Department of Justice (DOJ) Special Counsel Jack Smith claimed in new court documents filed Tuesday that former President Donald Trump specifically “sent” his supporters to the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021 to obstruct the certification of the 2020 presidential election results.
The documents, filed in the Washington, D.C. federal court overseeing the case against Trump related to Jan. 6 and alleged efforts to overturn the election, detailed the evidence Smith’s team will be using in the former president’s upcoming trial, which is scheduled to begin on Mar. 4.
“Evidence of the defendant’s post-conspiracy embrace of particularly violent and notorious rioters is admissible to establish the defendant’s motive and intent on January 6—that he sent supporters, including groups like the Proud Boys, whom he knew were angry, and whom he now calls ‘patriots,’ to the Capitol to achieve the criminal objective of obstructing the congressional certification,” Smith wrote.
“In addition, his statements in this time period agreeing that he then held, and still holds, enormous influence over his supporters’ actions is evidence of his knowledge and intent to obstruct the certification, as he chose not to exercise that influence to mitigate the violence on January 6,” he wrote.
Smith said that Trump’s “embrace” of those participating in the Jan. 6 riot was “evidence of his intent” because they “acted as he directed them to act.”
Additionally, Smith listed Trump’s “refusal to commit to a peaceful transition of power,” and his “motive, intent and plan to interfere with the implementation of an election result with which he was not satisfied,” as evidence.
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He also wrote he would introduce evidence to establish Trump’s “plan of silencing” those speaking out against his claims of a fraudulent election, and that his public criticism of other officials, such as former Vice President Mike Pence, “could foreseeably lead to threats, harassment, and violence.”
Trump’s campaign responded to Smith’s documents by blasting them as an act of desperation.
“Crooked Joe Biden, Deranged Jack Smith, and the rest of the Hacks and Thugs attempting to interfere in the 2024 election are getting so desperate to attack President Trump that they are perverting justice by trying to include claims that weren’t anywhere to be found in their dreamt up, fake indictment,” Trump campaign spokesman Steven Cheung said.
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“President Trump will not be deterred and will continue speaking truth to corrupt, weaponized power and law enforcement,” he added.
Trump is charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, obstruction of and attempt to obstruct an official proceeding and conspiracy against rights.