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US prosecutors have appealed to a federal court to dismiss former President Donald Trump’s assertion of “absolute immunity” from criminal charges linked to his actions during the 2020 election.
Special Counsel Jack Smith, who is leading the prosecution, argued in a recent filing that the US Constitution and legal traditions do not support such immunity for former presidents. This counters Trump’s claim that the presidency is’ cloaked with absolute immunity’ from prosecution.
Smith emphasized that the constitutional separation of powers and established legal precedents prove that a former president can face charges for crimes committed while in office, including unlawful actions taken to retain power. This argument is a direct response to Trump’s ongoing effort to dismiss election-related charges on the grounds of presidential immunity. Meanwhile, Trump’s legal team insists that prosecuting him for official actions would weaken the executive branch’s integrity.
As the legal battle intensifies, a three-judge panel from the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit is set to deliberate on this issue on January 9.
Trump, who has denied all charges against him, including fraud and obstruction of Congress, is also contending with other criminal prosecutions related to his alleged attempts to overturn the 2020 election.