Special counsel presents strong — and unusual — defense in secret Trump documents case

Private attorney Jack Smith used a routine legal filing Friday to deliver a forceful public rebuttal against him Donald TrumpAllegations that his criminal prosecution for allegedly hoarding secret documents was tainted by politics and legal irregularities.

the A 68-page document It began with what Smith’s team described as an attempt to correct false assertions made by the former president about the nature of the case against him.

“It is essential to set the record straight about the basic facts that led to this trial,” prosecutors said. “The government will work to clear the air on these issues… because the accused’s false statements, if unanswered, will leave a very misleading impression.”

What followed was a lengthy recounting of the events that led prosecutors to suspect that Trump was collecting large amounts of secret records at his Mar-a-Lago home. Rather than the bloodthirsty, partisan effort Trump described, prosecutors say federal officials from the National Archives, the intelligence community and the White House counsel’s office took “measures” and “gradual” steps to recover the documents — often in coordination with some of Trump’s appointed advisers — before escalating the matter as the president continued. Previous in the resistance.

The approach taken in the legal memorandum is somewhat unusual for the Department of Justice. Although the application was submitted to a US District Judge Eileen CannonAt times, it felt like an opening argument before a grand jury Trump might face in the future or the first chapter of a report intended to detail the investigation’s findings to the public.

It’s unclear whether the “misimpressions” that prosecutors say they are trying to correct are the ones they fear Cannon will fall prey to, whether the brief’s target audience is larger, and how the Trump appointee based in Fort Pierce, Florida, will behave. Respond to the tactic.

The core of the prosecution’s memorandum aims to counter demands by Trump and his co-defendants — Walt Nauta and Carlos de Oliveira — for access to a wide range of documents from across the government that defense lawyers contend could be useful in their defense. Client. They asked Cannon to consider the vast executive branch agencies and the White House as appendages of Smith’s prosecution team — a decision that could open their files to defendants beyond the typical exchange of evidence that happens to witnesses in criminal proceedings.

The file included some new details about the origins of the investigation, especially since Trump’s liaison to the National Archives began a dialogue with key White House officials about how to facilitate the return of the missing documents. Although Trump has long portrayed the Biden White House’s involvement in the operation as a sign of evil policy, Smith’s team described it as limited, necessary and known to Trump aides, who did not protest.

This was a pervasive theme throughout the prosecutors’ filings: While Trump spoke in ominous terms about a monolithic “Biden administration” working against him, the reality was that career officials from multiple agencies, acting out of their separate responsibilities, took standard and even “innocuous “. Procedures to fulfill their duties, according to the summary.

The brief is also filled with factual allegations that make Trump’s behavior appear even more dangerous and egregious. In discussing the defense’s request for more information from the Secret Service, prosecutors assert that their interaction with the federal agency that guards the president and his family underscores Trump’s recklessness in keeping a large amount of classified information at his Florida home, which also serves as a social club and location for political and social events. With long lists of guests.

The Secret Service reported that “of the approximately 48,000 guests who visited Mar-a-Lago between January 2021 and May 2022, while confidential documents were in place at the hotel, only 2,200 had their names scanned and only 2,900 were passed through magnetometers,” prosecutors said. He says.

(tags for translation)Donald Trump

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