Donald Trump’s lawyers tried to get the former president’s 1/6 indictment dismissed by claiming that Trump has absolute immunity.
Trump Argues That Anything A President Does Is Legal
To ensure the President may serve unhesitatingly, without fear that his political opponents may one day prosecute him for decisions they dislike, the law provides absolute immunity “for acts within the ‘outer perimeter’ of [the President’s] official responsibility.” ensure the President may serve unhesitatingly, without fear that his political opponents may one day prosecute him for decisions they dislike, the law provides absolute immunity “for acts within the ‘outer perimeter’ of [the President’s] official responsibility.” Nixon v. Fitzgerald 457 U.S. 731, 756 (1982) (quoting Barr v. Matteo, 360 U.S. 564, 575 (1959) (plurality opinion)).
Breaking 234 years of precedent, the incumbent administration has charged President Trump for acts that lie not just within the “outer perimeter,” but at the heart of his official responsibilities as President. In doing so, the prosecution does not, and cannot, argue that President Trump’s efforts to ensure election integrity, and to advocate for the same, were outside the scope of his duties. Instead, the prosecution falsely claims that President Trump’s motives were impure— that he purportedly “knew” that the widespread reports of fraud and election irregularities were untrue but sought to address them anyway. But as the Constitution, the Supreme Court, and hundreds of years of history and tradition all make clear, the President’s motivations are not for the prosecution or this Court to decide. Rather, where, as here, the President’s actions are within the ambit of hisoffice, he is absolutely immune from prosecution. Spalding v. Vilas, 161 U.S. 483, 494, 949 (1896) (“The ‘allegation of malicious or corrupt motives’ does not affect a public official’s immunity and “[t]he motive that impelled [the official] to do that of which the plaintiff Case 1:23-cr-00257-TSC Document 74 Filed 10/05/23 Page 7 of 52 161 U.S. 483, 494, 949 (1896) (“The ‘allegation of malicious or corrupt motives’ does not affect a public official’s immunity and “[t]he motive that impelled [the official] to do that of which the plaintiff Case 1:23-cr-00257-TSC Document 74 2 complains is … wholly immaterial.”). Therefore, the Court should dismiss the indictment, with prejudice.
Trump Believes That Presidents Are Above The Law
Trump is claiming that anything a president does is legal and that presidents can’t be prosecuted for criminal activity. However, there are multiple examples that prove that Trump wasn’t acting as president when he tried to overturn the election.
Trump’s taped phone calls to Georgia election officials where he asked them to find him votes were not the actions of a president gathering information about the election process, but they were requests made by a candidate who was seeking to overturn an election.
The argument put forth by the Trump lawyers is completely undemocratic. The failed former president is arguing that some people are above the law based on the office that they held at the time of alleged criminal activity.
This argument from Trump is nothing new. After winning the election in November 2016, Trump argued that he was above the law.
The new filing is the first time that Trump has argued in federal cases that he is above the law.
Donald Trump is threatening democracy, and the courts need to solidly affirm that no one is above the law.
Jason is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association