Trump moves to dismiss 2020 election case

October 6, 2023
Robert Ayers

Former President Donald Trump has filed a motion to dismiss the 2020 election interference case that special counsel Jack Smith has brought against him. 

The New York Times reports that Trump and his legal team filed the motion to dismiss in the Federal District Court in Washington, D.C., on Thursday.

The Times describes the 52-page filing as "breathtaking in its scope."

The Associated Press refers to the motion as "the most pointed attack yet by defense lawyers on" Smith's indictment.

A more detailed look at Trump's motion to dismiss

Trump's essential argument, according to the Times, is that he is immune from prosecution because he carried out the actions for which he is being prosecuted in his official capacity as president of the United States.

In the filing, Trump's lawyer - John Lauro - argues that the actions that Trump took following the 2020 presidential election were "efforts to ensure election integrity." And, as such, Lauro argues that they were "at the heart of" Trump's "official responsibilities as president."

Accordingly, Lauro says that Trump ought to be "absolutely immune from prosecution."

Lauro writes:

Here, 234 years of unbroken historical practice — from 1789 until 2023 — provide compelling evidence that the power to indict a former president for his official acts does not exist. No prosecutor, whether state, local or federal, has this authority; and none has sought to exercise it until now.

The question now is whether this argument will hold up in court.

Probably not

It is not because the argument that Lauro is making is a weak one. In fact, some legal experts seem to think it is a rather strong argument, while others have, at least, been willing to admit that it is not without merit.

But, in this particular case, the law does not really matter.

The case is being carried out in Washington, D.C., which is overwhelmingly Democratic. And, the case is being overseen by Judge Tanya Chutkan, who, reportedly, has deep Democratic ties and who has made it clear that she has a bias against Trump and Trump's supporters.

Chutkan is the one who will now decide whether or not to grant Trump's motion to dismiss. Given her background, there is almost no chance that she will grant the motion. There is virtually no chance that she will give up a case that has Trump in the defendant's seat.

If Trump is going to emerge victorious in this case, it is almost a guarantee that the victory is going to have to come upon appeal.

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