Trump moves to dismiss classified documents charges, as Biden Special Counsel report highlights 'selective prosecution'

 February 8, 2024

Donald Trump's lawyers will file a motion to dismiss the criminal charges in his classified documents case, a move that is certain to face a furious response from prosecutor Jack Smith.

The warning from Trump's lawyers came days before an explosive report was released about Joe Biden's "willful" mishandling of classified information, which nevertheless led to no charges against the Democrat.

Trump decried the report's findings as evidence that he is the target of a selective prosecution.

"Deranged Jack Smith should drop this Case immediately. ELECTION INTERFERENCE,” Trump wrote.

Charges dismissed?

In a court motion days earlier, Trump's lawyers informed Judge Aileen Cannon that they plan to file a motion to dismiss charges no later than February 22.

Jack Smith has charged Trump with illegally hoarding classified information at his Mar-A-Lago estate and obstructing government efforts to retrieve it. Smith filed a superseding indictment against Trump that accused him of trying to delete surveillance video.

“Defendants currently plan to file on February 22, at minimum, a series of motions to dismiss the Superseding Indictment and certain of the charges therein,” Trump attorneys Todd Blanche and Christopher Kise wrote.

Trump's lawyers cited potential arguments on presidential immunity, the Presidential Records Act, Trump's security clearances, and "selective and vindictive prosecution."

Biden blindsided by report

Special Counsel Robert Hur released a nearly 400-page report Thursday that found Biden "willfully retained" top secret information as a private citizen, some of which he shared with a ghostwriter for his memoir - but Hur declined to prosecute Biden.

The report, which included photos of documents stored haphazardly among personal items in Biden's garage, could still complicate the efforts of Democrats to paint Trump as uniquely dangerous to "our democracy."

Prosecutors in Trump's classified documents case famously submitted photographs of boxes of documents stored in Trump's bathroom and ballroom at Mar-A-Lago - images Democrats seized on to paint Trump as reckless and unfit to serve.

Robert Hur's report describes Biden in unflattering terms as an "elderly man with memory problems" who could not recall "within several years" when his son Beau died.

Hur cited Biden's mental deterioration as one reason not to charge him, saying it would be hard to prove to a jury that Biden broke the law intentionally.

Double standard?

After the report's release, Trump released a series of furious posts on Truth Social decrying the lack of charges against Biden, and arguing he is still culpable despite his recent mental decline.

“What Biden did is outrageously criminal – He had 50 years of documents, 50 times more than I had, and ‘WILLFULLY RETAINED’ them. I was covered by the Presidential Records Act, Secret Service was always around, and GSA delivered the documents," Trump wrote.

Biden and his defenders have repeatedly claimed that the two cases are nothing alike, despite striking similarities.

Trump has already sought to have charges dismissed in Smith's separate 2020 election case, citing presidential immunity.

So far, Trump hasn't been successful in making his case, which could head to the Supreme Court next.

Even if the top court rules against him, any delay resulting from the Supreme Court's intervention would be welcomed by Trump, who is hoping to push the trial past the 2024 election.

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Thomas Jefferson
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