Trump's defense team accuses Jack Smith of destroying evidence

 June 12, 2024

While former President Donald Trump's hush-money trial came to an end late last month, he continues to face other legal threats, including charges that he mishandled classified documents.

This week saw the former president's legal team seek to have the case dismissed, alleging that prosecutors destroyed evidence which would have vindicated him. 

Documents no longer in their original order

At issue was an admission made by Special Counsel Jack Smith last month that documents seized during a raid on Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort are no longer in their original order.

"There are some boxes where the order of items within that box is not the same as in the associated scans," Fox News quoted a filing as stating.

This acknowledgment came despite prosecutors having previously insisted that all documents were "in their original, intact form as seized."

Defense: Order of documents "strongly supported" Trump's defense

According to NBC News, Trump's lawyers noted on Monday how part of the former president's defense is that he didn't know he was intentionally taking classified material.

They maintained in a filing of their own to Judge Aileen Cannon that the original order of the documents would have bolstered this position, meaning prosecutors had robbed Trump of exculpatory evidence.

"The Special Counsel’s Office has wrongfully alleged that President Trump was aware of the contents of boxes in August 2022, where those boxes were packed by others in the White House and moved to Florida in January 2021," Monday's filing read.

"The fact that the allegedly classified documents were buried in boxes and comingled with President Trump's personal effects from his first term in office strongly supported the defense argument that he lacked knowledge and culpable criminal intent with respect to the documents at issue," it added.

Judge will hear arguments over whether Smith's appointment was lawful

Meanwhile, Fox News reported last week that Cannon has agreed to hear arguments over whether Smith's appointment as special counsel was lawful.

That contention was put forward in an amicus brief by Ed Meese, who previously served as attorney general under President Ronald Reagan.

Meese stressed in the brief that Smith was a private citizen at the time he was appointed by current Attorney General Merrick Garland.

"Not clothed in the authority of the federal government, Smith is a modern example of the naked emperor," the former official wrote, adding that Smith "has no more authority to represent the United States in this Court than Bryce Harper, Taylor Swift, or Jeff Bezos."

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