Trump asks Georgia court to dismiss charges

 January 9, 2024

Lawyers for Donald Trump have asked a judge in Georgia to dismiss criminal charges against him on the basis of presidential immunity.

The former president has argued that he was acting according to his official duties to "take care" that the laws are faithfully executed when he challenged the 2020 election, which he maintains was rigged.

Trump is facing overlapping charges of "election interference" in Georgia and Washington D.C.

Trump moves to dismiss

Trump was charged along with 18 other people in a "conspiracy" to subvert the election under Georgia's version of the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (Rico).

While presidents are protected from civil liability, whether they enjoy immunity to criminal charges is an unprecedented question because no American president has ever been prosecuted, until now.

In their motion to Fulton County judge Scott McAfee, Trump's lawyers warned of the dangers of exposing former presidents to prosecution in states where they are unpopular.

“The current Fulton County, Georgia indictment of President Trump threatens to open the floodgates of politically motivated criminal prosecutions of virtually every future President,” Trump's attorney Steve Sadow wrote.

In addition to the immunity claim, Trump's lawyers have argued he is protected by double jeopardy. The Senate previously acquitted Trump of impeachment charges relating to January 6th in 2021.

Appeal in D.C.

Trump is making a similar, long-shot effort in federal court to have charges thrown out there.

A three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit sounded skeptical of Trump's immunity claims at a hearing Tuesday where Trump was present.

While liberals have scoffed at Trump's immunity arguments, concern about political retribution was recognized by an Obama judge sitting on a federal appeals court in a separate case involving Mark Meadows, one of Trump's co-defendants in Georgia.

In an ironic passage, Judge Robin Rosenbaum wrote, "Imagine that the day the President of the United States leaves office, sixteen states where his policies were unpopular indict him and all his Cabinet members."

Even if Trump loses on the merits, which seems likely, litigation on the immunity issue could still delay Trump's cases.

The federal trial is tentatively scheduled in March, but the case has been paused pending the resolution of Trump's appeal. In Georgia, prosecutor Fani Willis wants the case to move forward in August.

Shocking corruption

Trump has accused Willis and federal prosecutor Jack Smith of engaging in election interference to boost Joe Biden's embattled re-election bid.

One of the defendants in Willis' sprawling case accused her Monday of having an affair with a lawyer who she hired to work on the Trump case. That prosecutor, Nathan Wade, reportedly met with Biden officials before the charges were brought.

Trump called for the case in Georgia to be dropped in light of the shocking allegations.

"They went after 18 or 20 people. … She was out of her mind. Now it turns out that case is totally compromised," Trump said.

" A free people [claim] their rights, as derived from the laws of nature."
Thomas Jefferson
© 2015 - 2024 Conservative Institute. All Rights Reserved.