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Trump files several motions to dismiss his classified documents case

Former President Donald Trump leaves the courtroom on the third day of his civil fraud trial at New York State Supreme Court on Oct. 4, 2023, in New York. — Spencer Platt/Getty Images

(NEW YORK) — Former President Donald Trump’s legal team on Thursday filed a series of motions to dismiss the classified documents case brought by special counsel Jack Smith.

The four motions argue that the case should be dismissed on the grounds of presidential immunity; that Smith’s appointment as special counsel was unlawful; that Smith charged Trump with statutes that shouldn’t apply to the former president’s behavior based on an unclear precedent in the Constitution; and that Trump should have been able to have custody of the documents in question, even after he was president, because of the Presidential Records Act.

The filings came as Trump’s team faced a deadline Thursday to file motions to dismiss.

Trump pleaded not guilty last June to 37 criminal counts related to his handling of classified materials, after prosecutors said he repeatedly refused to return hundreds of documents containing classified information ranging from U.S. nuclear secrets to the nation’s defense capabilities, and took steps to thwart the government’s efforts to get the documents back.

His longtime aide, Walt Nauta, also pleaded not guilty to related charges.

A superseding indictment subsequently charged Trump, Nauta, and Carlos De Oliveira, the head of maintenance at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate, with two obstruction counts based on allegations that the defendants attempted to delete surveillance video footage at Mar-a-Lago in the summer of 2022.

Trump has denied all charges and denounced the probe as a political witch hunt.

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