Former President Donald Trump’s legal team has raised concerns over the actions of special counsel Jack Smith’s office.
Despite a judicial pause on all proceedings in Trump’s election interference case, the prosecution has continued with pretrial activities, prompting a strong response from Trump’s defense attorneys.
Prosecution’s continued discovery efforts
In a recent court filing dated Dec. 18, Trump’s lawyers revealed that the prosecution served thousands of pages of additional discovery and a ‘Draft Exhibit List’ despite the case’s current stay order.
This move by the special counsel was aimed to “help ensure that [a potential] trial proceeds promptly if and when the mandate returns.”
Trump’s lawyers warn against prosecution’s actions after Stay Order
The stay on the case was issued by U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan on Dec. 13.
Still, just days later, the special counsel notified Trump’s team about the additional discovery materials and delivered an exhibit list.
Trump’s lawyers, responding with an email on Dec. 18, warned the prosecution against further actions, stating, “If the prosecution continues to violate the Stay Order, we will seek appropriate relief.”
Prosecutors push for trial date adherence
Despite the stay, the prosecution has argued for a swift trial following the initially scheduled date of March 4, 2024.
This insistence comes in the backdrop of Trump appealing Judge Chutkan’s dismissal of his motion for presidential immunity, leading to an expedited hearing in the appeals court scheduled for Jan. 9, 2024.
Supreme Court involvement and defense’s stance
The prosecution also sought the U.S. Supreme Court’s opinion on whether a former president can be tried for crimes committed while in office.
In contrast, Trump’s defense argues that his actions were official duties, seeking a complete dismissal of the case.
Prosecutors continue discovery despite appeals court wait
While the appeals court awaits the Supreme Court’s decision, prosecutors have maintained their discovery obligations in the original case.
Trump’s legal team, however, insists that such actions violate the stay order, imposing undue burdens on the former President.
Trial delay likely after Chutkan’s order; Trump’s defense questions timing
Judge Chutkan’s order implies that if the case resumes, it will adhere to the original schedule as closely as possible.
However, the current pause complicates the possibility of the trial starting on the planned March 4 date.
Trump’s defense highlights this delay, questioning the prosecutors’ insistence on the specific trial date, suggesting political motivations.
Trump’s lawyers allege political bias and rushed trial in legal battle
In addition to the presidential immunity argument, Trump’s legal team has raised concerns about vindictive prosecution and the potential political nature of the case.
They allege that the rush to trial aims to undermine Trump’s position in the upcoming Presidential election and accuse the prosecution of election interference.
Trump’s lawyers, having reviewed the exhibit list sent by the prosecution, noted that some materials were possessed before the indictment.
Trump’s team set to challenge withheld evidence in ongoing legal dispute
They warn of addressing any strategic withholding of these materials with the court if the stay order is lifted.
This ongoing legal drama reflects the complex interplay of judicial processes and political implications, with both sides preparing for a potentially prolonged and contentious legal battle.