Trump Claims Presidential Immunity In Georgia Election Case

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Donald Trump is once again claiming presidential immunity in one of the many legal challenges mounted against him, this time in his Georgia racketeering case.

The former president’s lawyers filed the presidential immunity motion Monday in Georgia’s Fulton County Superior Court, where he’s facing 13 felony charges related to his attempts to overturn the state’s 2020 election results in his favor.

The filing asserts that Trump should be protected by the “unbroken historic tradition of presidential immunity” because he was acting in his official capacity as president when he objected to Georgia’s electoral votes going to President Joe Biden and implored a state official to “find” more votes for him instead.

“Communicating with state officials about the administration of a federal election and urging them to exercise their official responsibilities with respect to that election are … core exercises of presidential responsibility,” his attorneys argued.

The request was filed on the last day parties are allowed to file pretrial motions in the case.

Trump, who’s once again the front-runner for the GOP presidential nomination, is the first president in history, current or former, to be indicted on criminal charges. He’s currently facing more than 90 felony counts across two federal cases and two state ones.

“From 1789 to 2023, no President ever faced criminal prosecution for acts committed while in office,” his lawyers argued Monday. But no American president has ever attempted to stay in office after losing a reelection bid, either.

Special counsel Jack Smith, who’s brought two of the four cases against Trump, said last month that Trump’s immunity claims “threaten to undermine democracy.”

This latest filing comes a day before an appeals court is set to hear Trump’s claims of presidential immunity from federal charges related to his role in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol. The U.S. Supreme Court declined to weigh in on the matter last month.

That legal back-and-forth in that case forced the trial judge to pause the overarching case until the immunity dispute is settled ― potentially delaying a trial start until after this fall’s presidential election.

Barring any similar delays in the Georgia case, Fulton County prosecutors are aiming for the trial to begin in early August 2024 ― smack dab in the middle of the 2024 campaign season.

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