AFL Files Critical Brief in Support of Donald Trump in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida–Highlighting How Weaponized, Selective DOJ Prosecution Violates the Law

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, America First Legal (AFL) filed an amicus brief in United States of America v. Donald J. Trump et al. to support former President Trump’s motion to dismiss the indictment based on the Presidential Records Act (PRA).

AFL filed the brief in the case brought by Special Counsel Jack Smith and relates to the FBI’s raid of President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home in August 2022. In its brief, AFL argues that: 

  • First, the National Archives lacked the legal authority to make a criminal referral to the Department of Justice:
    • The Presidential Records Act requires DOJ to obtain documents through procedures enumerated in 44 U.S.C. § 2205(2)(A). DOJ did not follow those procedures, and the statute does not authorize “referral” of any criminal offense. 
  • Second, NARA is bound to defer to the former President’s rights and privileges yet ignored them. 
  • Third, as an independent agency, NARA must be insulated from White House influence, yet the Biden White House directly shaped how the Archivist acted in response to former President Trump. These three arguments signify violations of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), a law designed to hold agencies accountable for following legislative procedures. If a court finds that the APA was violated, that is a basis for dismissing the indictment.

AFL previously released a whitepaper contending that the President of the United States has absolute authority over presidential papers. Neither Congress nor the federal courts may lawfully abrogate or limit this authority.

AFL previously exposed how the Biden White House was involved with the Mar-a-Lago raid by making a “special access request” for the records on behalf of the Department of Justice and revealed that NARA misled Congress. 

Moreover, AFL launched an investigation with the Department of Defense Information Systems Agency regarding a secretive Obama-era order, known as the Presidential Information Technology Committee (PITC), that may have created a reasonable belief in President Trump that he had authority over documents and information he received as President. 

AFL will continue to fight to uphold the rule of law and to stop the politically motivated witchhunt against Donald J. Trump. These sham indictments serve as a partisan attempt to destroy the former President and silence the millions of Americans across the country who support him.

Statement from Gene Hamilton, America First Legal Executive Director, Executive Vice President, and General Counsel: 

“The Department of Justice betrayed its duty, the law, and the American people’s trust when it indicted President Trump based on an unlawful criminal referral from the National Archives. The prosecution against him in the Southern District of Florida has no basis in law and must end. This brief demonstrates how the National Archives’ decisions were not in accordance with the law and in excess of its statutory authority. Our federal courts have routinely decided that criminal indictments resulting from agency decisions violating the APA must be dismissed–and that is especially true here.” said Gene Hamilton.

Read the brief here.

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