Former U.S. President Donald Trump gestures at a Manhattan courthouse, where he attends the trial of himself, his adult sons, the Trump Organization and others in a civil fraud case brought by state Attorney General Letitia James, in New York City, U.S., October 2, 2023.
Brendan Mcdermid | Reuters
Donald Trump on Thursday asked a federal judge in Washington, D.C., to dismiss his election interference indictment, claiming he is protected from prosecution in that case by presidential immunity.
Trump’s lawyers argued that the acts he is criminally charged with were part of his official presidential duties.
Trump is therefore “absolutely immune from prosecution,” the attorneys wrote in a 52-page motion to dismiss the conspiracy case in U.S. District Court in Washington.
The former president was indicted on four criminal counts related to his bid to overturn his 2020 election loss to President Joe Biden.
Trump spent weeks spreading false claims that he actually had won the election and that Biden’s victory was the result of widespread ballot fraud.
Trump and his allies pressured Republican members of Congress, and his then-Vice President, Mike Pence, to reject key Electoral College votes for Biden when they gathered at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, to confirm the election results.
After a mob of Trump’s supporters stormed the Capitol that day, he tried to “exploit the violence and chaos” to get GOP lawmakers to delay the certification of Biden’s win, according to the indictment.
Trump has pleaded not guilty in the case, which is being prosecuted by special counsel Jack Smith.
Trump faces three other pending criminal cases as he campaigns for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.
He is charged in Atlanta state court with 18 other defendants with an alleged racketeering conspiracy to reverse his defeat by Biden in Georgia in the 2020 election.
In Florida federal court, Trump is charged with crimes related to retaining classified documents after he left the White House in January 2021, and trying to hide those records from government officials.
Earlier Thursday, Trump asked the judge in the Florida case to postpone his trial there until after the November 2024 presidential election.
He is charged in New York state court with allegedly falsifying business records related to a 2016 hush money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels.