Trump seeks dismissal of classified documents case

WASHINGTON – Lawyers for Donald Trump asked a federal court Thursday to dismiss charges that he illegally removed classified documents from the White House upon leaving office, arguing he is protected by presidential immunity.

This case involving Trump taking documents with him to his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida and thwarting investigators’ attempts to recover them is one of four criminal indictments Trump faces as he runs for a second presidential term.

Trump has pleaded not guilty to the 40-count indictment brought in Florida by special counsel Jack Smith.

In a 20-page motion, lawyers for Trump argued that when he removed the documents from the White House, it was an official act.

“President Trump made this decision while he was still in office. The alleged decision was an official act, and as such is subject to presidential immunity,” the motion states.

Trump has used the same argument against a federal indictment charging him with conspiring to cling to power after his 2020 election loss to Joe Biden in a scheme that culminated in the January 6, 2021 assault on the US Capitol by a mob of Trump supporters.

Earlier this month, a federal appeals court ruled his immunity claim is “unsupported” by the US Constitution. Trump then filed to the Supreme Court in a bid to have the ruling suspended.

The question of whether a former US president is immune from prosecution is an untested one in American jurisprudence because until Trump, a former president had never been charged with a crime. – AFP