Trump isn’t above the law, Justice Department tells a judge

The US Justice Department has emphasized that former President Donald Trump is not above the law, urging a judge to reject his efforts to dismiss the federal election interference case against him.

Case against immunity: Trump’s lawyers have moved to dismiss the four felony charges against him on grounds of presidential “immunity.”
* Trump’s legal team has considered seeking a review before the Supreme Court, hoping to delay the trial scheduled for March 4, 2024.
* However, prosecutors argue that Trump has misinterpreted the allegations and exaggerated constitutional support for his claims.

Prosecution’s stance: Prosecutors maintain that sitting presidents only enjoy temporary immunity from prosecution, which ends once they leave office.
* Extending these protections to former presidents could potentially “preclude any form of accountability for a president who commits crimes at the end of his term.”
* The Justice Department warns that allowing Trump’s proposed protections could provide cover for future abuses of power.

Implications of the indictment: A federal grand jury indictment places Trump at the center of a conspiracy to overturn election results, contributing to the US Capitol riot on January 6, 2021.
* Trump is accused of conspiring against the government he once led and violating the civil rights of American voters. He has pleaded not guilty.
* According to Trump’s lawyers, his efforts to ensure election integrity were within the scope of his presidential duties.

Unprecedented legal challenges: Trump’s lawyers argue that no other American president has faced federal criminal prosecution, suggesting historical precedent for presidential immunity.
* Prosecutors point out that Trump’s unique legal issues could merely reflect his unparalleled behavior. He currently faces criminal charges in four separate jurisdictions: Florida, Georgia’s Fulton County, New York, and Washington, D.C.
* Notable Republicans, such as Sen. Mitch McConnell, have previously noted that former presidents are not immune from being held accountable by the criminal justice system or by civil litigation.

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