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 December 28, 2023

Jack Smith wants to stop Trump from speaking out during upcoming Washington trial

Special Counsel Jack Smith has filed a motion in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, seeking to restrict what former President Donald Trump's legal team can convey to the jury in his scheduled federal trial on alleged 2020 election interference in March.

The motion, filed Wednesday, aims to limit statements Trump can make, including claims of prosecution coordination with President Biden, suggestions of undercover agents at the Capitol riots, and assertions of "foreign influence" in the 2020 election.

The details

Smith's team urged U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan to reject Trump's defense team's request for a two-month delay, stating that the current schedule is expedited yet reasonable.

The motion contends that Trump's attempts to introduce partisan political attacks and irrelevant issues into the case should be excluded to ensure the jury focuses on its fact-finding duty.

The filing argues against Trump's demand for discovery of evidence related to 'investigative misconduct,' suggesting he intends to raise false claims about the government's non-existent coordination with the Biden Administration.

Smith's team asserts that the trial should center on facts and law, not politics.

The impact

The motion aims to prevent Trump from discussing potential punishments if convicted, blaming law enforcement for the Capitol riot's lack of preparation, and introducing irrelevant topics like undercover actors and government informants.

It serves as an effort by prosecutors to set parameters on what information they believe the jury should or should not hear.

The case is currently on hold due to an appeal of Trump's claims of immunity from prosecution for acts during his presidency. The trial is set for March 4, but it could be postponed by appeals related to the immunity issue.

The previous order

Chutkan imposed a partial gag order in October, restricting Trump from making statements targeting Smith, his staff, witnesses, and court personnel.

A federal appeals court upheld key parts of the gag order in December, and Trump's trial involves federal charges stemming from Smith's investigation into 2020 election interference and the Capitol riot on January 6, 2021.

The New York gag order faced a temporary stay from an appeals court, but it was reinstated in November.

On Christmas Day, former President Donald Trump took to Truth Social to extend holiday wishes, including a message aimed at Special Counsel Jack Smith. Trump characterized Smith as "Crooked Joe Biden’s ONLY HOPE" and described him as an "out of control Lunatic" who recently enlisted outside attorneys from the swamp, labeling it as unprecedented.

The post referred to Smith's efforts in what Trump deemed a poorly executed "WITCH HUNT" against him and the 'MAGA' movement.

Written By:
Dillon Burroughs

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