Former President Donald Trump suggested Thursday that the district court hold special counsel Jack Smith and other prosecutors in contempt for violating its order, arguing that Smith is using the docket as an “arm of the Biden Campaign.”
District Court Judge Tanya Chutkan paused proceedings in the former president’s 2020 election case Dec. 13, pending the appeal of her decision not to dismiss his case based on presidential immunity. Yet Smith has continued to file documents on the suspended deadlines, which Trump’s lawyers alleged in a 15-page filing violates the court’s “clear, straightforward, and unambiguous” stay order.
“In this manner, the prosecutors seek to weaponize the Stay to spread political propaganda, knowing that President Trump would not fully respond because the Court relieved him of the burdens of litigation during the Stay,” they wrote. “Worse, the prosecutors have announced their intention to continue this partisan-driven misconduct indefinitely, effectively converting this Court’s docket into an arm of the Biden Campaign.”
Trump’s lawyers asked the court Thursday to issue an order requiring prosecutors to show why they should not be held in contempt and be required to withdraw their filings, as well as provide “monetary sanctions in the amount of President Trump’s reasonable attorneys’ fees and expenses incurred in responding to the prosecutors’ improper productions.”
Prosecutors filed 4,000 pages of “additional discovery” on Dec. 17 and an “exhibit list” on Dec. 18, Trump’s lawyers noted. In a filing, prosecutors explained that they took their actions “to help ensure that trial proceeds promptly if and when the mandate returns.”
Smith has continually pushed to rush the timeline in order to maintain the scheduled March 4 trial date, which Trump’s immunity appeal threw into jeopardy. The Supreme Court shot down on Dec. 22 his request for it to consider the immunity question before the lower court could consider the question.
“Unstated, but obvious, is the prosecutors’ desperate effort to harass President Trump and prevent his likely victory in the 2024 Presidential Election,” Trump’s lawyers wrote Thursday.
The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals will hold oral arguments to consider Trump’s appeal Jan. 9.