In a recent filing made in federal court by Special Counsel Jack Smith’s team in their criminal case against former President Donald Trump alleging election interference, the prosecution draws a direct connection between the ex-commander-in-chief and the violent events of January 6.
The filing is part of the push by Smith’s team for formal restrictions on the public statements made by Trump (and others) in the context of the case, and in the document, prosecutors go over a series of recent examples they say show the problem they’re hoping to solve, including Trump recently suggesting on Truth Social the execution of retired General Mark Milley — a witness in the investigation.
“The defendant seeks to deflect responsibility for his own prejudicial statements by claiming that the indictment in this case was “false and derogatory” and that the Special Counsel’s brief statement upon its unsealing was prejudicial because it ascribed to the defendant responsibility for the events of January 6, 2021—which, according to the defendant’s opposition, the indictment does not allege,” prosecutors told the judge. “The defendant is wrong.” They then recap how the original indictment repeatedly draws attention to how Trump oriented his supporters towards January 6 in the lead-up to that fateful day. Even after the riot began, Trump “exploited the disruption in furtherance of his efforts to obstruct the certification,” prosecutors contended.
Some of what might be relevant here was very public. Trump infamously included the caveat in some of his post-riot messages that he essentially understood their frustrations because of what he claimed — and claims — was the legitimacy to his allegations of a stolen presidential election. “These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly & unfairly treated for so long,” Trump posted online later on that very day.
“In short, the indictment alleges that the defendant’s actions, including his campaign of knowingly false claims of election fraud, led to the events of January 6,” the new filing says. Thus, prosecutors contend that Smith himself having publicly made such a connection didn’t threaten a material setback to the handling of the case, and prosecutors also defended the orderly construction of the indictment itself in this new filing. Read more here.