Special prosecutor uses Trump’s rant about Hillary Clinton against him in latest filing


Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton

Former U.S. President Donald Trump spoke during a campaign rally at Legacy Sports USA on October 9, 2022, in Mesa, Arizona. Hillary Clinton attended an event on September 10, 2022, in Toronto, Ontario (Trump by Mario Tama/Getty Images; Clinton by Amy Sussman/Getty Images.)

The prosecutor appointed to oversee the federal government’s prosecution of Donald Trump over his retention of classified documents inside his resort home in Florida on Thursday unleashed a spate of court filings seeking to ensure the criminal case against the former president is not dismissed.

In one such filing, special counsel Jack Smith argues that Trump knowingly taking classified national security documents from the White House is far more brazen — and unlawful — than other high-profile political figures who found themselves embroiled in scandals concerning the mishandling of classified information, including former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

The filing is an opposition brief responding to Trump’s claim that he is the victim of “selective and vindictive prosecution,” refuting Trump’s claims that he’s being treated worse than other individuals such as Clinton, President Joe Biden, James Comey, and Mike Pence, specifically emphasizing Trump’s refusal to return the classified documents he took for several months.

Smith wrote that the cases may “to varying degrees” bear a “slight resemblance” to Trump’s case, but “none is alleged to have willfully retained a vast trove of highly sensitive, confidential materials and repeatedly sought to thwart their lawful return and engaged in a multifaceted scheme of deception and obstruction.”

The difference in Trump’s case, Smith said, is that Trump “knowingly possessed and willfully retained the classified documents,” even after he had been ordered to return them.

“That alone distinguishes his conduct from a litany of former government officials who have retained classified documents beyond their terms in office through inadvertence or carelessness, but then returned them upon their discovery.”

Smith claims Trump’s conduct “went much further” than those he has compared himself to for numerous reasons. The special counsel claims the former president “used delay and obfuscation” to retain the classified documents, then deceptively only returned a fraction of the documents before it became clear that he’d taken more than 100 with classified markings.

“Rather than simply comply with the subpoena, he orchestrated a scheme to obstruct the criminal investigation and the continuing effort to recover the documents,” Smith wrote. “Among other things, the scheme included an effort to enlist his own attorney in the corrupt endeavor, suggesting that the attorney falsely tell the FBI and grand jury that Trump did not have any documents, and suggesting that his attorney hide or destroy documents rather than produce them to the government.”

In Trump’s filing seeking to have the case against him dismissed, he compared his situation to that of his former contender for the presidency, Hillary Clinton, who was infamously targeted by him and his supporters with “Lock her up” chants during campaign rallies for the 2016 election for storing classified information on her private server.

In Hillary Clinton’s case, Smith says prosecutors analyzed her conduct under five different criminal statutes before ultimately concluding there was “not a basis to prosecute” the former secretary of state.

Smith, in a footnote, even used Trump’s previous statements against him regarding the former president’s seemingly cavalier treatment of classified documents.

“In his 2016 campaign, Trump called for charges to be brought against Clinton for this conduct, emphasizing that ‘We can’t have someone in the Oval Office who doesn’t understand the meaning of the word confidential or classified,’ and promising, ‘In my administration, I’m going to enforce all laws concerning the protection of classified information. No one will be above the law.’”

In other Thursday filings, Smith also rejected Trump’s claims that the Presidential Records Act made him immune from prosecution, emphasizing that Trump had no hand in creating the classified intelligence documents and they could not be considered “personal” in any way.



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