Special Counsel Jack Smith’s office once again is proving he and his prosecutors are hellbent to prevent former President Donald Trump from defending himself with evidence that witnesses and lawmakers have put forth in the public domain.
The prosecutors asked a federal judge Wednesday to prevent former President Donald Trump’s legal defense team from introducing evidence during his Jan. 6 criminal trial concerning selective prosecution and security failures that occurred at the U.S. Capitol, and are asking the court to deny Trump’s defense from arguing that Trump’s actions were protected by the First Amendment, and go so far to state that by allowing such it is putting politics in the courtroom.
Smith’s senior assistant special counsel filed the pleading.
Trump has tried "to inject into this case partisan political attacks and irrelevant and prejudicial issues that have no place in a jury trial," Senior Assistant Special Counsel Molly Gaston wrote in the court filing.
While the court can disregard Trump's claims, the jury may not, Gaston argued.
"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," Gaston wrote.
Specifically, Smith's team is seeking to ban Trump from introducing evidence that Capitol Police and Washington D.C. officials engaged in security failures that allowed the riot to unfold, even though Congress has introduced such evidence and testimony affirming those failures.
"Throughout this litigation, and in his public comments, the defendant has sought to blame others for the attack on the Capitol for which he is responsible, including law enforcement, military forces, unidentified secret agents, and foreign influence," the prosecutors' pleading reads. "The defendant should be precluded from introducing within the courtroom the disinformation he has propagated outside of it.”
Trump had offered the National Guard prior to the Jan. 6 event, but then House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and DC Mayor Muriel Bowser rejected that offer.
Bowser wrote a Jan. 5, 2021 letter making clear "the District of Columbia is not requesting other federal law enforcement personnel and discourages any additional deployment without immediate notification to and consultation with MPD, if such plans are underway."
This case is scheduled to go to trial in March 2024, but the date could change.
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