Special Counsel Jack Smith has been making plenty of requests in his case against former and potentially future President Donald Trump when it comes to his actions on and leading up to January 6, 2021. This time, Smith is asking the district court to restrict what Trump’s legal team can tell a jury in the March 4 trial.
Fox News highlighted key parts of the motion, with the 20-page motion also being included in the report:
That includes a request to prevent Trump from telling the jury he is being prosecuted by the DOJ in coordination with President Biden, as well as suggestions by Trump of undercover agents fomenting violence at the Capitol riots, and of “foreign influence” in the 2020 election.
“Through public statements, filings, and argument in hearings before the Court, the defense has attempted to inject into this case partisan political attacks and irrelevant and prejudicial issues that have no place in a jury trial,” Smith’s team told U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan.
“Although the Court can recognize these efforts for what they are and disregard them, the jury – if subjected to them – may not. The Court should not permit the defendant to turn the courtroom into a forum in which he propagates irrelevant disinformation, and should reject his attempt to inject politics into this proceeding. To ensure that the jury remains focused on its fact-finding duty and applies the law as instructed by the Court, the defendant’s improper evidence and argument should be excluded.”
The filing claims that “through his groundless demand for discovery of evidence regarding ‘investigative misconduct,’” Trump “has suggested that he intends to impeach the integrity of the investigation by raising wholly false claims such as the Government’s non-existent ‘coordination with the Biden Administration’ and other empty allegations recycled from the selective and vindictive prosecution motion that he based on anonymous sources in newspaper articles.”
“Although the defendant is entitled to cross-examine the Government’s law enforcement witnesses about matters fairly within the scope of their direct testimony, he cannot raise wholly irrelevant topics in an effort to confuse and distract the jury. Much as the defendant would like it otherwise, this trial should be about the facts and the law, not politics.”
“Evidence about undercover actors holds no probative value here,” Smith’s team wrote in the filing regarding the riot, saying the “defendant also appears poised to blame undercover agents, government informants, or confidential human sources (collectively, ‘undercover actors’) for the violence at the Capitol on January 6.”
When it comes to Smith’s claims that “[m]uch as the defendant would like it otherwise, this trial should be about the facts and the law, not politics,” the charges have been slammed as the weaponization and politicization from President Joe Biden’s Department of Justice (DOJ). Trump is also the frontrunner for the Republican nomination, and is likely to face Biden in the 2024 presidential election for a rematch from 2020, with the charges thus being regarded as election interference.
The Trump campaign released a statement on Wednesday afternoon, noting that Smith as “so obsessed” and “so sad.”
“Crooked Joe Biden’s errand boy Deranged Jack Smith is so obsessed with attacking President Trump and interfering with the 2024 Presidential Election, and is so sad that the Supreme Court just unanimously rejected his desperate attempt to rush this Witch Hunt, that he is ignoring the law and clear instructions from District Court Judge Chutkan, who unequivocally stated that this “case” is stayed and there should be no litigation. Period,” Trump said.
…that he is ignoring the law and clear instructions from District Court Judge Chutkan, who unequivocally stated that this “case” is stayed and there should be no litigation. Period.”
— Liz Harrington (@realLizUSA) December 27, 2023
U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan Judge Tanya granted a gag order preventing Trump from targeting Smith and others, which an appeals court upheld earlier this month.
As Trump had referenced in his statement, Smith had also requested earlier this month that the U.S. Supreme Court get involved to rule on Trump’s immunity, which would have sped up the trial. The Court declined to hear an expedited case, though it is likely it will have to weigh in at some point. The trial date set for March 4, the day before Super Tuesday, is likely to be delayed.
Author Julie Kelly posted about the request on X, noting that the move from Smith is “likely vain attempt to keep March 4 trial date,” Legal expert Mike Davis weighing in with his own commentary in a quoted repost, offering that “Jack Smith and Judge Chutkan just want to convict Trump before the election,” referring to the move as “lawfare” and “election interference.”
Davis’ post also made reference to how Smith’s convictions have been overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court, as was the case when the Court in 2016 unanimously overturned the 2014 conviction against former Gov. Bob McDonnell (R-VA).
Biden Special Counsel Jack Smith blames Trump for the January 6th riot.
Remarkably, Jack Smith doesn’t even want Trump to present evidence that others are to blame.
And DC Obama Judge Tanya Chutkan, a radical leftist, will give Jack Smith whatever he wants.
They don’t care if… https://t.co/74lqRZx1DM
— 🇺🇸 Mike Davis 🇺🇸 (@mrddmia) December 27, 2023