN is ExpressVPN , which is the No. 1-rated VPN in the world right now according to our sister site, TechRadar .
How to use a VPN to watch any stream
- Download the app at ExpressVPN
- Choose the location of the streaming service you want to watch (UK, US, etc)
- Navigate to the streaming service and start watching!
ExpressVPN is one of the simplest and most affordable ways to watch what you want from anywhere you want to watch it.
It's straightforward and easy to use, has great security, is available on loads of streaming devices and, best of all, it comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee , so you can try it out 100% risk-free.
What is the Call the Midwife season 13 release date?
Call the Midwife season 13 started on Sunday, January 7, 2024 at 8pm on BBC One and the next episode will air on Sunday, January 14. You will also be able to catch up on iPlayer after each episode has aired, where you will also find all previous series of the drama.
In the US, season 13 will start on Sunday, March 17 on PBS.
It has also been officially confirmed that season 13 of Neal Street Productions’ Call the Midwife will consist of 8 episodes that will each be an hour long.
All you need to know about Call the Midwife season 13
What is the cast of call the midwife season 13.
- Helen George as Trixie Franklin
- Olly Rix as Matthew Aylward
- Jenny Agutter as Sister Julienne
- Linda Bassett as Nurse Phyllis Crane
- Rebecca Gethings as Sister Veronica
- Georgie Glen as Miss Higgins
- Judy Parfitt as Sister Monica Joan
- Megan Cusack as Nurse Nancy Corrigan
- Francesca Fullilove as Colette Corrigan
- Stephen McGann as Doctor Turner
- Laura Main as Shelagh Turner
- Max Macmillan as Timothy Turner
- Alice Brown as Angela Turner
- April Rae Hoang as May Tang
- Edward Shaw as Teddy Turner
- Cliff Parisi as Fred Buckle
- Annabelle Apsion as Violet Buckle
- Daniel Laurie as Reggie Jackson
- Zephryn Taitte as Cyril Robinson
- Christopher Harper as Geoffrey Franklin
- Renee Bailey as Joyce Highland
- Natalie Quarry as Rosalind Clifford
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Claire is Assistant Managing Editor at What To Watch and has been a journalist for over 15 years, writing about everything from soaps and TV to beauty, entertainment, and even the Royal Family. After starting her career at a soap magazine, she ended up staying for 13 years, and over that time she’s pulled pints in the Rovers Return, sung karaoke in the Emmerdale village hall, taken a stroll around Albert Square, and visited Summer Bay Surf Club in sunny Australia.
After learning some tricks of the trade at websites Digital Spy, Entertainment Daily, and Woman & Home, Claire landed a role at What’s On TV and whattowatch.com writing about all things TV and film, with a particular love for Aussie soaps, Strictly Come Dancing and Bake Off .
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Trump’s Case for Total Immunity
Why the former president believes he should be immune from prosecution, and whether judges are likely to rule in his favor..
This transcript was created using speech recognition software. While it has been reviewed by human transcribers, it may contain errors. Please review the episode audio before quoting from this transcript and email [email protected] with any questions.
From The New York Times, this is The Daily. I’m Natalie Kitroeff.
Donald Trump has consistently argued that as former president, he is immune from being charged with a crime for what he did in office. Today, my colleague Adam Liptak on what happened when his lawyers made that case in federal court, whether the extraordinary claim has any chance of being accepted, and why Trump may win something valuable either way.
It’s Wednesday, January 10.
Adam, hi. Welcome back to the show.
So Trump and his lawyers appeared in a federal appeals court Tuesday to make their case that as a former president, Trump is immune from criminal prosecution. Basically, that the Justice Department cannot charge him for a criminal act. Which if Trump wins, seems like it would make a lot of his legal troubles go away. Is that right?
Yeah, it’s an extraordinary ask. He says he has absolute immunity from criminal prosecution for anything resembling an official act while he was president, even after he’s no longer president.
Adam, can you take us back? Just explain how we got here.
Well, the criminal case against former President Trump, I say the criminal case, the criminal case we care about today because it’s one of four, is a federal indictment brought by special counsel Jack Smith arising from Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election. So that charge was filed in federal district court in Washington. And among Trump’s responses is to file a motion saying you can’t prosecute me because I have immunity from criminal prosecution for my official acts when I was president.
And the trial judge considers that motion and rules against Donald Trump, says we have presidents, not kings. And you’re responsible for criminal conduct if the prosecution can prove it. Trump appeals. It goes to a three judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the DC circuit a federal appeals court in Washington.
