The latest chapter in the ongoing politicized prosecution stems from Smith’s filing of a motion in limine on December 27, in what might ordinarily be considered a pre-trial strategy under normal circumstances. However, that filing contravenes an explicit order by District Judge Tanya Chutkan issued just two weeks earlier which effectively stayed all proceedings in the ongoing 2020 election interference case.
Trump’s attorneys allege that Smith’s action willfully disregards the court’s stay order, leading to unnecessary expense and wasted effort in responding to improper pleadings.
Trump attorney John Lauro laid out the seriousness of the situation in the motion: “All substantive proceedings in this Court are halted. Despite this clarity, the prosecutors began violating the Stay almost immediately.”
Trump pushes to hold Jack Smith in contempt, block further filings in Jan. 6 case https://t.co/KENVltc3VE
— Bo Snerdley (@BoSnerdley) January 4, 2024
He further accused Smith’s team of indulging in partisan rhetoric and spreading political propaganda, demonstrating the politicized nature of the case and how Democrats see it as a method to interfere with the orderly and fair administration of this year’s presidential election.
Trump’s motion also argues that Smith is continuing to pursue ordinary discovery and other pre-trial activities, even though the matter has been placed under a stay order as a federal appeals court takes up consideration of the 45th president’s claim that he is shielded from prosecution in the case by constitutionally defined executive privilege.
Trump’s legal team asserts that Smith’s actions are not only contemptuous but also strategically designed to disadvantage President Trump in adequately preparing to defend the case.
The Trump team’s motion seeks both a contempt ruling against Smith and monetary sanctions for the legal expenses incurred due to the prosecution’s alleged misconduct. This request underscores a broader theme in Trump’s legal battles — a fight against what his supporters see as a persistent, unfair targeting by politicized prosecutors beholden to the Biden administration.
In response, Smith’s team maintains that their actions were intended to ensure a prompt trial resumption should the stay be lifted. However, Trump’s attorneys counter this claim, stating that such justifications do not excuse the breach of the stay order and the court’s authority.
The court has scheduled a hearing on Trump’s motion to hold Smith in contempt for January 9.