Judge denies two of Trump’s motions to dismiss his federal election interference case

A federal judge on Friday denied two of former President Donald Trump’s motions to dismiss the federal election interference case against him.

U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan, who is overseeing the case, ruled against the first motion by saying that presidents do not have absolute immunity from criminal prosecution for acts that fall within their official responsibilities unless first impeached and convicted in the Senate.

“The Constitution’s text, structure, and history do not support that contention,” Chutkan wrote in her opinion. “No court—or any other branch of government—has ever accepted it. And this court will not so hold. Whatever immunities a sitting President may enjoy, the United States has only one Chief Executive at a time, and that position does not confer a lifelong “get-out-of-jail-free” pass.”

Trump’s indictment also does not violate the First Amendment, Chutkan ruled, rejecting one of the arguments the former president had made to get the case dismissed.

“It is well established that the First Amendment does not protect speech that is used as an instrument of a crime, and consequently the Indictment—which charges Defendant with, among other things, making statements in furtherance of a crime—does not violate Defendant’s First Amendment rights,” she wrote.

Trump has two additional pending motions to dismiss the D.C. case based on statutory grounds and claims of selective or vindictive prosecution.

Trump faces four counts of criminal conduct related to conspiracy to defraud the U.S. after he lost the 2020 presidential election to Joe Biden. He pleaded not guilty and has publicly condemned the allegations.

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