Special Counsel Jack Smith on Tuesday revealed certain evidence he intends to introduce in former President Donald Trump’s 2020 election trial.
The evidence includes tweets dating back to 2012, Trump’s support of individuals who were present at the Capitol on Jan. 6 and a statement Trump made at the 2020 presidential debate. Smith’s filing, which includes some redacted portions, says the evidence is intended “to establish [Trump’s] motive, intent, preparation, knowledge, absence of mistake, and common plan” at his March trial on charges relating to his alleged efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election. Smith’s plans must be approved by Judge Tanya Chutkan.
Trump has a “historical record” of making false election claims, the filing states, citing this as evidence of “his motive, intent, and plan to obstruct the certification of the 2020 election results and illegitimately retain power.”
“For example, as early as November 2012, the defendant issued a public tweet making baseless claims that voting machines had switched votes from then candidate Romney to then-candidate Obama,” the filing states. “During the 2016 presidential campaign, the defendant claimed repeatedly, with no basis, that there was widespread voter fraud—including through public statements and tweets (for instance, on October 17, 2016, tweeting, ‘Of course there is large scale fraud happening on and before election day.’”
Additionally, the filing says Smith plans to introduce evidence of Trump’s support of Jan. 6 defendants, including a reference to them as “hostages” and suggestion that he would pardon them if re-elected, to demonstrate that “the rioters’ disruption of the certification proceeding is exactly what [Trump] intended on January 6.”
“Of particular note are the specific January 6 offenders whom the defendant has supported—namely, individuals convicted of some of the most serious crimes charged in relation to January 6, such as seditious conspiracy and violent assaults on police officers,” the filing states, citing a September 2023 statement he made in reference to Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio saying “he and other people have been treated horribly.”
Tarrio was sentenced to 22 years in prison in September.
Trump has also “financially supported and celebrated these offenders” by playing a rendition of the National Anthem by the “January 6 Choir,” comprised of a group of defendants at the District of Columbia jail, at his rallies, the filing continues.
Smith also intends to introduce evidence of Trump’s “consistent refusal to commit to a peaceful transition of power,” knowledge of unfavorable election results, sidelining of advisors who “told him or the public the truth about the election results” and “encouragement of violence,” according to the filing.
As an example of encouraging violence, Smith pointed specifically to Trump telling the Proud Boys to “stand back and stand by” in response to a question at the September 29, 2020 presidential debate asking him to denounce white supremacists and militia groups who showed up at Black Lives Matter protests.
“Proud Boys, stand back and stand by,” Trump said at the time after telling moderator Chris Wallace that he wants to see peace. “But I’ll tell you what, I’ll tell you what, somebody’s got to do something about Antifa and the left because this is not a right-wing problem.”
Trump later said he did not know who the Proud Boys were and told them to “stand down.”
To demonstrate Trump’s knowledge of unfavorable results, Smith describes evidence of an “agent” who worked on Trump’s campaign to “obstruct the vote count” immediately following the election. The filing notes prosecutors have messages showing this individual “encouraged rioting and other methods of obstruction when he learned that the vote count was trending in favor of the defendant’s opponent.”
Evidence of Trump’s intent to “stifle any dissent” includes a plan to “retaliate against the former Chief Counsel to the Republican National Committee” for refuting claims of election fraud, according to the filing. Details about the effort are redacted.
Evidence that Special Counsel Jack Smith intends to introduce at Trump's DC trial –
2012 tweets regarding rigged elections
Trump's support of those accused of J6 crimes – and his discussions of J6 pardons
Trump playing the songs of the imprisoned J6 Choir at his rallies. pic.twitter.com/8P3PakmAbU
— Techno Fog (@Techno_Fog) December 5, 2023
“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,” Steven Cheung, a spokesperson for the Trump campaign, told the Daily Caller News Foundation in a statement. “Trump will not be deterred and will continue speaking truth to corrupt, weaponized power and law enforcement.”