Trump moves to dismiss his classified documents indictment, citing presidential immunity

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Trump moves to dismiss his classified documents indictment, citing presidential immunity

Former President Donald Trump on Thursday urged a federal judge to dismiss his classified documents case in Florida on the basis of presidential immunity, according to a court filing.

“President Trump’s alleged decision to designate records as personal under the PRA and cause them to be removed from the White House — which underlies Counts 1 through 32 of the Superseding Indictment — was an official act by the incumbent president,” the former president’s attorneys wrote in court papers filed in federal court in West Palm Beach, Florida.

“President Trump is entitled to immunity for this official act and that must include immunity from criminal prosecution,” they added.

This image, contained in the indictment against former President Donald Trump, shows boxes of records on Dec. 7, 2021, in a storage room at Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Fla., that had fallen over with contents spilling onto the floor. Trump is facing 37 felony charges related to the mishandling of classified documents according to an indictment unsealed Friday, June 9, 2023.
This image, contained in the indictment against former President Donald Trump, shows boxes of records on Dec. 7, 2021, in a storage room at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Fla., that had fallen over with contents spilling onto the floor.Justice Department via AP file

Trump publicly filed three other motions on Thursday night arguing the charges against him should be dismissed due to the vagueness of a statute Trump was charged with as it relates to presidents, the alleged unconstitutionality of special counsel appointments, and the Presidential Records Act.

Trump’s attorneys filed three additional motions that were emailed privately to the court for redaction review.

Trump’s attorneys indicated in a filing last month that they’ll argue prosecutors carried out a “politically motivated and biased” probe into his handling of classified documents in an effort to tarnish his 2024 bid.

The former president has pleaded not guilty to charges that accuse him of willfully retaining national defense information in connection with classified documents that were uncovered at his Florida estate more than a year after he left office and allegedly ordering a Mar-a-Lago staffer to delete security video at the property.

Co-defendants Walt Nauta, a top aide, and Carlos De Oliveira, a maintenance supervisor at Mar-a-Lago, have pleaded not guilty to charges stemming from allegations that they, too, were involved in an effort to delete security footage.

De Oliveira also filed a motion to dismiss his charges earlier on Thursday.

A federal appeals court rejected a similar immunity argument from Trump this month in his federal election case in Washington, D.C., which was also brought by special counsel Jack Smith’s office.

A spokesperson for Smith’s office, Peter Carr, said Friday morning that the office declined to comment on Trump’s motions.

A panel for U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia found in that case that there was no basis for Trump’s claims of blanket immunity for any acts committed while in office.

Trump has appealed that ruling to the Supreme Court. He has pleaded not guilty.

Zoë Richards

Zoë Richards is the evening politics reporter for NBC News.

Daniel Barnes

Daniel Barnes reports for NBC News, based in Washington.

Katie S. Phang

contributed

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