Jack Smith seeks January 2 trial date as critics doubt constitutionality of Trump case

August 13, 2023

CBS News reported last week that Special Counsel Jack Smith is seeking to have former President Donald Trump go on trial in January for charges relating to his behavior after the 2020 election.

Yet even as Smith is rushing ahead to prosecute the former president, critics maintain that his case is unconstitutional.  

Trump's lawyer has never seen a similar case "go to trial before two or three years"

CBS News quoted a brief filed by prosecution attorneys which argued that "a January 2 trial date would vindicate the public's strong interest in a speedy trial."

While Trump's legal team must respond in court by August 17, CBS News noted that a Trump campaign spokesperson was quick to hit back on Thursday.

"Deranged Jack Smith and the Biden Department of Justice are blatantly playing political games, proving even further that they are overtly committing election interference because they know that President Trump is the leading candidate in the race to win the White House," the spokesperson was quoted as saying.

Meanwhile, Trump lawyer John Lauro told CBS News' "Face the Nation" that "in 40 years of practicing law, on a case of this magnitude, I've not known a single case to go to trial before two or three years."

Defense will request a change of menu

Lauro explained that his team is planning to file "a number of motions," such as seeking to have the venue moved from the nation's capital to West Virginia.

What's more, Lauro slammed the case as being "a Swiss cheese indictment" that he will "100%" move to dismiss on First Amendment grounds.

Lauro is not alone in insisting that Trump's post-election statements were constitutionally protected, as former Assistant United States Attorney Andrew C. McCarthy recently made the same argument in an op-ed piece for the New York Post.

Trump called for peace on January 6

McCarthy wrote that "Smith intends to try Trump for the Capitol riot even though he hasn’t charged Trump for the Capitol riot."

He noted that Smith's "45-page screed" contains no allegations of seditious conspiracy, insurrection, rioting, criminal assessment, as such charges "would have been untenable."

"The First Amendment protects expression, and especially political speech, that is aggressive, obnoxious and even false," the former assistant United States attorney stressed.

McCarthy highlighted how on January 6 Trump put up social media posts in which he explicitly instructed his supporters to be peaceful, a fact which Smith's indictment ignores.

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