Special Counsel to Present Evidence of Trump’s Support for Capitol Rioters
In a court filing made public on Tuesday, special counsel Jack Smith revealed plans to present evidence at Donald Trump’s federal election subversion trial that his continued support for US Capitol rioters indicates his intention to inspire violence during the January 6, 2021, incident. This evidence, according to prosecutors, demonstrates Trump’s involvement in a conspiracy to overturn the 2020 election. The trial, where Trump is facing charges of conspiracy and obstruction, is scheduled for March in Washington, DC.
Trump’s Direct Ties to the Rioters
The court filing goes further than the indictment against Trump by directly linking him to the rioters. Prosecutors cite instances such as Trump endorsing the Proud Boys during a 2020 presidential debate, stating he would pardon the January 6 rioters, and playing a recording of the National Anthem from imprisoned January 6 defendants at a campaign rally. These actions, along with his financial support for the rioters, are used to establish Trump’s motive and intent to commit federal crimes.
According to prosecutors, evidence will be presented at trial to show that Trump openly and proudly supported individuals who obstructed the congressional certification on January 6. They argue that Trump’s support, even after the attack, including promoting and playing the rioters’ recording of the National Anthem at political rallies, demonstrates his motive and intent. Furthermore, his statements referring to the rioters as “hostages” and his suggestion of pardoning them if re-elected will be used as evidence against him.
Trump’s Public Statements in Court
The special counsel’s office plans to use Trump’s public statements sympathizing with the Capitol rioters, even in recent months, as evidence against him. They want to show the jury how Trump told the Proud Boys to “stand back and stand by” during the 2020 presidential debate and how he later expressed support for the group’s leader, Enrique Tarrio. The prosecutors argue that evidence of Trump endorsing violent and notorious rioters establishes his intent to obstruct the congressional certification.
Powerful Evidence of Trump’s Support for Rioters
CNN’s senior legal analyst, Elie Honig, believes that Trump’s comments supporting the January 6 rioters will be admitted as evidence at trial and will be powerful evidence against him. He points out that there is substantial video evidence of hundreds of rioters committing crimes and if Trump’s public position is that he supports and approves of their actions, it strengthens the prosecution’s intent argument.
Allegations Against Trump’s Co-Conspirators
The special counsel’s office provided more details about the alleged actions of Trump’s co-conspirators, including efforts to encourage rioting before January 6 and obstruct vote counts as Joe Biden pulled ahead in the 2020 election. Prosecutors plan to present evidence that shows how these individuals acted at Trump’s behest or on his behalf. They also mentioned an unindicted co-conspirator identified as a campaign employee who, on November 4, 2020, encouraged rioting and other methods of obstruction when they learned that the vote count favored Trump’s opponent. The filing also mentions Trump’s alleged false claims about election activities at the TCF Center in Detroit, which were aimed at causing a riot to disrupt the count.
Retaliation Against Dissent and Claims of Election Fraud
The special counsel’s team intends to introduce evidence showing how Trump and his co-conspirators retaliated against individuals who refuted their claims of election fraud. One example mentioned is the retaliation against the former Chief Counsel to the Republican National Committee (RNC) for publicly refuting Trump and another individual referred to as “Co-Conspirator 1.” CNN has identified Co-Conspirator 1 as former Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani. Evidence of continued retaliation against the Chief Counsel, including actions taken by Trump himself, will also be presented at trial.
Read More of this Story at www.cnn.com – 2023-12-05 22:10:00
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