DOJ prosecutors plan to cite Trump's 'false' election claims to show motive

 December 6, 2023

Prosecutors in the case against former President Donald Trump accusing him of trying to overturn the 2020 election plan to use his so-called history of "false" election claims to show motive in the case. 

The team led by special prosecutor Jack Smith filed paperwork that it wants to introduce evidence that Trump has a "historical record" of pushing "bogus" claims of election fraud and encouraging people to act in ways that obstruct election results he doesn't like.

The filing alleges that Trump encouraged violence against the former chief counsel to the Republican National Committee and a Georgia election worker.

Rioting encouraged

According to prosecutors, an unnamed and unindicted co-conspirator who worked on Trump's 2020 campaign sent text messages to a Trump lawyer that "encouraged rioting and other methods of obstruction" when the vote count at Detroit's TCF Center leaned in Joe Biden's direction on Nov. 4, 2020.

A number of people flooded the area and made "illegitimate and aggressive challenges" to the counting there right after the texts were sent.

"His agent was seeking to cause a riot to disrupt the count," Senior Assistant Special Counsel Molly Gaston wrote.

"This evidence is admissible to demonstrate that the defendant, his co-conspirators, and agents had knowledge that the defendant had lost the election, as well as their intent and motive to obstruct and overturn the
legitimate results," Gaston wrote.

Trump supported Proud Boys

The prosecutors also plan to introduce information about Trump's supposed longstanding support for some of the most violent actors on January 6, 2021, including The Proud Boys, saying that this shows his intent to deprive people of their voting rights.

Trump has said he may pardon many of those convicted of crimes related to January 6 because he and many Republicans believe they've been treated unfairly.

"[I]t shows that these individuals acted as he directed them to act; indeed, this evidence shows that the rioters' disruption of the certification proceeding is exactly what the defendant intended on January 6," they wrote.

Much of the filing has been redacted. It relates to a rule allowing prior bad acts to be introduced to a jury if they prove motive, intent, and preparation.

Ruling pending

U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan will rule on whether to admit the evidence, which is entirely flawed because it hasn't been proven as "false" at this point.

Furthermore, if Trump believed the claims, as it surely seems he did, then he may be wrong about them, but he didn't lie about them as the prosecutors are alleging.

This evidence is doomed to fail if it is ever allowed to be presented, which it won't be if Chutkan rules fairly rather than with the bias she has already shown until now.

" A free people [claim] their rights, as derived from the laws of nature."
Thomas Jefferson
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