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Double setback for Donald Trump: Judges reject calls to dismiss charges – Times of India

NEW DELHI: Former US President Donald Trump faced setbacks in two legal battles on Thursday as judges rejected his attempts to dismiss criminal charges related to his actions following the 2020 election and retention of classified documents after leaving office.
Additionally, a close ally of Trump, former Justice Department official attorney Jeffrey Clark, is at risk of disbarment for violating attorney ethics rules in his efforts to involve the agency in overturning Trump’s election loss.These legal issues add to the numerous entanglements Trump is currently facing, including being criminally charged in four cases as he competes against President Joe Biden in the upcoming election.
In one case, US District Judge Aileen Cannon in Florida dismissed Trump’s argument that holding onto classified documents was permissible as they were his personal records rather than government property. Prosecutors contended that the documents contained sensitive information on U.S. military and intelligence matters, such as details on the American nuclear program, and were not personal in nature. The judge’s decision marked a blow to Trump’s defense in this particular case.
In a separate ruling, a judge in Georgia denied Trump’s request to dismiss criminal charges related to the state’s investigation into election interference in 2020. The judge determined that the statements made by Trump and others implicated in the case were linked to criminal activities and did not fall under the protection of the First Amendment. Trump, who has labeled the charges as politically motivated, continues to contest the legal actions against him, claiming presidential immunity and selective prosecution.
The Supreme Court is set to hear arguments on Trump’s immunity claim in a federal case in Washington, D.C., concerning his efforts to challenge the election results. Trump has managed to delay trials in three out of the four criminal cases, raising uncertainty over whether any will conclude before the November election. The trial in New York, slated to begin on April 15, will mark the first-ever trial of a sitting or former US president.
Judge Cannon, appointed by Trump, previously expressed doubts about dismissing the Florida case based on Trump’s argument but directed the prosecution and defense to propose jury instructions considering Trump’s defense for trial. Prosecutors contested that the presidential records law was irrelevant to the case, emphasizing that Trump was not authorized to retain national security information post-presidency, regardless of his personal views on the matter.
Despite facing legal obstacles, Trump remains steadfast in challenging the charges against him, maintaining his stance that the prosecutions are politically driven. The legal battles surrounding Trump’s actions following his presidency highlight the complexities and controversies surrounding his post-election activities.

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