Updated Oct 5, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Trump's lawyers cite "presidential immunity" in request to dismiss Jan. 6 case

Former President Donald Trump steps out of court during an afternoon break on the third day of his civil fraud trial at New York State Supreme Court on October 04, 2023 in New York City

Former President Trump steps out of court during an afternoon break on the third day of his civil fraud trial at New York State Supreme Court on Oct. 4. Photo: David Dee Delgado/Getty Images

Former President Trump's legal team filed a motion on Thursday seeking to dismiss the federal charges in his Jan. 6 criminal case, citing "presidential immunity."

Driving the news: Trump's lawyers argue that he has absolute immunity from criminal prosecution for actions that were performed within the "outer perimeter" of the president's official duties.

  • "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," the motion stated.
  • "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."

The big picture: Trump in August pleaded not guilty to all federal charges alleging that he plotted to overturn the results of the 2020 election.

  • A grand jury convened by special counsel Jack Smith charged Trump with conspiracy to defraud the U.S., conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, obstruction of and attempt to obstruct an official proceeding and conspiracy against rights.
  • Trump's attorneys in a court filing last month argued that U.S. District Judge Tanya S. Chutkan should recuse herself from the trial, a request that she declined.
  • The trial is scheduled to begin on March 4.

The special counsel's office declined to comment on the filing.

Go deeper: Trump's courtroom calendar clashes with 2024 presidential election

Editor's note: This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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