A new filing to D.C.’s District Court has revealed Special Counsel Jack Smith’s strategy to convict former President Donald Trump in his upcoming 2020 election interference trial.
Details contained in the Tuesday filing, a notice of evidence to be introduced in the trial, indicate that Smith and his team plan to present the court with a far-reaching historical review of Trump’s baseless claims of election fraud, some of it dating back years before Trump even assumed the presidency.
“In an abundance of caution, the Government below notices evidence that, although intrinsic to the charged crimes, pre- or post-dates the charged criminal conspiracies,” the filing reads. “The Government will offer it not to show the defendant’s criminal propensity, but to establish his motive, intent, preparation, knowledge, absence of mistake, and common plan.”
“At trial, the Government will introduce a number of public statements by the defendant in advance of the charged conspiracies, claiming that there would be fraud in the 2020 presidential election,” Smith adds. “These statements sowed mistrust in the results of the presidential election and laid the foundation for the defendant’s criminal efforts.”
One such example is a 2012 tweet in which Trump claimed “that voting machines had switched votes from then-candidate Romney to then-candidate Obama.” Other evidence referenced in the filing includes Trump’s statements about widespread fraud having taken place during the 2016 election.
Smith’s team also plans to focus on Trump’s refusal to commit to the peaceful transfer of power before the 2020 election as evidence of “his plan to remain in power at any cost — even in the face of potential violence,” and that Trump made similar statements in 2016 before ultimately winning his upset election against Hillary Clinton.
Trump was indicted in August of this year on four criminal counts related to his efforts to subvert the results of the 2020 election, and his role in fomenting the violent mob of his supporters who attempted to interfere with the certification of the Electoral College vote on Jan. 6.
Despite various attempts by Trump to have the case thrown out — the most recent of which was rejected on Friday — the former president’s trial is expected to begin on March 4, 2024. Pre-screening forms for potential jurors have already been mailed to D.C. residents, and while Trump is currently running for the Republican nomination in 2024, he’s yet to find the pace to outrun Jack Smith.
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