Jack Smith Wants Trump’s Team Blocked From Repeating Lies In Front Of Jury

0
862

In a new filing with federal Judge Tanya Chutkan, the prosecutors handling Donald Trump’s criminal case that alleges several conspiracies targeting the presidential election results from 2020 ask for restrictions on statements that Trump’s team can make in court, specifically in front of the eventual jurors.

The case against Trump, like another filed in Florida, is led by Special Counsel Jack Smith, who Trump has frequently targeted with allegations that political motives underlie his team’s moves. The prosecutors going before Chutkan want several iterations of such arguments, including references to Trump’s ongoing campaign for president and false claims of involvement here by President Joe Biden, blocked. Trump has claimed the proceedings constitute election interference on account of his currently unfolding campaign for another term as president.

Trump has “complained that the grand jury’s indictment and the Court’s trial date will interfere with his political activities. None of these issues goes to the defendant’s guilt or innocence; all of them should be excluded,” the prosecutors told Chutkan. The federal team spoke repeatedly about a general push for the jury to base its decisions strictly upon the relevant legal frameworks for determining guilt or innocence of specific accusations — rather than, say, on whatever campaign-style arguments that the ex-president’s team might try to raise.

Trump has “levied the false accusation that the indictment—returned by a grand jury of citizens of this District on a finding of probable cause—was directed by the current president as a form of election interference. In addition to being wrong, these allegations are irrelevant to the jury’s determination of the defendant’s guilt or innocence, would be prejudicial if presented to the jury, and must be excluded.” Smith’s team has also previously rejected the argument of secret involvement in these proceedings by the president.

A potential timeline for Chutkan deciding on these requests is unclear, with the bulk of proceedings at this level on hold amid continuing appeals from Trump with an appeals court. Read the full filing here.