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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - WASHINGTON — Ex-President Donald Trump has asked a federal court to dismiss the election interference case against him, arguing his role entitled him to "absolute immunity".
Trump's lawyers say his attempts to cast doubt on the 2020 election fell within his duties as president and are not subject to criminal prosecution.
The claims were "at the heart of his official responsibilities", they argue.
Separately, Trump has asked for a delay in his classified documents case.
Trump's attorneys have asked for that trial, in which the former president is accused of improperly handling sensitive files, to be held after the 2024 presidential election.
It is part of a flurry of legal filings in recent days related to a number of Trump's ongoing cases.
In a new filing in the election interference case on Thursday, his lawyers argue that Trump's public statements about the 2020 contest were attempts at "ensuring the integrity of federal elections".
"The acts alleged in the indictment lie firmly within the 'outer perimeter' of the President's official responsibility," the lawyers argue.
"Therefore, they cannot form the basis of criminal charges against President Trump."
The former president made a range of allegations about fraud in the 2020 presidential election after his loss, but no evidence has emerged of any widespread fraud that would have altered the result.
In an attempt to delay another case, Trump filed a notice to voluntarily dismiss another lawsuit against his ex-lawyer Michael Cohen — who he was suing for at least $500m (£410m) in damages — on Thursday.
In a statement released to US media, Trump's campaign claimed that his legal suits and 2024 presidential campaign were using up too much of his time for him to pursue the claim.
The charges relating to the 2020 election were brought in Washington DC by special prosecutor Jack Smith, who says Trump interfered with the normal transfer of presidential power after his legal challenges to the vote were unsuccessful.
Trump is charged with conspiracy to defraud the US, conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, obstruction of an official proceeding, and conspiracy against the rights of citizens.
In the criminal complaint against the former president, the special prosecutor acknowledged that Trump "had a right, like every American, to speak publicly about the election and even to claim, falsely, that there had been outcome-determinative fraud during the election and that he had won".
However he alleged that Trump went further than allowed and "also pursued unlawful means of discounting legitimate votes and subverting the election results".
The former president has repeatedly said that the charges against him — and all of the other legal cases against him and his companies — are politically motivated.
In the Florida classified documents case, which is also being prosecuted by Smith's office, Trump's attorneys have asked for a trial currently scheduled for May 2024 to be pushed back to at least mid-November.
That would put the start of the trial after next year's presidential vote on 5 November.
More than 325 classified files — including some marked "Secret" and "Top Secret" — were discovered at Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate, some stored in a ballroom, others in a bathroom and a shower.
Trump's lawyers contend that they have not yet had adequate access to classified material and witness statements, and have previously argued that it would be impossible to hold a fair trial in the midst of a presidential campaign.
Trump's attorneys have also requested the dismissal of 34 felony charges of falsifying business records.
The request to dismiss charges of falsifying business records was publicly released on Thursday, after his lawyers filed the motion last week.
The New York case stems from his payment of $130,000 (£105,000) to adult film actress Stormy Daniels, who says she was paid to stay quiet after having sex with him.
Prosecutors allege Trump illegally altered records in order to claim that the payment was for legal fees.
In the legal filing, his lawyers call the case a "five-year meandering, halting, and roving investigation that entailed inexplicable and unconstitutional delay" and argue that the charges are a novel interpretation of the law and "politically driven". — BBC
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