‘Public relations campaign’: Jack Smith lashes out at Trump over request for trial to be televised


Daily Caller News Foundation

Special counsel Jack Smith lashed out at former President Donald Trump Monday for backing a request to televise his 2020 election trial in Washington, D.C.

Smith slammed Trump in a court filing Monday for trying to “turn his trial into a media event” that distracts from the charges against him. Trump backed media outlets’ request to televise his trial Friday accusing prosecutors of working to “continue this travesty in darkness.”

Smith told the court that Trump is trying to “create a carnival atmosphere from which he hopes to profit by distracting, like many fraud defendants try to do, from the charges against him.”

“This scenario is not hypothetical,” the filing states. “As the Court has already observed in proceedings in the defendant’s criminal trial, the defendant and his counsel will, if permitted, design their in-court statements instead to wage a public relations campaign.”

Smith pointed to Trump’s testimony last week in his New York civil fraud trial, where he called the case a “political witch hunt” and accused Democratic New York Attorney General Letitia James of being a “political hack.” Judge Arthur Engoron told Trump’s lawyer at one point to “control” his client, reminding him that it was “not a political rally.”

Smith also claimed that Trump’s previous filings, including his request for Judge Tanya Chutkan to recuse herself and an effort to have the case dismissed based on presidential immunity, were crafted to gain media coverage rather than legitimate relief from the court. This most recent request to televise the trial, the filing says, is just another way for Trump to avoid “answering for his criminal conduct in the courtroom while at the same time publicly grandstanding on the Court’s docket.”

Trump’s lawyers wrote Friday that the former president was calling for “sunlight.” “Every person in America, and beyond, should have the opportunity to study this case firsthand and watch as, if there is a trial, President Trump exonerates himself of these baseless and politically motivated charges,” they wrote.

Trump did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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