Courts & Litigation Criminal Justice & the Rule of Law

Trump Files Reply Brief for Motion to Dismiss on Presidential Immunity

Tyler McBrien
Friday, October 27, 2023, 9:37 AM
The reply brief attempts to further the case for extending immunity to criminal cases.

Published by The Lawfare Institute
in Cooperation With

On Oct. 26, former President Donald Trump filed a reply brief in support of his motion to dismiss the Justice Department’s Jan. 6 case against him. The reply brief follows the government’s Oct. 19 response in opposition to Trump’s motion for absolute immunity from criminal prosecution for conduct during his presidency, which the government asserts “would violate the fundamental principle that no one in this country, not even the president, is above the law.” 

Citing Nixon v. Fitzgerald, which established presidential immunity in civil cases, Trump contends that “[j]ust as he cannot be constrained by fear of civil lawsuits, so too should he be protected from the much more potent specter of criminal prosecution.” Rather than placing “the President above the law, as the prosecution contends,” Trump asserts that recognizing presidential immunity in criminal cases would “return us to the sensible process envisioned by the founders, where the People’s representatives in Congress—not an unelected prosecutor—first decide whether a President’s official actions are worthy of sanction and potential criminal liability.” 

Read the reply brief here or below: 

Tyler McBrien is the managing editor of Lawfare. He previously worked as an editor with the Council on Foreign Relations and a Princeton in Africa Fellow with Equal Education in South Africa, and holds an MA in international relations from the University of Chicago.

Subscribe to Lawfare