Donald Trump’s pre-Christmas legal move was defeated by a lawyer

A pre-Christmas appeal by Donald Trump’s lawyers asking a federal appeals court to throw out the subversion case against him is “ridiculous,” according to a Florida state attorney general.

Palm Beach County State’s Attorney Dave Aronberg said the document, which claims Trump is immune from prosecution for actions that fall within his official presidential duties, is about “delay.”

“You know, I think now we know why Donald Trump still doesn’t want the Supreme Court to rule on this… It’s such a ridiculous argument,” Aronberg told MSNBC’s Jonathan Capehart, referring to the failed request by special counsel Jack Smith to have the Supreme Court hear the case before an appeals court.

“He knows he’s going to lose and it’s all about delay. The courts will throw coal in his socks after reading these declarations.”

Trump speaks to a guest at a campaign event on December 19, 2023 in Waterloo, Iowa. He claimed immunity from the charges against him in the election sabotage case.
Scott Olson/Getty Images

Newsweek reached out to a member of Trump’s legal team for comment via email.

The alleged delaying tactics could mean the trial’s planned March 4 start date has been pushed back. Trump is running for president again in 2024 and could choose to plead guilty to the charges against him if he wanted to regain the White House.

Legal experts remain divided on whether he can legally do so.

The former president went to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to test whether he has immunity from charges that he tried to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election because he was president when the crimes were committed. District Judge Tanya Chutkan ruled in early December that Trump is not immune from the charges against him.

Trump is accused of conspiring to defraud the United States; obstructing and attempting to obstruct official proceedings; conspiracy to obstruct official proceedings and conspiracy to violate rights. He denies all the charges and says they are politically motivated.

In a filing late Dec. 23, Trump’s lawyers argued that “the president’s actions are not subject to judicial review,” that the proceedings against the former president were unconstitutional and that there was no established precedent.

“In his brief, [Trump] said it was the only time in history that a president was impeached for official acts,” argued Aronberg, a Democrat. “He was not impeached for official acts. He’s been charged with alleged criminal acts…that’s a big difference. If he thinks he has a snowball’s chance of winning, the answer is no.”

Aronberg argued that the courts will not appreciate the arguments of Trump’s lawyers because “judges don’t like to be told they have no power.”

He added: “This is what Trump is telling the courts. “Hey, you judges have no power over me. I can do whatever I want.” By the way, be careful what you wish for. If immunity like this, this absolute immunity applies to Trump, it will apply to Joe Biden. Joe Biden can say arrest Trump and then go through impeachment, be acquitted and then be president for life. It’s not so funny when it happens to you, is it?”

Part of the argument in the 71-page filing is that the case against Trump should be dismissed because he was acquitted by the Senate in his second congressional impeachment trial in 2021.

That, the legal team argued, meant Trump could not be criminally charged because of double jeopardy.

Aronberg added, “He’s basically saying that once you’re acquitted by the Senate, by a bunch of political cronies in the Senate, he’s going to be king … it’s a permanent get-out-of-jail-free card.”