Legal professionals for former President Donald J. Trump requested a decide on Thursday to throw out a federal indictment accusing him of conspiring to overturn the 2020 election and claimed that as a result of the fees relate to actions he took as president, he needs to be “completely immune from prosecution.”
The request to dismiss the election interference indictment, which got here in a 52-page briefing filed in Federal District Court docket in Washington, was breathtaking in its scope. It argued that Mr. Trump couldn’t be held accountable in court docket for any actions he took as president, even after a grand jury had returned legal costs in opposition to him.
Whereas the Justice Division has lengthy maintained a coverage that sitting presidents can’t be indicted, Mr. Trump’s bid to say whole immunity from prosecution was a exceptional try to increase the legislation in his favor.
His movement to dismiss was sure to end in a pitched authorized battle with prosecutors within the workplace of the particular counsel, Jack Smith, if solely as a result of the concept a president can’t be prosecuted for actions undertaken in his official capability as commander in chief has by no means earlier than been examined.
The movement, which might be thought of by Decide Tanya S. Chutkan, was additionally the primary — however possible not the final — try by Mr. Trump’s attorneys to assault the fees within the election interference case straight.
Till now, the attorneys have largely waged a collection of unsuccessful procedural battles, looking for, and failing, to push again the trial till 2026 and to disqualify Decide Chutkan.
In his submitting, John F. Lauro, a lawyer for Mr. Trump, instantly sought to reframe the core of Mr. Smith’s case. He argued that the previous president’s repeated lies that widespread fraud had marred the vote rely and different steps he took to subvert the conventional course of the democratic course of have been, the truth is, “efforts to make sure election integrity.”
“Right here, 234 years of unbroken historic apply — from 1789 till 2023 — present compelling proof that the facility to indict a former president for his official acts doesn’t exist,” Mr. Lauro wrote. “No prosecutor, whether or not state, native, or federal, has this authority; and none has sought to train it till now.”