In yet another blow to Special Counsel Jack Smith’s already shaky indictment against former President Donald Trump, new information has come to light suggesting that Smith may not have thoroughly reviewed all the records before bringing the charges. According to CBS News, thousands of pages of records were turned over by former New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik, a Trump ally, in July. These records include sworn affidavits from people raising concerns about voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election. Trump’s attorney, Tim Parlatore, asserts that these records are “absolutely exculpatory” and directly relate to whether Trump and Rudy Giuliani knew their claims of election fraud were false.
This revelation is significant because it undermines the core of the indictment, which relies on Trump’s state of mind and whether he genuinely believed he lost the election. Attorney and Law Professor Alan Dershowitz criticized the indictment’s focus on Trump’s mindset, stating, “I’m not going to probe his unconscious and see whether deep in the recesses of his mind he had doubts about it.” Dershowitz’s point is valid – everyone has doubts, and it is unfair to criminalize Trump for having them.
— Catherine Herridge (@CBS_Herridge) August 3, 2023
Furthermore, it is concerning that Parlatore has not yet been interviewed by investigators, despite expecting Kerik to be interviewed soon. The special counsel’s office declined to comment on this matter. Former federal prosecutor Scott Frederickson suggests that the special counsel may be gathering evidence for discovery and did not view Kerik as an essential witness for the indictment. But if the exculpatory records submitted by Kerik are as significant as claimed, it raises questions about the special counsel’s thoroughness and competence.
This is not the first time Smith has faced scrutiny for his prosecutorial tactics. In 2014, Smith successfully obtained a corruption conviction against former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, only for the U.S. Supreme Court to unanimously overturn the conviction. The Court warned about the “uncontrolled power of criminal prosecutors” and the threat it poses to the separation of powers. Smith’s history of bringing speculative cases and his questionable legal theories raise doubts about the soundness of his current indictment against Trump.
As Trump maintains his frontrunner status in the Republican presidential primary and allegations of scandal surround the Biden family, the timing of this indictment appears suspect. Many have raised concerns about political motivations driving the charges. With the weight of evidence leaning in Trump’s favor and Smith’s history of prosecutorial missteps, it is becoming increasingly clear that this indictment may be more about political targeting than a legitimate pursuit of justice.