Jack Smith’s Office Says It Will Submit Trump’s Election Fraud Tweets

Federal prosecutors made a court filing on Tuesday in Washington.
Jack Smith’s Office Says It Will Submit Trump’s Election Fraud Tweets
(L) Special counsel Jack Smith in Washington, on Aug. 1, 2023; and (R) former U.S. President Donald Trump in Palm Beach, Fla., on Nov. 8, 2022. (Saul Loeb, Eva Marie Uzcategui/AFP via Getty Images)
Jack Phillips
12/5/2023
Updated:
12/5/2023
0:00

Special counsel Jack Smith’s office will submit public statements and social media posts to argue that former President Donald Trump made claims of voter fraud as part of his federal election case.

In a court filing, prosecutors said they are providing notice to U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan of their intent “to establish his motive, intent, preparation, knowledge, absence of mistake, and common plan” regarding the former president’s case.

His team will use Twitter posts made by the former president dating back to at least 2012 about elections in a bid to convince a jury that he engaged in efforts to overturn the 2020 election. President Trump has pleaded not guilty to the charges, saying they’re part of an attempt to imperil his presidential bid.

“The defendant’s consistent refusal to commit to a peaceful transition of power, dating back to the 2016 presidential campaign, is admissible evidence of his plan to undermine the integrity of the presidential transition process when faced with the possibility of an election result that he would not like, as well as his motive, intent, and plan to interfere with the implementation of an election result with which he was not satisfied,” prosecutors wrote in the filing, referring to President Trump.

The filing pointed to a November 2012 Twitter post in which President Trump said that votes were switched “from then-candidate [Mitt] Romney to then-candidate [Barack] Obama” in that year’s presidential election.

“The defendant’s false claims about the 2012 and 2016 elections are admissible because they demonstrate the defendant’s common plan of falsely blaming fraud for election results he does not like,” federal prosecutors wrote.

Prosecutors have also suggested they will show jurors the video of President Trump’s speech before the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol breach, also indicating that they might call some defendants in Jan. 6 cases as witnesses. They also will target his public statements in which he said that those defendants have been mistreated by the federal government, according to previous court filings.

“There is a robust public record of how rioters’ actions at the Capitol on January 6 were extraordinarily violent and destructive, including attacks on law enforcement officers with flag poles, tasers, bear spray, and stolen riot shields and batons,” Mr. Smith’s team wrote in a recent court filing. “Despite this, the defendant has never wavered in his support of January 6 offenders.”

However, the former president’s lawyers have argued that he had a good reason to question the 2020 election results.

In late November, a defense motion asserted that President Trump was not obligated to accept at face value the judgments of government officials who said they found no instances of fraud in the election. Their court papers suggested the possibility that foreign actors might have influenced the race and said that federal officials gave “false assurances” to the public about the security of the election that “outpaced” what the government actually knew.

“It was not unreasonable at the time, and certainly not criminal, for President Trump to disagree with officials now favored by the prosecution and to rely instead on the independent judgment that the American people elected him to use while leading the country,” the Trump lawyers wrote.

His legal team’s motion recounts Russian efforts in 2016 to undermine confidence in that year’s election. It also revisits the intelligence community’s effort in 2020 to discern potential interference by countries including Russia, China, and Iran.

It included from a Jan. 7, 2021 memo from John Ratcliffe, the then-director of national intelligence, that said China sought to influence the election. And it seeks information from prosecutors about a Russian cyberespionage campaign in 2019 and 2020 that affected numerous federal government agencies, with the lawyers saying that that intrusion calls into question the confidence being expressed by officials at that time in the security of the election.

The former president’s trial in the election case is slated to start in March 2024.  He also faces charges in Georgia, New York, and Florida and has pleaded not guilty to those counts, too.

“The Office cannot blame President Trump for public discord and distrust of the 2020 election results while refusing to turn over evidence that foreign actors stoked the very same flames that the Office identifies as inculpatory in the indictment,” their motion states.

Prosecutors, they added, also “cannot rely on selected guidance and judgments by officials it favors from the Intelligence Community and law enforcement while ignoring evidence of political bias in those officials’ decision-making as well as cyberattacks and other interference, both actual and attempted, that targeted critical infrastructure and election facilities before, during, and after the 2020 election.”

In November, documents related to search a warrant for information related to former President Trump’s Twitter account showed that Mr. Smith’s team of prosecutors wanted his search history, blocked users, mutes, and drafts of tweets. He also sought information on the Twitter users who interacted with the former president.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter with 15 years experience who started as a local New York City reporter. Having joined The Epoch Times' news team in 2009, Jack was born and raised near Modesto in California's Central Valley. Follow him on X: https://twitter.com/jackphillips5
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