Feb 23, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Trump cites presidential immunity in request to dismiss classified docs case

Republican presidential candidate, former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a Fox News town hall at the Greenville Convention Center on February 20, 2024 in Greenville, South Carolina.

Former President Trump speaks during a Fox News town hall on Feb. 20 in Greenville, South Carolina. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Attorneys for former President Trump on Thursday asked a judge to throw out his classified documents case in Florida, arguing that he is protected by presidential immunity.

Why it matters: It's the Republican presidential frontrunner's latest claim that he is shielded from criminal prosecution under a broad theory of immunity. An appellate court rejected the argument earlier this month.

  • The U.S. Supreme Court may address Trump's immunity argument and reconsider the appellate court ruling if the high court accepts an appeal he filed of the decision, which stems from his federal 2020 election subversion case.

Driving the news: In motions filed in the Florida case, Trump's team argued in part that the former president was immune from the classified documents charges because he was acting in his official duties as president.

  • "President Trump's alleged decision to designate records as personal under the PRA and cause them to be removed from the White House ... was an official act by the incumbent president," Trump's lawyers wrote.
  • The former president's lawyers also challenged the decision to appoint special counsel Jack Smith to oversee the case.

The big picture: Trump pleaded not guilty last year to 40 charges he faces in the case. Those include the willful retention of national defense information and conspiracy to obstruct justice.

Go deeper: Trump's courtroom and campaign calendar collision is here

Go deeper