Trump wants to dismiss Georgia election meddling suit based on presidential immunity

Former President Donald Trump’s legal team on Monday filed multiple new motions in Georgia seeking to dismiss the Fulton County election interference case against him on grounds that include presidential immunity, which they say “protects him from prosecution.”

The new requests come as Trump continues his legal battle over his claims of presidential immunity in his federal election interference case in Washington, D.C., where he is expected to be in attendance Tuesday when the District of Columbia Court of Appeals hears arguments in the case.

“Historical practice spanning 234 years confirms that the power to impeach a current or former president for official acts does not exist,” Trump’s team wrote in its 67-page motion filed in Georgia on Monday.

“The indictment in this case charges President Trump with acts that are central to his official responsibilities as president,” the motion said. “The charge is barred by presidential immunity and must be dismissed with prejudice.”

Among those official responsibilities, the filing states, were Trump’s efforts to get then-Vice President Mike Pence to throw out the results of the Jan. 6, 2021, election and his efforts to organize a slate of so-called “alternative” voters.

“The call on the vice president and member of Congress to exercise their official responsibilities in accordance with the president’s view of the public good is authorized by the Constitution and is central to the constitutional and historic role of the president,” the document said.

“Organizing constituents to support this effort to keep Congress accountable also falls within the official duties of the president,” it said.

The immunity motion also seeks to dismiss the indictment based on the Supremacy Clause, arguing that the state is prohibited from interfering with the operation of the federal government.

“The Supreme Court has held that states may not use their criminal law to interfere with actions that are intrinsically related to the operation of the national government,” the motion said. “There is no doubt that the election of the President of the United States is so connected with the function of the national government.

Trump and 18 others pleaded not guilty in August to all charges in a racketeering indictment for allegedly trying to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election in the state of Georgia. Defendants Kenneth Chesebrough, Sydney Powell, Jenna Ellis and Scott Hall subsequently entered into plea agreements in exchange for agreeing to testify against other defendants.

The former president criticized the district attorney’s investigation as politically motivated.

In a second motion filed Monday, Trump’s team sought to dismiss the charge on double jeopardy grounds, arguing that Trump’s Senate acquittal after his 2021 impeachment for the Jan. 6 Capitol attack covered ” the same disputed course of conduct’ as the indictment.

“Because the Senate acquitted President Trump, the prosecution may not retry him in this court,” the motion argued.

The double jeopardy motion alleges that the articles of impeachment accuse Trump of conduct similar to the Fulton County indictment, including that he “repeatedly made false statements” as well as “prior efforts to undermine and obstruct the certification” of election results in 2020, including the infamous phone call to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger.

“Since the Constitution specifies that only a “party convicted” by trial in the Senate may be “liable and subject to indictment, trial, sentence, and punishment,” id., it implies that a president who has not been convicted, cannot be prosecuted,” the statement said.

In their third and final motion filed Monday, Trump’s lawyers sought to dismiss the indictment on the grounds that Trump’s due process rights were violated when he was charged in Georgia because he “failed to notify fair’ that his allegations of fraud in the 2020 election ‘could be criminalised’.

“Trump is the first person to face criminal charges for such basic political conduct, and he is charged under laws that have nothing to do with his alleged conduct,” the document said. “As a result, President Trump could not have received fair notice that his conduct was allegedly criminal when he engaged in it, and the indictment must be dismissed for violation of the fair notice requirement of the Due Process Clause.”

Specifically, the motion alleges that Trump’s due process rights were violated by the statues used in the case, including the racketeering statute, or RICO, which is used to charge the defendants with conspiring to commit multiple crimes as part of a larger criminal enterprise.

“A person of ordinary intelligence would not understand that the statue could be used to arrest and imprison a group of law-abiding citizens,” the filing states.

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