Special Counsel Files Motion to Protect Juror Identities in Trump’s Election Interference Case
In a move aimed at safeguarding the integrity of the trial, Special Counsel Jack Smith has filed a motion requesting the concealment of prospective jurors’ identities in the high-profile election interference case involving former President Donald Trump. This request comes in light of Trump’s recent attacks on court personnel via social media. Smith’s team believes that protecting the identities of jurors is crucial, given the heightened public interest and Trump’s history of using social media to target individuals.
Prosecutors Demand Additional Evidence for Trump’s Advice of Counsel Defense
Additionally, the Special Counsel’s team has submitted a second motion, highlighting that Donald Trump has yet to provide evidence to support his planned defense strategy of relying on the advice of counsel. Prosecutors argue that if Trump intends to pursue this defense, he must disclose all communications with his attorneys, which would be vital to substantiate his claims. This motion seeks to ensure that the defense provides the necessary evidence, while also addressing the potential influence of Trump’s social media attacks on court personnel and witnesses.
Gag Order and Limitations on Research Proposed
Smith’s team has specifically asked Judge Tanya Chutkan to protect jurors’ identities and arrange for their discreet entry and exit from the courthouse, considering the sensitivity and interest surrounding this case. The request for a narrow gag order on Trump, preventing him from attacking court personnel and making disparaging comments about witnesses, is also a part of this motion. To aid in jury selection, Smith’s team suggests the use of juror surveys and attorney-conducted research, while highlighting the need to respect jurors’ privacy by refraining from invasive investigations or attempts to contact potential jurors.
Concerns Over Trump’s Social Media Attacks and Defense Strategy
The motion references Trump’s previous social media attack on a court staffer, which raises concerns about his potential use of social media research on prospective jurors. Given his history, there is a need for the court to impose limited restrictions to safeguard the integrity of the trial. The prosecution argues that any defense strategy based on the advice of counsel must be formally notified to the court, and accompanying evidence must be shared in a timely manner. This would enable the government to thoroughly investigate and address the defense, preventing last-minute disruptions.
Prosecutors Stress the Importance of Timely Notice
Prosecutors emphasize the importance of timely notice for Trump’s defense strategy, as it could have significant implications for trial proceedings and deadlines. By notifying the court in advance, it allows for proper vetting and prevents unnecessary delays. While the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure do not explicitly address this defense, prosecutors argue that the judge has the authority to require Trump to provide a formal notice. The prosecution also urges that any evidence related to the defense be disclosed by December 18, allowing sufficient time for review and potential challenges.
Read More of this Story at thehill.com – 2023-10-10 16:42:00
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