Former President Donald Trump is pushing back against Special Counsel Jack Smith’s accusations that he instructed staff to delete security camera footage at Mar-a-Lago.
During an interview with NBC, the former Republican head of state contended that the most recent accusation against him is “fake” and that he never requested Mar-a-Lago personnel to erase footage that supposedly depicts the handling of boxes containing purported “classified” documents from his White House tenure.
When asked about the charge by Kristen Welker on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Trump called the allegation “false.”
“Would you testify to that under oath?” Welker asked.
“Sure, I’m going to — I’ll testify,” Trump said.
“It’s a fake charge by this deranged lunatic, that prosecutor, who lost in the Supreme Court nine to nothing and he tried to destroy lots of lives,” he added. “He’s a lunatic, so it’s a fake charge… The tapes weren’t deleted. In other words, there was nothing done to them.”
Smith, an experienced prosecutor appointed by the Biden Justice Department, has faced sharp criticism from President Trump, who has characterized him as “mentally unstable” and accused him of carrying out “politically motivated attacks” against figures like Bob McDonnell, the former governor of Virginia. McDonnell’s conviction, secured by Smith, was later overturned by the Supreme Court. One of Smith’s cases involves allegations that the 45th president mishandled classified documents containing national security secrets and refused to surrender them when requested by the National Archives. President Trump has asserted that he declassified all documents in his possession in accordance with the Presidential Records Act.
Furthermore, President Trump is confronting the possibility of additional charges in Smith’s second case, which accuses him of interfering in the 2020 election. Smith is utilizing substantial taxpayer funds in both cases as he hurries to secure convictions against President Trump before the upcoming election year. He has recently expressed concerns that the President’s sweeping criticisms of him are tarnishing the pool of potential jurors required for both trials.
As the pressure on Smith intensifies to secure a significant victory in the classified documents case, experts have raised concerns that the prosecutor may be relying on a flawed legal strategy that lacks attention to detail and could crumble under judicial scrutiny, potentially leading to the dismissal of a substantial portion of the case.
Investigative journalist Paul Sperry, writing for RealClearInvestigations, suggested that documents made public as part of the case against the former president indicate that Smith is emphasizing “inflammatory language” aimed at “emotionally influencing jurors” rather than presenting a solid factual basis. In the January 6th indictment, Smith employs phrases like “fraud/fraudulent” 63 times, “false/falsely” 94 times, “fake” on five occasions, and “sham” three times.
NEW: Jack Smith's Jan. 6 indictment of Trump repeatedly relies on a fuselage of subjective, even inflammatory language devoid of underlying facts and evidence to appeal emotionally to jurors, including:
— Paul Sperry (@paulsperry_) August 29, 2023
Special Counsel Jack Smith recently objected to a request from Trump’s defense team that a judge with a history of anti-Trump statements be recused from his January 6 case.