Special counsel Jack Smith is concerned that former President Donald Trump’s statements on social media and elsewhere may be prejudicial to a fair trial for his case, according to a court document filed Tuesday.
Smith’s team made the comment in an almost off-handed manner in the “Government’s Opposition to Defendant’s Motion to Vacate” filed in the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C.
Trump’s lawyers had filed a Motion to Vacate that sought new processes for dealing with “Sensitive Materials” that may be necessary to adjudicate the case against the former president but have not been approved for release to the general public.
Smith’s team argued in response that the court had already issued a Protective Order that addressed, among other things, how much material should be handled: “If a party includes unredacted Sensitive Materials in any filing with the court, they should be submitted under seal.”
Trump’s team had requested an alternative “three-week briefing process” that Smith’s team called “unworkable.”
“Such a requirement would grind litigation in this case to a halt,” the filing says, “which is particularly infeasible given the pressing matters before the Court — including the defendant’s daily extrajudicial statements that threaten to prejudice the jury pool in this case, as described in the Government’s motion.”
It’s not difficult to guess the types of “extrajudicial statements” Smith’s team had in mind. They probably look something like these, from Trump’s Truth Social account.
How much such statements might prejudice the pool of potential jurors is, obviously, a matter open to debate.
According to a a post from Politico senior legal affairs reporter Kyle Cheney on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, Judge Tanya Chutkan sided with Trump’s attorneys and granted the Motion to Vacate.
UPDATE: Chutkan has *granted* Trump’s motion to vacate pic.twitter.com/PmK8pa9kc5
— Kyle Cheney (@kyledcheney) September 5, 2023
You can read the entire “Government’s Opposition to Defendant’s Motion to Vacate” below.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
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