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Trump Says Judge Should Dismiss Charges in the Classified Docs Case

via Fox News
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Donald Trump’s lawyers have filed motions seeking dismissal of the criminal charges against him related to retaining classified documents after leaving office.

They argue presidential immunity shields his actions, he had discretion over classifying records, and the charges are impermissibly vague.

They also contend the special counsel who obtained the indictment was improperly appointed.

“To be sure,” Trump’s attorneys state, federal courts “sometimes review the validity of the official acts of subordinate executive officials below the president, and such review may reflect indirectly on the lawfulness of the president’s own acts or directives. But the authority of judicial review of the official acts of subordinate officers has never been held to extend to the official acts of the president himself.”

However, prior court rulings have found presidential immunity does not apply to unlawful acts committed by former presidents.

The Presidential Records Act also appears to contradict Trump’s interpretation that it allows presidents total discretion over classifying documents as personal records.

Chief Justice John Marshall said, “the President is invested with certain important political powers, in the exercise of which he is to use his own discretion, and is accountable only to his country in his political character, and to his own conscience.”

“The subjects are political and the decision of the executive is conclusive,” meaning it “can never be examinable by the courts.”

That is not true, however, “when the legislature proceeds to impose on [an executive official] other duties; when he is directed peremptorily to perform certain acts; when the rights of individuals are dependent on the performance of those acts,” Marshall said.

Then “he is so far the officer of the law, is amenable to the laws for his conduct, and cannot at his discretion, sport away the vested rights of others.” He is acting as a “ministerial officer compellable to do his duty, and if he refuses, is liable to indictment,” Marshall said.

Trump noted that the indictment is invalid because “the Appointments Clause does not permit the Attorney General to appoint, without Senate confirmation, a private citizen and like-minded political ally to wield the prosecutorial power of the United States.” Smith “lacks the authority to prosecute this action.”

“Smith’s appointment is invalid and any prosecutorial power he seeks to wield is ultra vires,” Trump’s motion states.

If the obstruction charges can be proven, Trump likely committed multiple felonies punishable by lengthy prison terms.

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