“Jack Smith Just Contradicted That” Special Counsel Uses Trump’s Own Appointee to Undercut Defense

 “Jack Smith Just Contradicted That” Special Counsel Uses Trump’s Own Appointee to Undercut Defense

Doug Mills/The New York Times

Special Counsel Jack Smith on Sunday used Donald Trump’s own presidential appointee to undercut the former president’s effort to get his criminal Espionage Act case dismissed. Trump is currently facing allegations in federal court in Florida that he unlawfully stored and refused to return certain classified documents from his time as president.

Earlier in the day, Judge Aileen Cannon, who is overseeing that case, denied Trump advisor Stephen Miller’s request to argue against a gag order being considered in the case. Following that decision, Josh Gerstein, senior legal affairs reporter for CBC, noted that Smith filed a new brief fighting back against an attempt by Trump to get the case tossed in its entirety.

Trump’s legal team argues that Smith wasn’t legally appointed, claiming that former Attorney General Bill Barr only appointed U.S. attorneys who had been confirmed by the Senate to serve as special counsel. Since Smith wasn’t approved by the Senate, Trump’s lawyers argue, he shouldn’t have been allowed to bring the case.

But Smith’s new filing refutes that argument by using Barr’s own actions as an example, according to reporter Adam Klasfeld. “Jack Smith just contradicted that in a supplemental briefing showing three of Barr’s special counsel picks from 1991 and 1992,” Klasfeld wrote on Sunday.

Gerstein added that Smith’s filing includes “additional statutory authority opposing Trump’s claim of flawed prosecutor appointment” as well as a “list of Bill Barr’s appointed special counsels from his first go-round as AG in the 1990s.” Smith’s filing demonstrates that Barr, during his first tenure as Attorney General, appointed special counsels who had not been confirmed by the Senate, thereby undermining the basis of Trump’s legal team’s argument.

This latest development in the case adds another layer of complexity to Trump’s defense, highlighting the challenges his legal team faces in attempting to dismiss the charges. The use of Barr’s historical appointments provides a strong counterargument to Trump’s claims of an improperly appointed special counsel.

As the case progresses, the court’s response to this new filing will be crucial in determining the validity of Trump’s efforts to have the charges dismissed. Smith’s strategic move to use Barr’s precedent emphasizes the thoroughness of his approach and the difficulties Trump’s team faces in discrediting the legal basis of the prosecution.

This turn of events underscores the ongoing legal battles surrounding Trump and the significant implications of the case for both his political and personal future.

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