Trump lawyers argue that the former president is immune from prosecution

12:25 pm ET, January 9, 2024

What a scene inside the courtroom as Trump watched his immunity appeals hearing unfold

From CNN's Ivan Perez

A packed courtroom in Washington, D.C. fell silent around 9:25 a.m. ET when former President Donald Trump entered. He wore his standard navy blue suit and red tie. Her entourage included consultant and attorney Boris Epstein and Walt Nauta, her co-defendant in a classified documents case pending in federal court in South Florida.

Special counsel Jack Smith entered the room 25 minutes before Trump arrived. More than ten members of his team were around him. Smith moved back a few rows to speak to the parents of James Pearce, a lawyer defending the government.

The room, lined with portraits of former members of this Court of Appeal, rose as the three judges hearing the case entered.

Trump rose along with everyone else and was largely subdued for most of the day's arguments.

The former president leaned forward at times; Judge Karen Lecroft Henderson, a George HW Bush appointee, is soft-spoken and occasionally seems to listen well to one of her lawyers.

Pierce was very active when he started his presentation. He began taking notes on a yellow pad and occasionally sent his notes to his lawyer, John Sawyer.

As one of the judges quoted Trump's statements from the congressional record, the former president pursed his lips and stared straight ahead. Wrote notes and sent them.

It's unclear whether Sauer used any of Trump's notes, but at the end of the hearing, Sauer noted that all of the charges against the president related to activities while he was in office. Sauer motioned to his client, and Trump nodded.

After the process was over, Trump got up, looked around the room for a while and then slowly walked out.

Trump and Smith did not appear to see each other as they had in previous court hearings.

Remember: There were no cameras inside the federal courtroom but a live audio feed of the hearing was broadcast. Reporters from CNN were in the room.

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