Trump seeks presidential immunity in Georgia election interference case News
White House, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
Trump seeks presidential immunity in Georgia election interference case

Former US president Donald Trump filed to dismiss state-level criminal charges by asserting immunity claims in an election interference case on Monday. In seeking to have the Georgia judge dismiss the case, Trump asserts that his indictment is unconstitutional because he was acting in his official presidential capacity, which exempts him from being prosecuted.

In the 67-page motion, Trump argues for absolute immunity, citing Nixon v. Fitzgerald, where the Supreme Court held that a former president has immunity from civil liability in acts that fall in the “outer perimeter” of their official duties.

Trump also argues in the motion that the accusation that the former president engaged in criminal conduct with the intent of staying in the White House does not fall outside of the scope of the “official duties” allowed by the president and their administration. “Such immunity is particularly appropriate for the President because the presidency involves especially sensitive duties, requires bold and unhesitating action, and would be crippled by the threat of politically motivated prosecutions,” Trump’s attorney, Steven Sadow, wrote. Additionally, Trump argues that his alleged conduct, pure political speech and expressive conduct challenging the election have never been prosecuted, and no president has ever been criminally charged in the “234-year history of the United States.”

Trump also filed motions to dismiss the case based on due process grounds and double jeopardy.

In August, a Georgia jury indicted Trump on 13 charges criminal charges in Fulton County, including state racketeering, solicitation of violation of oath by a public officer, impersonating a public officer, false statements, filing false documents and first-degree forgery. He pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Trump’s attorneys have reiterated immunity claims in motions filed by his team in a previous federal election interference case. Last month, US District Judge Tanya Chutkan dismissed Trump’s immunity defense, finding “no special conditions” to relieve him of criminal liability.

A Washington DC federal appeals court will hear Trump’s immunity claims in a separate case during a scheduled hearing on Tuesday, which Trump plans to attend.