Legal /

Trump Files Motion to Dismiss Jan. 6 Case Citing Double Jeopardy, First Amendment

'President Trump and his supporters are entitled to mistrust the word of such establishment-based government officials and draw their own inferences from the facts,' said Trump's legal team

Former President Donald Trump has asked the U.S. District Court of Columbia to dismiss Special Counsel Jack Smith’s case against him for his alleged role in events of Jan. 6, 2021 citing the First Amendment and double jeopardy.

Trump’s legal team filed its motion late on Oct. 23, arguing the prosecution’s indictment violated the Constitution.

“If there is any constant in our democratic system of governance, it is that the marketplace of ideas—not the mandates of government functionaries or partisan prosecutors—determines the scope of public debate,” stated Trump’s representatives in the filing. “Countless millions believe, as President Trump consistently has and currently does, that fraud and irregularities pervaded the 2020 Presidential Election. As the indictment itself alleges, President Trump gave voice to these concerns and demanded that politicians in a position to restore integrity to our elections not just talk about the problem, but investigate and resolve it.”

The motion argues that every count in the indictment violated the tenets of the First Amendment and that U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan “should dismiss the indictment in its entirety.”

“Additionally, as the United States Senate has previously tried and acquitted President Trump for charges arising from the same course of conduct alleged in the indictment, the impeachment and double jeopardy clauses both bar retrial before this Court and require dismissal,” the motion added.

Finally, Trump’s attorneys argued that the former president was not given fair notice that his “advocacy in this instance could be criminalized” in violation of his Due Process rights.

The defense largely contends that political views sway how the public and Trump regarded the results of the 2020 elections based on publicly available information and how the prosecutors interpreted Trump’s words and actions.

“The First Amendment does not permit the prosecution to dictate what is ‘true’ and what is ‘false’ on such broad, vigorously disputed, politically charged questions—especially not in the context of a criminal prosecution that effectively seeks to criminalize a political viewpoint shared by over 100 million Americans,” wrote the defense. “Under the First Amendment, President Trump and his supporters are entitled to mistrust the word of such establishment-based government officials and draw their own inferences from the facts.”

Trump’s defense team has filed other motions to have the case against him. In early October, his legal team asked the judge to dismiss the case citing presidential immunity.  

Trump was indicted on Aug. 1 by a federal grand jury. 

“The attack on our nation’s Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, was an unprecedented assault on the seat of American democracy. As described in the indictment, it was fueled by lies,” Smith said during a subsequent press conference, per NPR. “Lies by the defendant, targeted at obstructing a bedrock function of the U.S. government.”

Smith also led efforts to indict Trump over his alleged mishandling of classified documents.

The case against Trump involving his actions related the Jan. 6, 2021 is currently scheduled to go to trial in March. 

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