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Tags: special counsel | jan.6 | donald trump | trial | jurors | shield | election interference

Special Counsel Aims to Shield Jurors in Trump Jan. 6 Trial

By    |   Tuesday, 10 October 2023 09:33 PM EDT

On Tuesday, special counsel Jack Smith submitted a motion requesting that a judge safeguard the anonymity of potential jurors in the case involving Donald Trump's alleged election interference. Smith cited the former president's recent attacks on court personnel for this precaution, reported The Hill.

"Given that the defendant — after apparently reviewing opposition research on court staff — chose to use social media to publicly attack a court staffer, there is cause for concern about what he may do with social media research on potential jurors in this case," prosecutors wrote.

In court documents, prosecutors expressed further apprehension over the potential actions of Trump concerning obtaining research on prospective jurors. They cited his recent criticism of the clerk of the New York judge presiding over Trump's civil business fraud trial, which prompted the judge to impose a restricted gag order.

In that case, Trump shared a photo of Judge Arthur Engoron's principal law clerk alongside Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., at a public event to his more than 6 million followers on social media.

He criticized the clerk's association with the judge, leading Judge Engoron to instruct Trump to remove the post and prohibit any further disparagement of court personnel by all parties.

As they prepare to select jurors for this unprecedented case, Smith's team advocates for using juror surveys and enabling attorneys to conduct limited research on potential jurors.

"The Court should make clear to the parties, however, that research beyond what is publicly available — especially if it results in any kind of contact with a potential juror — would infringe upon potential jurors' privacy interests," Smith's team wrote.

"The parties should also be precluded from any form of investigation, whether online or otherwise, that could reasonably be perceived as vexatious or harassing," they added.

The government's motion faced opposition from defense attorneys; Trump's attorney, John Lauro, refrained from commenting on Tuesday.

Judge Tanya Chutkan directed the defense to file an opposition brief by October 20.

Jim Thomas

Jim Thomas is a writer based in Indiana. He holds a bachelor's degree in Political Science, a law degree from U.I.C. Law School, and has practiced law for more than 20 years.

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On Tuesday, special counsel Jack Smith submitted a motion requesting that a judge safeguard the anonymity of potential jurors in the case involving Donald Trump's alleged election interference.
special counsel, jan.6, donald trump, trial, jurors, shield, election interference
326
2023-33-10
Tuesday, 10 October 2023 09:33 PM
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