Special Counsel Jack Smith is asking a judge to prohibit former President Donald Trump from making “political attacks” about his federal 2020 election interference case set to go to trial in early spring.
“Through public statements, filings, and argument in hearings before the Court, the defense has attempted to inject into this case partisan political attacks and irrelevant and prejudicial issues that have no place in a jury trial,” senior assistant special counsel Molly Gaston wrote in court papers filed Wednesday.
“Although the Court can recognize these efforts for what they are and disregard them, the jury — if subjected to them — may not,” she continued. “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.”
Prosecutors’ motion asks the court to bar Trump and his lawyers from introducing evidence that suggests he is being selectively prosecuted, that prosecutors are coordinating with the Biden administration or that foreign actors interfered in the 2020 presidential election.
It further urges U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan, who is overseeing the trial proceedings in Washington, to prohibit certain evidence related to the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot.
Prosecutors are seeking to prevent Trump from placing blame on the National Guard or the D.C. mayor for the attack or from claiming undercover agents helped provoke violence.
“Allowing the defendant to introduce evidence about undercover actors would inevitably lead to confusing minitrials on collateral issues, such as the identities and intentions of the alleged undercover actors,” prosecutors wrote. “For example, it may require the Government to introduce evidence to show that people whom the defendant alleges were undercover actors actually were his vehement supporters.”
Trump is charged in the case with four federal felonies. He has pleaded not guilty and denied wrongdoing.
The trial is currently slated for March 4, however, Trump’s appeals may interfere with the scheduled date.