Special Counsel Jack Smith argues that Trump can still be convicted in Jan 6 case even if former president genuinely believed he won the election, challenging key plank of former president’s expected defense

Special Counsel Jack Smith’s team have filed another blistering filing in Donald Trump‘s January 6 case, accusing him of ‘deceit, trickery, or dishonest means,’ while arguing his own belief that he won the 2020 election isn’t relevant to charges he defrauded the government.

The indictment that has Trump heading toward a March trial in federal court in Washington, DC charges that he ‘made knowingly false claims that there had been outcome-determinative fraud in the 2020 presidential election,’ then led a conspiracy to try to overturn the results for Joe Biden.

This included ‘dozens’ of claims of substantial fraud, dead voters, or illegal alien voters, even while top officials in his own government were telling him there was no such large scale fraud.

The new filing calls these ‘lies’ and says Trump repeatedly engaged in ‘deceit’ as part of the conspiracy to remain in office.

A new filing by special counssel Jack Smith accuses former President Donald Trump of ‘deceit’ and ‘lies’ as part of his election overturn effort

The 79-page filing also takes on the argument put forward by Trump’s lawyers that he wasn’t being deceptive because he genuinely believes ‘the election was stolen.’

But ‘even if the defendant could supply admissible evidence of his own personal belief that the election was “rigged” or “stolen,” it would not license him to deploy fraud and deceit to remedy what he perceived to be a wrong, and it would not provide a defense to the charge,’ according to Smith’s filing.

Smith’s team, which includes experts in white collar crime, then make a business analogy.

‘Just as the president of a company may be guilty of fraud for using knowingly false statements of facts to defraud investors, even if he subjectively believes that his company will eventually succeed … the defendant may be guilty of using deceit to obstruct the government function by which the results of the presidential election are collected, counted, and certified, even if he provides evidence that he subjectively believed that the election was “rigged,” according to the filing.

Special counsel Jack Smith has produced another blistering filing arguing against motions by Donald Trump's lawyers to dismiss the January 6 case

Special counsel Jack Smith has produced another blistering filing arguing against motions by Donald Trump’s lawyers to dismiss the January 6 case

Smith's filing accuses Trump of engaging in 'deceit' and 'trickery'

Smith’s filing accuses Trump of engaging in ‘deceit’ and ‘trickery’

That is a word Trump uses repeatedly to describe the 2020 election, while calling prosecutions against him in Washington, DC and Fulton County, Georgia over his effort to overturn the results part of a ‘witch hunt’ against him.

Smith then tied this to the ‘fake electors’ scheme, where Trump allies produced ‘alternate’ slates of electors who would say Trump won contested states.

‘From start to finish, false claims of election fraud provided the rationale for the fraudulent electors, making the fraudulent electors a vehicle for those false claims,’ he writes.

‘Coconspirators lied to some of the fraudulent electors, falsely telling them that their votes would be used only if ongoing litigation changed the results in the defendant’s favor,’ according to the filing.

Legal experts told the Washington Post judge’s wouldn’t ordinarily toss a case based on the defended believing the statements prosecutors called deceitful. 

The filing came Monday, on a day Trump was in a Manhattan courthouse calling a different prosecutor, state AG Letitia James, a ‘political hack’ while fighting to save his business empire in a $250 million civil fraud trial. 

The government’s case in D.C. will argue that Trump made false statements to then-Vice President Mike Pence, and that even it Trump was making ‘misrepresentations of law’ about Pence’s powers, they were ‘undergirded by specific factual lies.’ That comes amid some vague legislative language about the ceremonial role of the vice president.

‘The indictment’s allegations of deceit, trickery, or dishonest means are numerous and clear,’ according to the filing. It calls the original 45-page indictment ‘more than adequate’ to charge with trying to defeat a government function – counting the electoral votes – by ‘dishonest means.’

And it blasts his lawyers’ claim that he has already in effect been tried through impeachment as ‘frivolous,’ and attacked the claim that Trump’s claims of fraud were protected by the First Amendment.

It comes after Trump’s own team filed a series of motions asking Judge Tanya Chutkan to dismiss the case.  

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