Former President Donald Trump’s lawyers alleged Tuesday night that special counsel Jack Smith concealed evidence about his office’s collaboration with the Biden administration.
In a 68-page Wednesday filing in the Florida case concerning his handling of concealed documents, Trump’s legal team claimed they obtained heavily redacted documents through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request revealing “politically motivated operatives in the Biden Administration and the National Archives and Records Administration” (NARA) have been involved in pushing the classified documents probe since 2021. Trump’s lawyers asked the judge to require Smith to produce any “additional evidence of bias and political animus,” writing that the documents obtained through FOIA “should have been disclosed by the Office, in unredacted form, at the outset of the case.”
“The Special Counsel’s Office has disregarded basic discovery obligations and DOJ policies in an effort to support the Biden Administration’s egregious efforts to weaponize the criminal justice system in pursuit of an objective that President Biden cannot achieve on the campaign trail: slowing down President Trump’s leading campaign in the 2024 presidential election,” the filing alleges. “The patent absurdity of the Office’s efforts is illustrated by the fact that, while working toward a historic landslide victory in the Iowa caucuses yesterday, President Trump was also preparing to bring to Your Honor’s attention today the record of misrepresentations and discovery violations that have marred this case from the outset and illustrate that the Office has disregarded fundamental fairness and its legal obligations in favor of partisan election interference.”
The details from the FOIA request “add force to President Trump’s long-held position regarding the scope of the prosecution team,” his lawyers claimed.
“The FOIA releases, coupled with other evidence scattered throughout more than 1.2 million pages of discovery, reflect close participation in the investigation by NARA and Biden Administration components such as the White House Counsel’s Office, as well as senior officials at DOJ and FBI,” they wrote. “These revelations are disturbing but not surprising.”
The filing notes that Trump will also “dispute at trial the contentions by the Special Counsel’s Office that Mar-a-Lago was not secure and that there was a risk that materials stored at those premises could be compromised.”
Specific disclosures requested by Trump’s team include any communications by members of Smith’s team with the Biden administration, communications between the Biden administration and Fulton County prosecutors, evidence of bias in the intelligence community and evidence of “improper coordination” with NARA, among others.
The special counsel’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Katelynn Richardson on January 17, 2024