Justice Department special counsel Jack Smith has filed a motion to keep former President Donald Trump from sharing “baseless” claims and conspiracies with the jury in his election interference trial.
“The Court should not permit the defendant to turn the courtroom into a forum in which he propagates irrelevant disinformation, and should reject his attempt to inject politics into this proceeding,” Smith wrote in the document, submitted Wednesday.
Trump’s claims that he’s been persecuted and that legal challenges would interfere with his 2024 presidential campaign are “irrelevant” and “have no bearing on his guilt or innocence,” Smith said.
He also asked to exclude evidence “regarding agency preparation for, and responses on, January 6,” referring to the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection in Washington following the 2020 election. Smith cited Trump’s claims blaming Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser, the National Guard and Capitol Police for the attack.
“A bank robber cannot defend himself by blaming the bank’s security guard for failing to stop him,” Smith wrote.
He said conspiracies pushed by Trump that undercover agents played a part in the insurrection could confuse jurors and said that they should also be excluded.
Smith has said it’s in the public interest to rush the case against Trump. Trump’s lawyers have sought to delay the proceedings, which are currently scheduled to begin March 4.
The former president, who has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him, hasn’t held back in his criticism of Smith. In a Christmas Day post on social media, Trump slammed Smith, calling him “Deranged” and an “out of control Lunatic.”
In response to Wednesday’s filing, Trump posted a rambling note repeating the persecution claims Smith is seeking to exclude from the trial and calling the special counsel’s motion “pathetic.”