In an unexpected turn of events, Special Counsel Jack Smith’s prosecution team involved in the case against former President Donald Trump made an astounding disclosure. In a recent legal filing, the group acknowledged their failure to deliver all the due evidence to Mr. Trump’s defense lawyers, contrary to the legal obligations, even as they falsely proclaimed to have done so.
In a filing dated July 31, Mr. Smith’s team conceded to their erroneous claim during the July 18 court hearing, stating that they had given all Mar-a-Lago surveillance videos to Mr. Trump’s legal counsel as mandated by law.
The prosecutorial team discovered on July 27, while prepping for the superseding indictment and discovery production for Defendant De Oliveira, that the surveillance footage hadn’t been uploaded for the defense team’s perusal. Hence, their representation at the July 18 hearing, claiming that all pre-indictment surveillance footage had been delivered, was wrong.
As per the Brady rule, it is a constitutional obligation for the prosecutors in a criminal trial to disclose all evidence, favorable or otherwise, to the defense team. Such disclosure could mitigate the severity of the accused’s sentence.
A request for comments to the Department of Justice (DOJ) did not elicit an immediate response.
The admission by Mr. Smith’s team resonates with a hint of irony as it alleges Mr. Trump, in a “superseding indictment” filed on July 27, conspired with his staff to erase some security footage to keep the grand jury from accessing all evidence.
Trump Firmly Denies Accusations of Erasing Footage
Mr. Trump faced charges in the superseding indictment of knowingly withholding national defense information and directing a Mar-a-Lago employee to obliterate security tapes to thwart the grand jury’s evidence scrutiny.
A staffer at Mar-a-Lago, Carlos De Oliveira, joins the list of the accused in the superseding indictment, along with former President Trump and his aide, Walt Nauta.
Assertively denying these allegations, Mr. Trump claimed on his social media that Mr. Smith’s assertions of security tapes being obliterated were baseless and tantamount to meddling with the upcoming 2024 elections.
“THE SECURITY TAPES BEING DELETED WAS A MADE-UP LIE BY DERANGED JACK SMITH! ELECTION INTERFERENCE,” he asserted on Truth Social on Aug. 1.
The superseding indictment alleges that Mr. De Oliveira instructed another Mar-a-Lago employee on June 27, 2022, to delete a server, a claim which surfaced approximately two months before the FBI raided Mr. Trump’s Palm Beach resort. The raid supposedly uncovered classified documents in a storage area.
Mr. Trump, however, claimed he leveraged presidential authority to declassify all relevant documents in his case and denied concealing any materials from the government.
In response to the announcement of a superseding indictment and new charges on July 27, Mr. Trump’s campaign labeled it as a “continued desperate and flailing attempt” to harass the former president.
The campaign team further declared, “Deranged Jack Smith knows that they have no case and is casting about for any way to salvage their illegal witch hunt and to get someone other than Donald Trump to run against Crooked Joe Biden.”
Data compiled by RealClear Politics indicates a neck-to-neck race between President Joe Biden and Mr. Trump, with the former leading by a negligible margin of 0.9 percentage points.
The superseding indictment brings the total number of charges in the classified materials case to 40.
Numerous Legal Disputes Plague Trump
The former president, who leads the race for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, is embroiled in several legal challenges.
U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland is probing Mr. Trump’s involvement in the incidents following his contestation of the 2020 presidential election results, culminating in the U.S. Capitol breach on Jan. 6, 2021.
Additionally, Jack Smith accuses Mr. Trump of unlawfully retaining classified national security documents post his presidential term 2021 and making false statements to officials attempting to retrieve them.
In New York, Mr. Trump is grappling with a grand jury indictment for allegedly falsifying business records related to a payment to adult actress Stormy Daniels before the 2016 presidential election and a civil suit filed by Attorney General Letitia James alleging fraud.