Trump Asks Judge to Toss Classified Docs Charges, Citing Presidential Immunity

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Former President Donald Trump on Thursday asked a federal judge to throw out the criminal case alleging he mishandled classified documents at his Florida estate, arguing that he is shielded by presidential immunity.

Trump’s lawyers argued in a motion to dismiss that he was immune from the criminal charges filed against him by special counsel Jack Smith “because the charges turn on his alleged decision to designate records as personal under the Presidential Records Act”—and because he allegedly made this decision while in office, it was “an official act, and as such is subject to presidential immunity.”

The former president has pleaded not guilty to the 40-count indictment filed against him in Florida last June, accusing him of unlawfully hoarding classified material at Mar-a-Lago and trying to keep the government from retrieving the records.

One of his co-defendants in the case, Carlos De Oliveira, the property manager at Mar-a-Lago, also filed on Thursday to dismiss parts of the superseding indictment charging him with conspiring to obstruct justice and making false statements to the FBI.

His attorneys argued that De Oliveira, who is accused of trying to delete Mar-a-Lago security footage showing the classified documents being moved, did not know the video was under a grand jury subpoena when he tried to erase it.

“The Superseding Indictment does not allege that Mr. De Oliveira ever saw a classified document. It does not allege that Mr. De Oliveira was aware of the presence of any classified documents in the boxes that he moved,” his lawyers wrote. “It does not allege that Mr. De Oliveira was even aware of any government investigation or the May 11 subpoena at the time he moved the boxes, let alone that he would have understood the obligations that would come with such a subpoena.”

De Oliveira’s motion to dismiss was first reported by The Guardian. He has pleaded not guilty in the case, as has the final co-defendant, Walt Nauta, Trump’s personal valet.

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