NEW: Trump Legal Team Files Motion to Dismiss Based on Spoliation of Evidence in Classified Docs Case

Court Filing

I'm a big fan of spreadsheets — they appeal to my need for order and efficiency. I've created them for a whole host of things I need (or want) to track. I need to create one for all of the ongoing court cases involving high-profile political figures. (Frankly, I can't believe I haven't done so already.) 


I say all that to preface what I'm about to report here, namely that former President Donald Trump's legal team has filed another motion to dismiss the classified documents case against him. Just Monday, we reported on Judge Aileen Cannon's ruling denying a motion to dismiss on the pleadings (which I was careful to point out is only one of several pending motions to dismiss on various grounds). 

Several more motions are set for hearing the week of June 21st, including motions challenging Jack Smith's appointment as Special Counsel and seeking relief on the basis of the Mar-a-Lago raid and unlawful piercing of the attorney-client privilege. 


Judge Aileen Cannon Hands Jack Smith a Win on Motion to Dismiss
 - but Hands Trump One, Too

 Judge Cannon Set Multiple Hearings on Constitutional Issues
and the Anti-Trump Brigade Is Big Mad

Now, a month after it was revealed that Smith's office mishandled some of the very documents over which they are prosecuting the former president, Trump has filed a "Motion to Dismiss Based on Spoliation of Evidence in Violation of Due Process." 


Special Counsel Jack Smith's Team Confirms It Tampered With Evidence,
Admits to Misleading Court

Jim Jordan Opens Investigation Into Jack Smith:
'Mishandled the Very Docs He's Claiming Were Mishandled'

The latest motion, viewable in full below, details the prosecution's mishandling of the evidence and the implications of such in no uncertain terms, noting: 


The prosecution team destroyed exculpatory evidence supporting one of the most basic defenses available to President Trump in response to the politically motivated charges in this case. The Special Counsel’s Office has wrongfully alleged that President Trump was aware of the contents of boxes in August 2022, where those boxes were packed by others in the White House and moved to Florida in January 2021. The fact that the allegedly classified documents were buried in boxes and comingled with President Trump’s personal effects from his first term in office strongly supported the defense argument that he lacked knowledge and culpable criminal intent with respect to the documents at issue. Any proximity between allegedly classified documents and other dated materials from years before the move, such as letters and newspapers, would have further strengthened this argument. The prosecution team’s instructions to agents who executed the raid essentially acknowledged these propositions, and directed the agents to take care to document the location of both seized items and potentially privileged materials.

However, the agents disregarded those instructions. The government was more interested in staging—and leaking—manipulated photographs to the press than preserving key exculpatory evidence that has now been lost forever. Trump, ECF No. 48-1.2 The agents did not maintain the order of the documents, and they did not take photographs that would have served as alternative evidence of the documents’ sequence in each box. In July 2023, the agents disclosed this fact during a meeting with prosecutors from the Special Counsel’s Office and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida (“USAO-SDFL”). But the Office did not timely disclose the notes from that meeting for almost a full year. Indeed, they persisted in that suppression, notwithstanding that the notes were responsive to an October 2023 discovery request from President Trump, while urging the Court to rush to trial based on false assurances that they were in compliance with their discovery obligations.

In hearings during March and April 2024, the Special Counsel’s Office misrepresented to the Court that the pre-raid sequence of the documents was intact. Only after an evidence inspection by counsel for President Trump’s co-defendants revealed the extent of the problem did the Office disclose in a May 3, 2024 filing that the documents were not intact as had been claimed previously. Vague language in that submission and corresponding additional discovery demands from President Trump caused these due process violations to further unravel. 

The Constitution required far more than the Special Counsel’s Office and the FBI were willing to do. That is evident from the spoliation at issue herein, as well as from separate pretrial motions seeking to compel other important discovery, suppress unlawfully seized evidence, remedy additional prosecutorial misconduct, enforce the presidential immunity doctrine and the Appointments and Appropriations Clauses, and dismiss the charges on the basis of selective and vindictive prosecution. To date, the Office’s discovery obligations and ethical requirements have taken a back seat to President Biden’s election-interference mission. 


The motion asks the court to "dismiss the Superseding Indictment, and suppress all evidence seized in connection with the August 2022 raid at Mar-a-Lago, based on destruction of exculpatory evidence." 

No word yet on when the latest motion will be taken up for hearing. The court already has a packed schedule the week of June 21, and the prosecution will likely need time to respond to the motion, so it is doubtful the matter will be taken up then. When it does, we will, of course, report on the developments. 

DJT - SDFL - MTD - Spoliation - 6-10-24 - #612 by Susie Moore on Scribd



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