Jack Smith accused Trump of tainting jury pool with his comments. Trump responded with a fresh Truth Social attack

Ex-president continues to press boundaries of interference with his case

John Bowden
Washington DC
Wednesday 06 September 2023 16:44 BST
Trump calls indictment 'bulls***' charges

Donald Trump is showing no signs of holding back his continued allegations of bias and unfairness against the judge overseeing his January 6 case in Washington DC, even after being accused of trying to taint the jury pool by prosecutors.

On Truth Social, the ex-president continued to release statements throughout Tuesday and into Wednesday attacking Department of Justice special counsel Jack Smith and Judge Tanya Chutkan, the jurist who has now become a target of baseless criticism from conservatives on Capitol Hill — some of whom voted to confirm her to the bench.

Mr Trump “truthed” on Tuesday that Mr Smith was “deranged” and accused the special prosecutor of harboring “unchecked and insane aggression” against him; he also reposted a story from the right-wing New York Post regarding Ms Chutkan, whom the outlet has tried to paint as a secret Marxist.

On a less controversial note, the ex-president also embraced a wave of right-wing media coverage claiming that he now had “street cred” among formerly incarcerated persons and even the entire Black community as a result of his criminal prosecutions.

His statements come after Mr Smith indicated in a court filing that his office may seek to chill Mr Trump’s speech regarding the case.

In a motion to add a document to the court docket under seal, the special prosecutor’s office wrote that Mr Trump was personally engaged in making “daily extrajudicial statements that threaten to prejudice the jury pool in this case”.

The line was as clear a warning as can be that Mr Smith plans to take action if he believes Mr Trump to have crossed a line into an actionable effort to taint his trial.

The former president currently faces four criminal indictments spanning four jurisdictions: Washington DC, Florida, New York and Georgia. The prosecutions relate, respectively, to his attempt to alter the results of the 2020 election, to his alleged mishandling of classified defence documents, to a 2016 porn star hush money scheme, and once again to his effort to change the election results.

Altogether, they total 91 felony counts, including a RICO charge in Georgia which carries a mandatory minimum prison sentence.

Amid all of this, Mr Trump continues to run for president and remains the odds-on favourite to win the Republican nomination at this time. Polls indicate that he currently has the support of close to six in 10 Republican voters, nationally.

The ex-president’s various trials are expected to play out as primary and caucus season gets underway early next year, shoving US politics into unfamiliar territory — especially should he be found guilty in any of the four cases.

Mr Trump maintains his innocence of all charges against him, though many of them relate to his very public efforts to prevent Joe Biden from reaching the White House after Mr Biden won the 2020 election.

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