Special Counsel Jack Smith has asked the judge in Donald Trump’s 2020 election interference case to bar the former president’s legal team from injecting politics into the trial, the Associated Press reported.
In a 20-page motion submitted to US District Judge Tanya Chutkan on December 27, prosecutors from the special counsel’s office asked the judge to prevent Trump’s lawyers from “raising irrelevant political issues or arguments” before a jury, including the claim that his prosecution was coordinated by President Biden or vindictive.
Prosecutors noted that the allegations are not just wrong but are also “irrelevant to the jury’s determination” of Trump’s guilt or innocence and would be “prejudicial.”
By requesting that Trump be prevented from introducing such sweeping allegations, the special counsel’s office is attempting to set parameters on what details the jury should or should not hear when the case eventually goes to trial.
Currently, the election interference case is on hold as an appeals court considers Trump’s claims of presidential immunity.
The Supreme Court on December 22 rejected the special counsel’s request to rule on the question of presidential immunity before the appeals court hears the case.
The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia will hear arguments on the presidential immunity question on January 9.
The case is scheduled to go to trial in federal court on March 4 but could be delayed by appeals over the immunity question, which, no matter how the appellate court rules, will end up before the Supreme Court.
In response to the special counsel’s motion, Trump accused Jack Smith’s office of “ignoring the law and clear instructions” from Judge Chutkan by filing a motion while the case was on pause.
Calling the motion “pathetic,” Trump claimed that it was an “illegal” attempt to violate his right to free speech by depriving him of his argument that the case is a “political prosecution.”