Oh yea, oh yea, oh yea.
And they heard a very lively argument today.
All persons having business before the honorable the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit are admonished to draw near and give their attention.
So you said this was an extraordinary ask by the former president to be granted absolute immunity. Tell me about the Trump argument here. Why would he be immune?
Mr. Sauer for the appellants. Mr. Pierce for the appellee.
Mr. Sauer, good morning.
Well at 9:30 Tuesday morning, his lawyer, John Sauer, steps up to the lectern, addresses the three judge panel, and makes an aggressive argument.
If a president has to look over his shoulder or her shoulder every time he or she has to make a controversial decision or after I leave office, if I go into jail for this, when my political opponents take power, that inevitably dampens the ability of the president.
He says a president is the head of one of the three branches of government. And that gives him special power and special immunity from prosecution. That we can’t have our presidents distracted when they’re trying to make tough decisions.
To authorize the prosecution of a president for his official acts would open a Pandora’s box from which this nation may never recover.
And he says allowing criminal prosecutions would open up a Pandora’s box of criminal actions taken against former presidents of all kinds for all sorts of things.
Could George W Bush be prosecuted for obstruction of an official proceeding for allegedly giving false information to Congress to induce the nation to go to war in Iraq under false pretenses? Could President Obama be potentially charged with murder for allegedly authorizing drone strikes targeting US citizens located abroad?
So he’s saying that there could be this flood of prosecutions and that presidents need to be able to operate without fear of that. That it could be dangerous to the public good. It could interfere with the president’s ability to execute his duties.
Yes, and there’s a logic to that, Natalie. We don’t want our presidents distracted. We want them to be able to make smart decisions in real time about very difficult questions without looking over their shoulders, without being afraid of prosecution. And the Supreme Court has, in a limited way, endorsed this idea in a case from 1982 called Nixon v Fitzgerald when President Richard Nixon was a former president.
He was being sued by a whistleblower who said that Nixon had unfairly dismissed him. And the court says we can’t have constant lawsuits against even former presidents because that would make their day jobs really difficult when they’re thinking about am I going to be sued for something. And therefore, by a 5 to 4 vote, in the context of civil litigation, where people were seeking money, private parties seeking money, not criminal conduct, the Supreme Court says yes, the president has absolute immunity from being sued for money up to the outer perimeter of his official conduct.
But that’s one category. Lawsuits for money are one category. And the Supreme Court has spoken to that. It hasn’t directly spoken to criminal prosecutions, which are, I would think, a much more deliberate, sober, measured action taken by professional prosecutors, particularly from the Department of Justice. And that effort to vindicate criminal law is different in kind, the Supreme Court has suggested, than lawsuits for money.
Yeah, I mean, part of the differences that obviously, anyone can bring a lawsuit. But not everyone can bring a criminal case against someone.
OK, but in the Nixon case, he’s given immunity, you just said, in part because he was acting in his official capacity. I mean, my question is, what Trump is accused of here reasonably considered part of his official duties? I mean, he’s accused of seeking to overturn the election. Is his team making the case that seeking to overturn the election was part of his job as president?
That’s what they say, not in those terms. They wouldn’t say that his job was to overturn the election. They would say his job was to investigate claims of election misconduct by other people.
Responding to widespread allegations of fraud, abuse, and misfeasance in a presidential election, trying to find how to respond to that in a manner that’s in the national interest.
And he did that they say, maybe not very convincingly, in his official capacity and not as a candidate seeking re-election. This is a point of real vulnerability for Trump. But the case, as it reaches the appeals court, is about whether he has absolute immunity for all official conduct and not details about what is and is not official conduct. And one of the judges, judge Karen Henderson, makes the strong point that even official conduct can be quite problematic.
I think it’s paradoxical to say that his constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed allows him to violate criminal laws.
So is Trump’s lawyer essentially making the argument that a president shouldn’t be prosecuted for anything he does in office? I mean, at the end of the day, a crime is a crime, right?
Well, the judges certainly seem to feel that way. And they tested that question that you’re asking, Natalie, with some wild hypotheticals.
And so in your view, could a president sell pardons or sell military secrets? Those are official acts, right? It’s an official act to grant a pardon. It’s an official act to communicate with a foreign government. And such a president would not be subject to criminal prosecution?
So they asked, well, what if the president was selling pardons? What if he was selling military secrets?
