The small courtroom was already packed when former President Donald J. Trump walked slowly inside.

“Where should I sit?” Mr. Trump asked the lawyers who arrived with him shortly before a three-judge panel heard arguments over his claims that he is immune to criminal prosecution in a case over his efforts to overturn the 2020 election.

After showing little emotion during the hearing, which lasted about an hour and 15 minutes, Mr. Trump suggested that the special counsel’s office had been forced to concede two key points, although he offered little detail on what those issues were.

Speaking to reporters at the Waldorf Astoria hotel — once a Trump property — the former president said that it was unfair that he was being prosecuted by the Justice Department, and claimed the prosecution was politically motivated. He talked about the latest polling for the 2024 presidential race and once again insisted that there had been “tremendous voter fraud” in the 2020 election that was won by President Biden.

“I feel that as a president, you have to have immunity, very simple,” Mr. Trump said. He added, “I did nothing wrong.”

Mr. Trump had arrived at court with an entourage of lawyers and Walt Nauta, his longime personal aide and a co-defendant in the other federal case against Mr. Trump, over his handling of classified documents after he left office.

The special counsel who has brought both cases, Jack Smith, and the prosecution team arrived well before Mr. Trump. Mr. Smith — whom Mr. Trump has called a “deranged psycho” — watched the arguments from a seat about 20 feet away from the former president.

Throughout the hearing Mr. Trump appeared mostly emotionless. He relaxed his posture slightly when Judge Karen L. Henderson, who was appointed by President George H.W. Bush, started asking questions. (The other two judges were appointed by Mr. Biden.)

As the panel questioned James Pearce, who argued the special counsel’s case on Tuesday, Mr. Trump exchanged notes with his lawyers. When Mr. Trump’s lawyer, John Sauer, answered a second round of questions from the panel, Mr. Trump nodded in agreement twice — including when the lawyer hinted at a political motivation for the prosecution and suggested a dark path ahead for the country should the case go forward.

“We are in a situation where we have the prosecution of the chief political opponent who is winning in every poll the federal election upcoming next year and is being prosecuted by the administration that he’s seeking to replace,” Mr. Sauer said. “That is the frightening future that is tailor made to launch cycles of recrimination that will shake our Republic for the future.”

At the end of the hearing, Mr. Trump rose as the judges left the courtroom and then glanced back briefly toward the journalists and members of the public in attendance before walking slowly out of the courtroom the same way he had entered.

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