Former President Donald Trump is arguing that he is protected from prosecution under the presidential immunity by arguing that a criminal conspiracy case against him in Georgia should be thrown out.
Trump's immunity claims in Georgia case Filed on Monday It's part of a motion to dismiss state-level criminal charges against the former president, similar to those argued by his defense team in a federal election tampering case.
“The indictment in this case charges President Trump with acts that are at the heart of his official responsibilities as president. The indictment is barred by presidential immunity and must be dismissed with prejudice,” Trump's attorneys filed in the Georgia case said in a motion.
Monday's filing in the Georgia case reiterates what the former president's lawyers have repeatedly asserted — that Trump was acting in his official capacity as president when he allegedly undermined the results of the 2020 election and therefore has immunity.
Trump's lawyer argues that the actions specified in the indictment by Fulton County District Attorney Fannie Willis are “within the outer bounds of the official duties of the president.”
Trump's public statements about the administration of the 2020 election include communicating with the Justice Department about election-related investigations and “urging the vice president and members of Congress to carry out their official responsibilities consistent with the president's vision of the public good.”
Trump's lawyer argues that “organizing voter rolls is part of the president's official duties to enhance Congress's efforts to carry out its responsibilities.”
Therefore, Trump's impeachment in both the Georgia and federal case is unconstitutional because presidents cannot be criminally prosecuted for “official acts” unless they are impeached and convicted by the US Senate.
Steve Sato, Trump's lead counsel in the Fulton County case, also noted in a statement that they had previously tried to dismiss the case on First Amendment grounds, which the courts have yet to decide.
On Tuesday, the DC US Circuit Court of Appeals They will listen to arguments Trump himself is set to appear in connection with the same two immunity claims by Trump's lawyers and special counsel Jack Smith.
Monday is the deadline for pre-trial motions to be filed in a broader Georgia fraud case against Trump and remaining co-defendants accused of helping the former president sway the state's 2020 election results.
Fulton County prosecutors have said they want to open the trial as early as August 2024, which could be directly in the middle of Trump's presidential campaign if he wins the Republican nomination.
Trump's legal team is using the Supremacy Clause of the US Constitution to shield him from criminal charges in Georgia.
In court filings, Trump's team has argued that state-level justice systems cannot interfere with federal duties. The argument, if successful, could expand the protections surrounding the presidency even more than Trump is arguing for the protections he believes he should have under the presidency.
“The Supreme Court has held that states cannot use their criminal law to interfere with activities inseparably connected with the functions of the national government. “There is no question that the election of the President of the United States is intimately connected to the functioning of the national government,” his lawyers wrote.
Trump's legal team also filed a motion to dismiss the charges against him on double jeopardy grounds, saying the indictment should be dismissed because he had already been indicted and tried by the Senate and was acquitted for his role on January 6, 2021. Riots.
In addition, Trump's lawyers are arguing that the Georgia case should be dismissed on due process grounds, saying the former president “lacked reasonable notice” that his baseless claims of widespread election fraud could be criminalized.
“Our country has a tradition of forceful political advocacy in response to widespread allegations of fraud and irregularities in a long list of presidential elections throughout our history,” Trump's lawyers write.
They further state that “courts are prohibited from applying a new construction of a criminal statute that does not reasonably reveal that the statute or any prior judicial decision is within its scope.”
This story has been updated with additional details.