Could the president order SEAL Team Six to assassinate a political rival? That’s an official act, an order to SEAL Team Six.
What if he sent SEAL Team Six off to assassinate a political rival? He’s the commander in chief. He’s allowed to send SEAL Team Six off to do things. But almost everybody would agree that it’s a crime. And Trump’s lawyer didn’t shy away from those hypotheticals. And they did not get the answer that, perhaps, you would expect.
He would have to be, and would speedily be, impeached and convicted before the criminal prosecution.
He said that the President is immune from criminal prosecution with one exception. Could only be prosecuted if he was first impeached by the House and convicted by the Senate for that conduct. And in that narrow circumstance, and only in that narrow circumstance, Trump’s lawyer said, would a criminal prosecution be appropriate.
Let me get this straight. He’s saying the only way for a president to be prosecuted for ordering, say, the murder of a political rival is if he’s first impeached and convicted by the Senate for that crime? That’s — I mean, impeachment is a political process, decided by partisan elected officials. He’s saying they decide whether the judiciary branch can prosecute crimes.
That’s what he says the Constitution contemplates. He says the Constitution contemplates a very strong president with a lot of room to maneuver, subject to oversight by the House and Senate in the quite limited impeachment proceeding process.
So I just want to confirm. Your position is if President Trump had been convicted after his impeachment trial on incitement of insurrection, if he’d been convicted, then this prosecution would be entirely proper?
And judge Florence Pan makes the point that even that construct is a little weird because Trump is arguing he has absolute immunity in every circumstance. But he’s just found a circumstance in which he’s not absolutely immune. If there is impeachment by the House and conviction by the Senate, he can, he concedes, be prosecuted.
I would say that if he were impeached and convicted for the same and similar conduct, then that would authorize a subsequent prosecution. So we have many other issues with this prosecution —
Is that a yes? Because I think you said in your brief that that impeachment for incitement of insurrection is based on the same or related conduct as that which is in the indictment.
Yeah, I agree with that.
So the notion of absolute immunity is not quite right.
Right, it seems like this kind of negates the whole thing about how the president is immune from prosecution if he’s committing crimes in an official capacity. I mean, Trump’s lawyer is saying that if a president is convicted by Congress, he can be prosecuted. And he also seems to be saying, if he’s not impeached and convicted by Congress, he cannot be prosecuted. What should we make of that?
So it’s not the only obvious reading of what lawyers call the impeachment judgment clause. The impeachment judgment clause says that if you’re impeached and convicted, the punishment you get from Congress is no more than removal from office and possibly being banned from holding office again.
And then there’s the second part of the clause that says notwithstanding all that, you’re still subject to prosecution. So if convicted, you’re still subject to prosecution. Trump reads that in a non-obvious way to say if not convicted, not subject to prosecution. And that, if you took logic in college, you might think that does not quite parse.
If the Court has no further questions, I would ask the Court to reverse. And if the Court rules against us in any respect, we renew our request that the Court stay its mandate to allow us to seek further review. Thank you, your honor.
So it sounds like the judges are pretty skeptical of the Trump argument here.
Yeah, all three judges have serious problems with major aspects of the arguments set out by Trump’s lawyer. And they seem to be eager to see what the government has to say.
We’ll be right back.
Adam, you just said the judges were eager to hear the Justice Department’s case. So how did that go? How did the government lay out its case?
Good morning. And may it please the Court.
So James Pierce, Justice Department lawyer, a member of Special Counsel Jack Smith’s team, gets up and makes a general point.
Never in our nation’s history until this case has a president claimed that immunity from criminal prosecution extends beyond his time in office.
This is a case where a sitting president has tried to subvert an election.
At a minimum, this case, in which the defendant is alleged to have conspired to overturn the results of a presidential election, is not the place to recognize some novel form of criminal immunity.
He says that this is not the case in which you need to be making any kind of nuanced or elaborate legal judgments. And whatever can be said about official acts and immunity in some setting or not.
He is not above the law.
This fits squarely within the possibility of pursuing a criminal prosecution.
OK, so what does the government’s lawyer say specifically about Trump’s arguments? How does he respond?
Well he rejects, for instance, the idea that Trump’s lawyers pressed, that allowing this prosecution would open the floodgates to all kinds of prosecutions of other presidents.
The careful investigations in the Clinton era didn’t result in any charges. The fact that this investigation did doesn’t reflect that we are going to see a sea change of vindictive tit for tat prosecutions in the future. I think it reflects the fundamentally unprecedented nature of the criminal charges here.
