Trump Seeks to Have Classified Documents Case Dropped

Gage Skidmore from Surprise, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

( – Donald Trump has called on a federal judge in Florida to dismiss the criminal charges against him regarding the unlawful possession of classified documents, contending that he is shielded from prosecution by presidential immunity. This plea reiterates arguments that were recently dismissed by a federal appeals court in a separate case concerning Trump’s alleged interference in the 2020 election.

Trump, who is leading in the Republican presidential primary, is also seeking the intervention of the U.S. Supreme Court in the election interference case, hoping to postpone the trial until after the upcoming November election.

His defense team contends that the charges related to the classified documents are based on Trump’s purported classification of certain documents as “personal” under the Presidential Records Act during his presidency, an action they argue constitutes an “official act” and thus exempts him from prosecution.

However, this argument was firmly rejected by Washington’s federal appeals court earlier this month, which stated that former presidents do not have absolute immunity for actions performed as part of their official duties. Despite this, Trump’s legal team has criticized the appeals court’s ruling as flawed and urged U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon to disregard it in the current case.

Additionally, Trump’s lawyers have challenged the legality of Attorney General Merrick Garland’s appointment of special counsel Jack Smith to lead the investigation into Trump, and they argue that the law under which Trump is being prosecuted is “unconstitutionally vague.”

The charges against Trump involve the alleged mishandling of classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago estate, including obstruction of government efforts to recover them. According to an indictment from June 2023, sensitive documents were found in various locations within the estate, posing risks to national security and diplomatic relations.

The case is scheduled for trial in May, but the trial date may be reconsidered. This case is one of four criminal cases Trump is facing as he aims for a return to the presidency.

In another case related to Trump’s efforts to contest his 2020 election defeat, his legal team is appealing to the Supreme Court to maintain a hold on the case as they continue to argue for presidential immunity, even extending to criminal proceedings. The Supreme Court’s decisions in these matters could significantly impact whether the 2020 election case proceeds before the November election, with potential implications for Trump’s political future and legal strategies.

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