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Judge rejects Donald Trump’s immunity claim in 2020 presidential election case brought by Jack Smith

A United States court has ruled that former US President Donald Trump cannot be protected from criminal charges for actions he took while in office, blocking his attempt to dismiss the case brought by special counsel Jack Smith. Has failed. The charges accuse Trump of illegally attempting to overturn his loss in the 2020 presidential election. According to the Associated Press, U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan’s decision rejected Trump’s defense team’s argument that the former president is freed from criminal charges after leaving office.

The ruling rejected challenges raised by the Trump camp against the four-count indictment. The upcoming trial is expected to focus on Trump’s broader efforts to challenge the election won by Democrats and Joe Biden, the AP reports.

Trump served as President from 2017 to 2021 and is currently the leading contender for the Republican nomination in the 2024 US presidential election against Democratic President Joe Biden.

“Whatever immunity a sitting president may enjoy, there is only one chief executive of the United States at a time, and that office does not provide a lifetime ‘get out of jail free’ pass,” Chutkan wrote in the order. To Reuters.

Chutkan rejected Trump’s claim that the indictment violates his freedom of speech. Trump’s lawyers argued that his actions fell within his First Amendment rights to challenge the election results and allege fraud. However, Chutkan clarified that the First Amendment does not protect speech used as a means of crime.

The report further said that the judge further said that Trump is accused not only of making false statements, but also of knowingly doing so in furtherance of a criminal conspiracy and obstructing the electoral process.

According to the Associated Press, he wrote, “The defendant is not being prosecuted merely for making a false statement… but for knowingly making a false statement in furtherance of a criminal conspiracy and obstruction of the electoral process.” Is.”

The decision now brings Trump closer to facing a jury on charges related to his alleged interference in the counting of electoral votes and obstructing Biden’s certification. The former US president has maintained his plea of ​​not guilty and accused prosecutors of damaging his campaign. The trial is scheduled to begin in March, but Trump has the option to immediately appeal the verdict.

US presidential elections are also to be held in 2024.

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