Pointing out that we have lived in this Republic for more than 200 years and not come across anything remotely like this. And there’s no reason to think we would see it again. And he says that criminal proceedings are serious matters, constrained in many ways.
That is a process, which has the kinds of safeguards that a couple of members of the Court here have already referred to. We’re talking about prosecutors who follow strict codes.
Not only by prosecutors making hard calls about which cases to bring, but grand juries doing the indicting, trial judges supervising the trial, juries hearing the case, an elaborate appellate process. That there are all kinds of checks in the system to make sure that any eventual conviction is justly deserved.
I have to ask, though, Adam, I mean, there is this widespread belief that while the criminal justice system is not supposed to be politicized, while it’s supposed to operate with the checks and balances that the government’s lawyer laid out, that in reality, there are a lot of political motivations behind some of these criminal cases. And maybe these safeguards aren’t actually working.
Well, former president Trump’s supporters certainly believe that this prosecution and others are politically motivated. They point out that although there’s a special counsel somewhat insulated from the Justice Department. Nonetheless, the person at the head of the current executive branch President Biden is former President Trump’s main political rival. So it’s not easy to convince people who are supportive of President Trump and skeptical of this prosecution that there’s no element of politics at play here.
And Trump’s lawyer raises the possibility that there could be a criminal prosecution, say, of Joe Biden for failing to control the border adequately. I’m not sure that’s a crime. But he raises the idea that one criminal prosecution of one former President will beget another and open the floodgates in that way.
OK, and what about this question of acting in an official capacity and whether that confers immunity? What do the government’s lawyers say about that?
The government’s lawyer says that these two things are not mutually exclusive. That you can be acting in an official capacity. And you can be committing grave criminal wrongdoing. The lawyer echoes the point from Judge Henderson.
I fully endorse or agree with the idea of the paradox of a president on the one hand, having the article to take care responsibility and on the other hand, sort of seeing compliance with the law as optional.
That there’s an element of paradox about this. That your job is to execute the laws faithfully. And yet, you are violating a criminal law. And you could be immune from that.
I mean, what kind of World are we living in if, as I understood my friend on the other side to say here, a president orders his SEAL Team to assassinate a political rival and resigns, for example, before an impeachment, not a criminal act.
And then he returns to the example of the political assassination ordered up via SEAL Team Six. And says that cannot be the case that you are immune from prosecution for murdering your political rivals unless Congress acts by impeachment and conviction.
I think that is extraordinarily frightening future. And that is the kind of we’re talking about a balancing and a weighing of the interests. I think that should weigh extraordinarily heavily in the Court’s consideration.
And there’s a brief rebuttal from Trump’s lawyer, John Sauer. In which he makes the case that the future is frightening, but for a different reason than the government says.
We are in a situation where we have the prosecution of the chief political opponent who’s winning in every poll and is being prosecuted by the administration that he’s seeking to replace. That is the frightening the future that is tailor made to launch cycles of recrimination that will shake our Republic for the future.
It’s interesting, there’s these kind of two dueling visions of what the frightening future that this case leads to actually is on either side.
It’s the case that the dueling dystopias.
So Adam, what’s going to happen here? I mean, it seems like things didn’t go that well for Trump in the courtroom today. The judges don’t seem to be leaning toward siding with him. How does this end?
I think in very short order, this Court is likely to rule against Donald Trump. He will then either take his appeal to the full DC circuit, not because he’s likely to win there, but because he has every incentive to delay and to burn up time and then to the US Supreme Court, which had earlier turned this case away.
Jack Smith, the special counsel, had asked the court to leapfrog the appeals court and hear the case right away. They wouldn’t do that. But they are more likely than not going to weigh in for at least two reasons. One, if a question of this constitutional importance, the scope of presidential immunity from criminal prosecution is going to be decided by a court, it probably ought to be the Supreme Court.
And second, because the Court has already agreed to hear questions about Trump’s eligibility in Colorado and really around the nation, the Court might like to have the option of issuing one decision favoring Trump and one decision not. And because this immunity argument is so ambitious and such a long shot, you might think the Supreme Court would rule against Donald Trump in that case and perhaps find a way to keep him eligible on the ballot in the other case.
You’re saying the Court might want to rule against Trump here so that they can preserve the sense of balance when they rule in favor of him in the cases in Colorado and other states, where they’re trying to get him off the ballot?
