‘These Things Are Not Alike’: Prosecutors Hit Trump For Comparing Himself To Lincoln

Trump’s attorneys have demanded the charges against him be dismissed, claiming the former president maintained immunity from prosecution.

Federal prosecutors rejected former US President Donald Trump’s claims that he enjoyed “absolute immunity” from prosecution after he was indicted in Washington, DC, over his efforts to remain in power after losing the 2020 presidential election.

Trump’s attorneys are seeking to have the four federal charges filed against him dismissed, claiming any act he took leading up to the January 6, 2021 insurrection at the Capitol should be considered part of his presidential duties.

The lawyers moved to cast Trump’s statements to hold on to power and effectively undertake a coup as an attempt to “ensure election integrity,” adding a president must, at times, be able to take “bold and unhesitating action” without fear of prosecution.

Their 52-page filing earlier this month compared Trump’s comments before the violent attack at the Capitol to those of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.

Federal prosecutors rejected those assertions in a filing with the Federal District Court in Washington.

“The defendant is not above the law,” prosecutors wrote. “He is subject to the federal criminal laws like more than 330 million other Americans, including members of Congress, federal judges, and everyday citizens.”

“In staking his claim, he purports to draw a parallel between his fraudulent efforts to overturn the results of an election that he lost and the likes of Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address and George Washington’s Farewell Address,” the filing continued. “These things are not alike.”

Trump has been indicted in four separate cases this year and has vehemently rejected all charges against him. His trial in Washington, overseen by Judge Tanya Chutkan, is scheduled to begin in March as the 2024 presidential race begins in earnest. Trump, who is vying for the Republican nomination, could very well be forced to campaign at the same time as he sits in court for much of next year.

The Justice Department has generally held a policy that sitting presidents cannot be indicted. But as The New York Times notes, Trump’s attempts to claim he is immune from all prosecution for anything he did while in office — even after he left the White House — would be an exceedingly broad interpretation of the justice system.

“No legal principle, case, or historical practice supports the conclusion that a former president is immune from criminal prosecution for conduct undertaken during his presidency,” prosecutors wrote on Thursday.


What's Hot