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Trump Pushes for Dismissal of Georgia Criminal Case Under Presidential Immunity Defense

Former President Donald Trump is making a legal push to have the extensive criminal conspiracy case against him in Georgia dismissed, contending that he is shielded from prosecution under presidential immunity.

Presidential Immunity Argument

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In a motion filed on Monday, Trump’s defense team asserts that the indictment in the Georgia case is barred by presidential immunity. This argument mirrors those presented in the federal election subversion case, emphasizing that the alleged actions are within the scope of Trump’s official duties as President.

Official Capacity Defense

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The filing reiterates the claim that Trump was working in his official capacity as president when he allegedly undermined the 2020 election results. Specific acts, such as public statements, communication with the Justice Department, and urging officials to act in line with his views, are argued to be within the “outer perimeter” of the President’s official duties.

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Constitutional Challenge

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Trump’s attorney argues that both the Georgia and federal indictments are unconstitutional, asserting that presidents cannot be criminally prosecuted for official acts unless impeached and convicted by the US Senate.

First Amendment Grounds

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Trump’s legal team had previously sought to dismiss the case on the grounds of the First Amendment, a claim still pending resolution by the courts.

Appeals Court Hearing on Immunity Claims

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The DC US Circuit Court of Appeals is scheduled to hear arguments on immunity claims on Tuesday, involving Trump and special counsel Jack Smith. Trump himself is expected to attend this hearing.

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Pre-trial Motions Deadline

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Monday marked the deadline for pre-trial motions in the sprawling Georgia racketeering case against Trump and co-defendants accused of attempting to overturn the 2020 election results in the state.

Trial Timing and Potential Impact

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Fulton County prosecutors aim for the trial to commence in early August 2024, potentially coinciding with Trump’s presidential election campaign if he secures the Republican nomination.

Invoking the Supremacy Clause

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Trump’s legal team is invoking the supremacy clause of the US Constitution, arguing that state-level justice systems cannot interfere with federal duties. This move seeks to extend protections around the presidency beyond what Trump claims under presidential immunity.

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Double Jeopardy and Due Process Arguments

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Trump’s lawyers also file a motion to dismiss charges on double jeopardy grounds, highlighting his Senate acquittal for the January 6, 2021, riots. Additionally, they argue for dismissal on due process grounds, asserting that Trump lacked fair notice regarding the potential criminalization of his claims about election fraud.

Historical Advocacy Tradition

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The legal defense contends that Trump’s forceful political advocacy regarding election fraud allegations is consistent with a longstanding tradition in the country. They argue that due process bars applying a novel construction of a criminal statute to conduct not clearly within its scope.

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