Jack Smith Defends Liz Cheney’s Jan. 6 Committee From Trump’s Meddling

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In a new court filing made with federal Judge Tanya Chutkan, the federal prosecutors led by Special Counsel Jack Smith who are handling the January 6-related criminal case against Donald Trump rebuff arguments from the former president’s team attempting to formally hold the House committee that investigated January 6 as part of the prosecution team.

That now defunct panel was led in part by now former GOP Congresswoman Liz Cheney. Accepting Trump’s arguments and formally linking the panel and federal prosecutors as such would potentially lead to expanded demands for sharing records of the committee’s investigation. The investigative records to which Trump’s demands could lead aren’t precisely clear, with the ex-president’s team actually already in possession of some materials tied to the committee as part of the ongoing discovery process. Discovery, in this context, means the pretrial period in which case-related materials are assembled and shared, though strict guidelines govern what’s subject to discovery obligations.

“The defendant’s speculation provides no authority for this Court to redefine the prosecution team to include a legislative body from another branch of government—something no other court has done,” the filing from prosecutors said, adding: “In any event, the Government already has produced to the defendant the items it obtained from the Select Committee, which the defendant’s motion admits includes “nonpublic items” and “transcripts of witness interviews.” […] The defendant offers no reason to extend the Government’s obligations to cover unidentified items solely in Congress’s possession.”

As previously reported on this site, Trump is currently seeking a temporary halt to proceedings in this case while he pursues appeals at an advanced judicial level, pushing an argument that he has wide-ranging presidential immunity covering his past tenure. The claimed protection from the Trump team is immunity shielding all actions Trump took as president unless disputed conduct was the subject of an impeachment followed by a Senate conviction.