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By Sarah May on
 October 12, 2023

Trump attorneys blast special counsel Jack Smith over timing of federal trials

In a scathing court filing on Wednesday, attorneys representing Donald Trump took aim at special counsel Jack Smith, accusing him and his team of federal prosecutors of due process violations related to the timing of trials in two of the criminal cases brought against the former president, as the New York Times reports.

According to Trump's counsel, Smith's office is working hard to secure a guilty verdict against their client ahead of the 2024 presidential contest “no matter the cost,” and that their preferred trial schedule is designed to facilitate just such an outcome.

The legal team's claims came this week in a filing in the former president's classified documents handling case, set to take place in Florida starting in May.

Attorney Christopher Kise, arguing on behalf of Trump, blasted Smith and his team for maintaining their opposition to requests by defense counsel to postpone the trial, particularly in light of the other legal proceedings the former president will be required to attend in the coming months.

Of particular concern is the fact that Trump's other federal trial -- in a Jan. 6-related election interference case -- is slated to begin in March before Judge Tanya Chutkan, with his attorneys contending that the compressed timetable constitutes an infringement on the former president's constitutional rights.

Hammering home his point, Kise said of the federal prosecutors at issue, “The fact that they continue to contend that it is appropriate and not a violation of President Trump's due process rights to push forward with back-to-back multi-month trials in different districts with wholly different facts – over a defendant's objection – reveals a central truth about these cases.”

Pointing to the broader argument he wished to make on behalf of his client, Kise added, “The special counsel's office is engaged in a reckless effort to try to obtain a conviction of President Trump prior to the 2024 election, no matter the cost.”

Similar claims that federal prosecutors were themselves engaging in election interference by insisting on expedited timeframes for trials in their cases against Trump were lodged in late August, when Chutkan determined that the case over which she is presiding will be heard beginning on March 4, as Fox News noted at the time.

After Chutkan denied a Trump proposal to move the Jan. 6-related case to April 2026 and decided that it would instead commence amid the heat of the presidential primary season, a number of prominent observers began to cry foul.

Conservative radio personality Buck Sexton wondered, “Is the timing of it to scuttle Trump's chances? Is it that they think they can ensure Trump is the nominee, and then they can scuttle him with the legal process?”

Clay Travis, founder of right-leaning sports website OutKick, declared, “Joe Biden's justice department is trying to put Trump in prison for the rest of his life with a trial date set in the middle of the primaries, direct election interference.”

Colin Rugg of Trending Politics opined, “Chutkan is interfering in the 2024 election by selecting this date which lands just one day before Super Tuesday.”

Putting things even more bluntly was Rep. Byron Donalds (R-FL), who said, “Chutkan should be thrown off the bench and run for DNC Chair.”

With Trump also currently in the midst of a fraud trial in New York and facing additional trials next year in Fulton County, Georgia as well as in Manhattan, it remains to be seen whether the former president's packed court schedule as it currently stands can possibly hold, but it appears obvious to many that there is an underlying – and highly partisan – strategy afoot in multiple jurisdictions to thwart his presidential ambitions in every way possible.

Written By:
Sarah May

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