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Tags: jack smith | tanya chutkan | donald trump | lawyers

Special Counsel: Make Trump Declare Legal Strategy

By    |   Tuesday, 10 October 2023 02:35 PM EDT

Special counsel Jack Smith asked U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan to require former President Donald Trump's legal team to disclose by December if he plans to use an "advice of counsel" defense in the 2020 election subversion case.

In a 14-page court filing Tuesday, Smith's office said dozens of witnesses who were interviewed in the federal probe that led to a four-count indictment against Trump withheld information based on attorney-client privilege, including a family member of the former president.

Trump and his attorneys have "repeatedly and publicly announced that he intends to assert the advice of counsel as a central component of his defense at trial," Smith's office said in the court papers. If Trump plans to invoke the defense, Smith's office argued that federal prosecutors should be given access to additional exchanges between Trump and his lawyer.

Trump would also be required to waive "attorney-client privilege for all communications concerning that defense" and prosecutors would be "entitled to additional discovery and may conduct further investigation, both of which may require further litigation and briefing."

With the trial set to begin March 4, Smith's office said a formal notification by Dec. 18 would prevent delays.

"During the course of the Government's investigation, at least 25 witnesses withheld information, communications, and documents based on assertions of the attorney-client privilege under circumstances where the privilege holder appears to be the defendant or his 2020 presidential campaign," the filing said. "These included co-conspirators, former campaign employees, the campaign itself, outside attorneys, a non-attorney intermediary, and even a family member of the defendant."

It's unclear which Trump family member is being referred to in the filing. Trump's daughter Ivanka Trump and son-in-law Jared Kushner were among those who reportedly were subpoenaed to testify.

The legal teams of Smith and Trump are due in court Monday for a hearing about a limited gag order that the special counsel is seeking to impose on the former president. Federal prosecutors argued in favor of the order Friday, citing what they called a pattern of inflammatory and intimidating statements from Trump about the 2020 election results case.

Trump's lawyers this week denounced the gag order request as an attempt to "unconstitutionally silence" his political speech, and said it was a "desperate attempt at censorship."

Nicole Wells

Nicole Wells, a Newsmax general assignment reporter covers news, politics, and culture. She is a National Newspaper Association award-winning journalist.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


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Special counsel Jack Smith asked U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan to require former President Donald Trump's legal team to disclose by December if he plans to use an "advice of counsel" defense in the 2020 election subversion case.
jack smith, tanya chutkan, donald trump, lawyers
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2023-35-10
Tuesday, 10 October 2023 02:35 PM
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