Judge Says Trump’s Presidency Did Not Give Him ‘Divine Right’ To Dismiss Election Interference Charges

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Topline

Judge Tanya Chutkan denied former President Donald Trump’s motion to dismiss his election interference charges on grounds of presidential immunity, according to a Friday filing, saying Trump’s four years as president didn’t give him the “divine right of kings to evade the criminal accountability that governs his fellow citizens.”

Key Facts

Chutkan disagreed with Trump’s argument that the Constitution granted him presidential immunity, saying the Constitution’s “text, structure, and history” don’t support his claim.

Chutkan added that “former Presidents enjoy no special conditions on their federal criminal liability.”

The rejection comes hours after a federal appeals court denied separate efforts from Trump to have multiple lawsuits thrown out that held him liable for the Jan. 6 Capitol riot because he claimed the presidency made him “immune” from any liability.

Representatives for Trump did not immediately respond to Forbes’ request for comment.

Big Number

The former president’s D.C. trial is set to begin March 4, though Trump’s attorneys have repeatedly attempted to delay his upcoming criminal trials.

Key Background

Trump filed the motion to dismiss the charges in October, arguing his role as president granted him “absolute immunity” and that he was acting within the scope of his duties. Trump was charged with conspiracy to defraud the U.S., conspiracy against rights of citizens, obstructing an official proceeding and conspiring to obstruct an official proceeding after an investigation by Justice Department Special Counsel Jack Smith. Trump pleaded not guilty to the charges at an arraignment in August.

Further Reading

Trump Can Be Sued For Inciting Jan. 6, Appeals Court Rules (Forbes)

Judge rejects Trump’s claim of immunity in his federal 2020 election prosecution (AP)

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