Gulf Today

Judges reject Trump’s calls to dismiss charges


WASHINGTON: Donald Trump suffered a pair of legal setbacks on Thursday as judges spurned his calls to dismiss criminal charges over the former US president’s efforts to overturn his 2020 loss in Georgia and his keeping classified records ater leaving office.

Separately, one of the Republican presidenti­al candidate’s allies, former Justice Department official atorney Jeffrey Clark, faced the risk of disbarment ater a Washington panel found he violated some atorney ethics rules in his atempts to enlist the agency to help overturn Trump’s loss.

Those cases represent just some of the legal entangleme­nts facing Trump, who has been criminally charged in four cases as he challenges Democratic President Joe Biden in the Nov.5 election, with the first-ever trial of a siting or former US president due to get underway in New York on April 15.

“It just shows that everything’s moving forward,” said Amy Lee Copeland, a former federal prosecutor in Georgia, who noted that progress in many of the cases remains slow.

Florida-based US District Judge Aileen Cannon on Thursday rejected Trump’s argument that the case accusing him of illegally holding onto classified documents should be thrown out on the basis of his argument they were his personal records rather than government property.

Trump had argued that his retention of highly sensitive documents at his Mar-a-lago estate in Florida ater leaving office in 2021 was authorised under a US law that lets former presidents keep personal records unrelated to their official responsibi­lities.

Prosecutor­s in the case brought by Special Counsel Jack Smith have said the documents relate to US military and intelligen­ce maters, including details about the American nuclear programme, and could not be construed as personal.

In an earlier Thursday setback, a Georgia judge rejected Trump’s bid to dismiss criminal charges in the state’s 2020 election interferen­ce case against him, which Trump argued violate his free speech rights.

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