“Kind of a bummer,” Mr Kimmel joked. “Poor guy drank all that bleach for nothing.”
While the former president has claimed presidential immunity protects him from virtually all acts committed while in office, the US Court of Appeals disagreed, arguing that “any executive immunity that may have protected him while he served as president no longer protects him against this prosecution”.
Mr Trump’s attorneys are expected to swiftly appeal the decision to the full bench of appeals court judges, or all the way up to the US Supreme Court, but Mr Kimmel thought the news would have been “devastating” for the former president.
“It was a devastating moment for Trump,” he said. “Especially when Melania started clapping.”
Following the ruling, Mr Trump took to Truth Social to slam the decision, calling it “nation-destroying”.
“A President of the United States must have Full Immunity in order to properly function and do what has to be done for the good of our Country,” he wrote.
“A Nation-destroying ruling like this cannot be allowed to stand. If not overturned, as it should be, this decision would terribly injure not only the Presidency, but the Life, Breath, and Success of our Country,” he added.
He also claimed that without immunity, “every president that leaves office will be immediately indicted by the opposing party”.
“Without complete immunity, a president of the United States would not be able to properly function!” he said.
The ruling could also have consequences for Mr Trump’s eligibility to appear on the ballot for the 2024 election in several states.
In December, the Supreme Court in Colorado ruled that the former president is ineligible to run in 2024 because the 14th amendment’s ban on insurrectionists holding office covers his conduct on 6 January 2021, when he attempted to overurn the result of the 2020 election.
Shenna Bellows, Maine’s secretary of state, quickly followed by disqualifying Mr Trump from the ballot for similar reasons. Maine’s Superior Court has so far declined to issue a ruling, opting to wait for a ruling by the US Supreme Court, where judges are set to decide if he has “presidential immunity” and can appear on the ballot in Colorado.
Other states have refused to rule on the challenge or declined to remove the former president. Last week, Illinois’s Board of Elections allowed Mr Trump to remain on the presidential primary ballot, saying they did not believe they had the authority to determine Mr Trump’s eligibility.