In a new filing in federal court before Judge Tanya Chutkan, the team of Special Counsel Jack Smith directly confronts and refutes the consistent conspiracy theory from former President Donald Trump that Joe Biden is covertly pulling the strings of criminal charges that he’s facing.
The specific context for this filing was the case from Smith accusing Trump of attempted election interference and multiple criminal conspiracies, like one threatening the exercise by everyday Americans of their right to vote. (Trump’s post-2020 election schemes actually proving successful would have effectively blocked many Americans’ electoral voices through setting aside their presidential ballots.)
Trump, meanwhile, claims on repeat that he’s facing charges for political reasons, pointing to his ongoing campaign for president that could see him up against Joe Biden — again — next year. This time, those Trump arguments made it to court in a motion for dismissal.
Trump is alleging selective and vindictive prosecution on the part of the government. Both those phrases represent specific legal concepts, though the procedural bars for proving selective prosecution — or vindictive prosecution, meaning prosecution stemming from something like actually documented, personal animus — are high. Selective prosecution refers in general terms to a scenario in which the defendant faces charges despite being in about the same position as others who, well, didn’t. There’s no clear correlate for Trump’s actions who’s simply gone without charges though, prosecutors argued.
Biden comes in as the Trump team argues there was discriminatory purpose behind his indictment.
“The defendant’s theory of discriminatory purpose is that the incumbent president directed the defendant’s prosecution to defeat him in the next election,” the government summarized, adding: “The defendant fails to bring forth any evidence to support this claim. That is because there is no such evidence: the incumbent president has no role in this case, and the career prosecutors handling this matter would not participate in this prosecution if it were otherwise.” Other arguments that prosecutors addressed include the flimsy notion Trump was charged in the January 6 case as some sort of retaliation for his plea of not guilty in the separate case against him over his handling of classified documents. Read more at this link.