Trump's lawyers refuse Jack Smith's latest push against former president

 December 20, 2023

Donald Trump's legal team is refusing to accept disclosure documents related to his election fraud trial, citing the stay order imposed by the judge as the case is appealed to a higher court.

In a letter to prosecutors, Trump's lawyers stated that they would not review the documents or the draft exhibit list for the trial scheduled to begin in March until the court lifts the stay order.

The accusations

They accused the prosecution of attempting to rush the case to an "early and unconstitutional trial" to undermine Trump's potential candidacy in the upcoming presidential election.

Trump faces four counts related to alleged efforts to overturn the 2020 election results, leading up to the January 6, 2021, Capitol riot.

He maintains his innocence, dismissing the charges as part of a political witch hunt. The legal proceedings are part of the broader challenges Trump faces while positioning himself as a frontrunner for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.

The appeal

The former president's lawyers are appealing the case to the Washington D.C. Court of Appeals, arguing for presidential immunity.

Prosecutor Jack Smith is seeking a Supreme Court ruling on the immunity question. Judge Tanya Chutkan has put the case on hold until a decision is reached on Trump's immunity.

By refusing to accept the documents, Trump's legal team effectively halts the case's progression, reserving the option to seek additional time for document review once the stay order is lifted.

The move has raised accusations from the chief prosecutor, Jack Smith, who alleges that Trump's team is deliberately trying to delay the case until after the 2024 presidential election.

The letter

In their letter, Trump's lawyers referenced a production letter and a draft exhibit list sent by prosecutors, asserting that both violate the court's stay order issued on December 13, 2023.

The legal wrangling underscores the contentious nature of the case and the strategic maneuvers employed by both sides.

Trump's legal team had previously sought extensive disclosure, including documents related to correspondence between the Justice Department and President Joe Biden, as well as details of alleged election interference by foreign entities such as Russia, China, Cuba, Venezuela and Hezbollah.

The refusal to accept documents adds a layer of drama to the ongoing court battles facing the former president ahead of next year's presidential election which could see Trump and Biden face off in a rematch for the White House.

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