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Trump claims immunity, requests dismissal of classified documents case

Former President Donald Trump Associated Press/Photo by George Walker IV

Trump claims immunity, requests dismissal of classified documents case

Late on Thursday, former President Donald Trump filed a motion to dismiss charges against him on grounds of presidential immunity. The motion argues that Justice Department Special Counsel Jack Smith’s charges against Trump “turn on his alleged decision to designate records as personal” and remove them from the White House. Trump’s attorneys claim he was in office when he redesignated the documents in an official act as president, and therefore, presidential immunity protects his decision.

What exactly is this case about? Last June, the Justice Department accused Trump and an aide of retaining and mishandling classified documents from his time as president. In July, the department upgraded that indictment with additional charges and another defendant, Trump’s personal property manager. Trump has denied wrongdoing, saying he declassified the documents before moving them to his Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida.

Didn’t Trump already cite presidential immunity in his legal cases? Earlier this month, a Washington, D.C., appeals court ruled that presidential immunity did not protect Trump from that jurisdiction’s prosecution for allegedly subverting the 2020 election. The appeals court said that in that case, Trump was considered“citizen Trump.” Justice Department Special Counsel Jack Smith in D.C. last year indicted Trump for allegedly seeking to overturn the 2020 presidential election’s results. The trial court judge in that case had also previously ruled against Trump’s immunity plea, saying the presidency doesn’t “confer a lifelong ‘get-out-of-jail-free’ pass.” In that case, Trump has appealed to the Supreme Court, requesting a temporary hold on the appeals court’s decision.

Dig deeper: Read Carolina Lumetta’s report in The Stew about how the Supreme Court appeared to favor Trump in recent oral arguments.

Josh Schumacher

Josh is a breaking news reporter for WORLD. He’s a graduate of World Journalism Institute and Patrick Henry College.

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