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Jack Smith Informs Court He Made ‘Incorrect’ Claim About Evidence In Trump Classified Docs Case

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


Special Counsel Jack Smith’s team has admitted to incorrectly stating they turned over evidence as required by law in the classified documents case against former President Donald Trump.

Prosecutors discovered that the video used as evidence “had not been processed and uploaded to the platform established for the defense to view” when they were getting ready to indict Mar-a-Lago property manager Carlos De Oliveira for allegedly conspiring with Trump to delete surveillance footage from the estate, Smith’s team wrote in a filing.

“The Government’s representation at the July 18 hearing that all surveillance footage the Government had obtained pre-indictment had been produced was therefore incorrect,” the prosecutors added.

All CCTV footage obtained by the government has now been given to the defendants, according to Smith’s team. The so-called Brady rule requires prosecutors to disclose all evidence and information favorable to the defendant.

Trump entered a not-guilty plea to allegations that he attempted to rig the 2020 election.

Last month, Smith filed a superseding indictment against Trump, which included new charges related to the willful retention of national defense information and obstruction. The prosecutors alleged that Trump and his aides were involved in instructing a staff member at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home in Florida to delete security camera footage deliberately. Smith alleged the action was taken with the intention of preventing the presentation of evidence to a federal grand jury.

Trump, however, denied the allegations categorically and said he ensured his legal team handed over any and all requested security footage unaltered.

“Mar-a-Lago security tapes were not deleted,” Trump wrote on TRUTH Social. “They were voluntarily handed over to the thugs, headed up by deranged Jack Smith. We did not even go to court to stop them from getting these tapes. I never told anybody to delete them. Prosecutorial fiction & misconduct! Election interference!”

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In a subsequent post, he compared the current allegations against him to the “Russia, Russia, Russia hoax.”

“They knowingly accuse you of a fake crime, a crime that they actually make up, you fight these false charges hard, and they try and get you on ‘obstruction.’ We are dealing with sick and evil people!” he added.

In a separate case, Trump was indicted again by Smith stemming from his investigation into the riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

According to Fox News, “This is the second federal indictment the former president faces out of Smith’s investigation. Trump, who leads the 2024 GOP presidential primary field, has already pleaded not guilty to 37 counts related to his alleged improper retention of classified records from his presidency.”

Trump faces several charges in that probe, including willful retention of national defense information, conspiracy to obstruct justice, and false statements.

Additionally, he was indicted on three additional counts as part of a superseding indictment issued in connection with the same investigation.

Last week, prosecutors from Smith’s team again requested a limited gag order be placed on Trump.

The prosecutors told a judge that after their initial request for a gag order three weeks ago, the former president has continued to wage “a sustained campaign of prejudicial public statements” against witnesses, prosecutors, and others, The New York Times reported.

U.S. District Judge Tanya S. Chutkan, who is overseeing Trump’s Jan. 6 case, has not ruled on the request from three weeks ago, but prosecutors added to that by mentioning statements the former president has made against people like former Vice President Mike Pence, a possible witness.

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What prosecutors do not consider in their argument is that the former vice president is not only a potential witness but is also one of the former president’s opponents in the race for the Republican presidential nomination.

The Times reported:

The filing noted that Mr. Trump had lashed out at another witness in the case, “the former attorney general” — an apparent reference to William P. Barr — saying he had not done his job after the election “because he was afraid of being impeached.”

Moreover, prosecutors cited a menacing message that Mr. Trump posted on his social media site last week about Gen. Mark A. Milley, the outgoing chairman of the Joint Chiefs. After General Milley gave several interviews that were critical of Mr. Trump, the former president suggested that he had committed treason and that in the past he might have faced execution.

“No other criminal defendant would be permitted to issue public statements insinuating that a known witness in his case should be executed,” prosecutor Molly Gaston said. “This defendant should not be, either.”

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The prosecutors even talked about a campaign stop that the former president made at a gun store where he said he wanted to purchase a firearm, but his aides said that he did not make the purchase.

Smith’s prosecutors also claimed that the former president had “either purchased a gun in violation of the law and his conditions of release or seeks to benefit from his supporters’ mistaken belief that he did so.”

“He demands special treatment, asserting that because he is a political candidate, he should have free rein to publicly intimidate witnesses and malign the court, citizens of this district, and prosecutors,” the prosecutor said. “But in this case, Donald J. Trump is a criminal defendant like any other.”

Defense attorneys for the former president issued a scathing response to the initial gag order request on Tuesday, accusing Smiths’ prosecutors of using “inflammatory rhetoric” that “violated longstanding rules of prosecutorial ethics.”

“Following these efforts to poison President Trump’s defense, the prosecution now asks the court to take the extraordinary step of stripping President Trump of his First Amendment freedoms during the most important months of his campaign against President Biden,” defense attorney Gregory M. Singer said.  “The court should reject this transparent gamesmanship.”

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