Special Counsel Moves To Ban Trump From Arguing WITCH HUNT In Election Interference Case

Donald Trump yelling

(Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

While Donald Trump was wishing his supporters a MERRY ROT IN HELL-MAS!!!, Special Counsel Jack Smith’s legal team was busy working to make sure that those antics aren’t repeated in court during the election interference case.

Trump’s lawyers howl that the stay of deadlines pending the DC Circuit’s decision on his motion to dismiss because of magical presidential immunity means that it is illegal to file documents in this case. But the government has simply ignored this fulminating, filing a motion in limine this morning to exclude the mountain of irrelevant bullshit Trump plans to throw around at trial in a naked attempt at jury nullification.

“Through public statements, filings, and argument in hearings before the Court, the defense has attempted to inject into this case partisan political attacks and irrelevant and prejudicial issues that have no place in a jury trial,” Smith’s deputies Molly Gaston and Thomas Windom wrote. “The Court should not permit the defendant to turn the courtroom into a forum in which he propagates irrelevant disinformation, and should reject his attempt to inject politics into this proceeding.”

Both publicly and even in his court filings, Trump makes inane claims that President Biden himself is directing the prosecution in an attempt to hamstring his 2024 electoral opponent. Trump’s motions claiming selective and vindictive prosecution are the most gonzo example of this, with his lawyers arguing that the appointment of a special counsel after he declared his candidacy — a move designed to remove the case from the direct supervision of the president’s political appointees — proves that Biden is out to get him. Trump even made this wholly unsupported claim in his successful motion to the Supreme Court arguing against the Special Counsel’s motion for cert before judgment.

Here, prosectors want Judge Tanya Chutkan to reject those motions and bar Trump’s team from using language like “Injustice Department” or“Biden Indictment.”

“Before this Court, the defense has repeatedly used rhetoric that may be acceptable on the campaign trail but not in a trial,” the prosecutors argue, adding that “here—where the defendant repeatedly has levied baseless political claims— evidence or argument that serves only to support a jury nullification argument has no relevance to guilt or innocence and must be excluded.”

Specifically, they want the court to prohibit: arguments seeking to impeach the investigators for bad conduct; legal issues properly reserved for the Court, most specifically First Amendment defenses; evidence regarding potential consequences of Trump’s criminal case or conviction; attempts to blame law enforcement failures for the Capitol Riot; evidence regarding purported undercover officers or government sources at the Capitol; evidence of alleged election meddling by foreign actors; claims that post-election changes to the Electoral Count Act demonstrate that Trump’s attempt to get Pence to toss electoral votes was legal in 2020; speculative testimony about Trump’s actual belief that fraud had occurred; and cross-examination attempting to elicit irrelevant protected information.

It’s a lot, but, indeed, Trump has been spamming the docket for months with motions to dismiss asserting as fact that the entire case is a partisan WITCH HUNT. At the same time, he’s made discovery demands for granular intelligence reports on foreign election interference (to prove China tried to help Biden), the names of all confidential informants who may have been present in DC on January 6, and internal prosecutorial communications. In short, he’s going to seek to present evidence of all the above, or at least have his counsel allude to it in the presence of the jurors and hope like hell that some of that spaghetti sticks.

And the prosecutors would like not that.

A bank robber cannot defend himself by blaming the bank’s security guard for failing to stop him. A fraud defendant cannot claim to the jury that his victims should have known better than to fall for his scheme. And the defendant cannot argue that law enforcement should have prevented the violence he caused and obstruction he intended.

Meanwhile, the Special Counsel will again have to work over the holiday, with his response due in the DC Circuit on January 2. Presumably Trump will ring in the New Year with references to executing his enemies or some such pleasantry.

US v. Trump [District Docket via Court Listener]US v. Trump [Circuit Docket via Court Listener]

Liz Dye lives in Baltimore where she writes the Law and Chaos substack and appears on the Opening Arguments podcast.

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