Multiple sources have informed CNN that former president Trump’s legal team is meeting with Special Counsel Jack Smith today. This comes amid a serious threat of a looming second federal indictment of Donald Trump by Smith. The sources informed CNN that Trump was against such a meeting as he believed it would change nothing in Smith’s quest to pile up indictments against him.
Jack Smith has already brought charges against the former president on the (problematic) theory that Trump was not entitled to retain “national defense” documents from his own administration. One lawyer, Robert Barnes, referred to that case as ” The [Trump Indictment] is [Deep State] vs. Democracy” and cited Smith’s comment that ‘he brought the case for “the intelligence community.’”
— Robert Barnes (@barnes_law) June 10, 2023
This current meeting between Mr. Smith and Mr. Trump’s legal team revolves around potential charges of the former president concerning events related to January 6th, 2021.
It was previously reported that Smith intends to charge Trump with conspiracy to defraud the government, obstruction of an official proceeding, and violation of U.S. Code Title 18 Section 241. This statute criminalizes a conspiracy “to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any person” in the “free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him by the Constitution or laws of the United States.’” This law was used during Reconstruction to go after the Klu Klux Klan for attacking newly freed black people trying to exercise their right to vote.
The use of the obstruction of an official proceedings charge has also come under fire as the statute used for it “was meant to stop crimes like witness tampering or document destruction.” Courts in Washington DC have, however, controversially applied it to January 6th defendants accused of disrupting the election certification process in Congress on that day. In this respect, it looks like Jack Smith is seeking to charge Trump with the same statute used against January 6th defendants.
Smith’s record as a prosecutor is that he often aggressively tries to mix and match disparate laws in inappropriate ways in order to get the subject of his investigation. As observed by constitutional lawyer Robert Barnes on Twitter, “Jack Smith’s record is almost always finding an excuse to indict his targets, then losing in court to juries & judges due to his rush to judgment.”
— Robert Barnes (@barnes_law) June 9, 2023
Mr. Smith is on pace to spend more than $25 million this year in his investigations of Biden’s current rival for the White House.