On Saturday, Special Counsel Jack Smith implored a federal appeals court to dismiss the assertions made by the former president Donald Trump that he is exempt from prosecution.
Trump’s followers accuse him of trying to rig the 2020 election results in the lead-up to the deadly riot at the US Capitol on January 6, 2021. He has refuted any misconduct.
Prosecutors said that Trump’s assertion that he cannot be held accountable for crimes committed while in office “threatens the democratic and constitutional foundation” of the nation in a recent brief submitted to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
Trump’s attorneys have argued that the appeals court should order the dismissal of the case because, as a former president, he is exempt from prosecution for acts that fell within his official duties as commander in chief. They also argued that Trump cannot face criminal charges because he was acquitted by the Senate after being impeached for the alleged conduct.
In the brief, prosecutors wrote that the presidency “plays a vital role in our constitutional system, but so does the principle of accountability for criminal acts—particularly those that strike at the heart of the democratic process.
“Rather than vindicating our constitutional framework, the defendant’s sweeping immunity claim threatens to license presidents to commit crimes to remain in office. The founders did not intend and would never have countenanced such a result.”