They would never admit to that. They would probably not even have a conscious feeling about doing that. But history is replete with days at the end of the term in June when liberals score a big victory and conservatives score a big victory. And it just happens to work out that way.
Now, that’s in an era where the court was more closely divided. So all of this is speculation only. But it would not be shocking if the Court, trying to maintain its reputation as itself an apolitical institution were to go one way in one case and one way in the other.
OK, you think this will end up at the Supreme Court. But my question is when. And I’m asking because, of course, the timing of all of this is important. Obviously, there’s an election. The Iowa caucus is next week. I mean, you said part of the Trump strategy here is not just to gain immunity but also to delay the trial.
The trial continues to be scheduled for March 4. With each passing day, it makes it more likely it’s going to slip. Just getting a decision out then getting a request to the full appeals court to hear the case, then going to the Supreme Court, then the Court either turning it away or hearing arguments and deciding it, all of that, even if done at a brisk pace by legal standards will take weeks, if not months. And that’s been one of Donald Trump’s main legal strategies in this case and in other cases, to kick the can down the road, to slow things up.
And the more he can delay, the more options he has. He may well lose at the appeals court, at the Supreme Court, and at the same time, win something very valuable for him, which is to get enough delay to lock in the nomination of one of the two major political parties, even as he is accused of serious crimes.
Adam, thank you so much.
Here’s what else you need to know today. On Tuesday, Walter Reed Medical Center revealed why Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin had been hospitalized more than a week ago, a hospitalization Austin had concealed from the public and the president in a breach of protocol that frustrated some in the Biden administration.
Hospital officials said the Secretary of Defense was admitted on New Year’s Day with severe abdominal, hip, and leg pain after undergoing a procedure for prostate cancer. Officials said his condition has since improved and called his cancer prognosis quote, “excellent.”
And in a court filing this week, a lawyer for one of the defendants charged alongside former President Trump in the Georgia election interference case said that the district attorney overseeing that case, Fani Willis, had engaged in a quote, “clandestine relationship” with the special prosecutor she hired for that case. The filing provided no proof of the relationship but argued that it should disqualify the district attorney and the special prosecutor from prosecuting the case.
Today’s episode was produced by Alex Stern, Eric Krupke, and Jessica Cheung. It was edited by Paige Cowett and Lisa Chow. Contains original music by Marion Lozano, Dan Powell, and Elisheba Ittoop and was engineered by Chris Wood. Our theme music is by Jim Brunberg and Ben Landsverk of Wonderly.
That’s it for The Daily. I’m Natalie Kitroeff. See you tomorrow.
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Produced by Alex Stern , Eric Krupke and Jessica Cheung
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Donald Trump has consistently argued that as a former president, he is immune from being charged with a crime for things he did while he was in office.
Adam Liptak, who covers the Supreme Court for The Times, explains what happened when Trump’s lawyers made that case in federal court, whether the claim has any chance of being accepted — and why Trump may win something valuable either way.
On today’s episode
Adam Liptak , a Supreme Court correspondent for The New York Times who also writes a column on legal developments.
Trump’s immunity claim in court .
Analysis: Trump says his acquittal by the Senate in his second impeachment trial makes him immune from prosecution.
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Adam Liptak contributed reporting.
The Daily is made by Rachel Quester, Lynsea Garrison, Clare Toeniskoetter, Paige Cowett, Michael Simon Johnson, Brad Fisher, Chris Wood, Jessica Cheung, Stella Tan, Alexandra Leigh Young, Lisa Chow, Eric Krupke, Marc Georges, Luke Vander Ploeg, M.J. Davis Lin, Dan Powell, Sydney Harper, Mike Benoist, Liz O. Baylen, Asthaa Chaturvedi, Rachelle Bonja, Diana Nguyen, Marion Lozano, Corey Schreppel, Rob Szypko, Elisheba Ittoop, Mooj Zadie, Patricia Willens, Rowan Niemisto, Jody Becker, Rikki Novetsky, John Ketchum, Nina Feldman, Will Reid, Carlos Prieto, Ben Calhoun, Susan Lee, Lexie Diao, Mary Wilson, Alex Stern, Dan Farrell, Sophia Lanman, Shannon Lin, Diane Wong, Devon Taylor, Alyssa Moxley, Summer Thomad, Olivia Natt, Daniel Ramirez and Brendan Klinkenberg.
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Natalie Kitroeff is The Times’s bureau chief for Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. More about Natalie Kitroeff
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