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HomeNewsSpecial Counsel Claims Trump’s Deception on Classified Documents Sets Him Apart From...

Special Counsel Claims Trump’s Deception on Classified Documents Sets Him Apart From Biden, Others

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photo of Donald Trump
Source: Getty

Donald Trump’s efforts to impede a federal inquiry into his retention of national security secrets differentiate him from other public figures accused of mishandling classified information, according to special counsel Jack Smith.

Smith emphasized in a legal filing Thursday that the comparison between Trump and figures such as President Joe Biden, Hillary and Bill Clinton, Mike Pence, and James Comey illustrates the severity of Trump’s actions. Smith argued that Trump’s persistent refusal to return the documents exacerbated the situation.

Contrary to Trump’s claims of being unfairly targeted, Smith asserted that the prosecution’s focus on Trump is justified given the egregiousness of his conduct. The former president’s legal team contends that he is unjustly singled out, particularly in light of the pending criminal case in Florida.

The case, which includes charges of willful retention of national security information, obstruction of justice, and misleading investigators, poses a potential obstacle to Trump’s return to the White House.

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Judge Aileen Cannon will decide whether to commence a trial this summer or delay it until after the November election. Meanwhile, Trump has filed motions urging the judge to dismiss the case entirely.

Smith’s brief, submitted alongside several other responses to Trump’s motions, highlights Trump’s exceptional status compared to other officials who faced similar scrutiny over classified records.

Smith acknowledged superficial similarities between Biden’s and Trump’s handling of classified materials but underscored key distinctions.

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While both stored classified documents at their residences, Trump’s documents were kept at a social club accessible to numerous individuals. Furthermore, Trump allegedly engaged in some deceptive tactics to impede the investigation, setting his actions apart from Biden’s.

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In addressing Trump’s claims that President Biden influenced the decision to prosecute, Smith refuted such assertions as lacking evidence or logical basis. Smith emphasized that Trump’s own social media posts indicate his awareness of possessing the documents post-presidency, despite his claims of openness and transparency.

Smith rejected Trump’s immunity defense, dismissing it as baseless and part of a strategic delay tactic. Trump’s appeal on the immunity issue has delayed another criminal prosecution against him, charging him with conspiracy to overturn the 2020 presidential election results.

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The case is on hold pending the Supreme Court’s ruling on Trump’s immunity claims. In response to claims challenging his appointment and Trump’s classification of the documents as “personal,” Smith asserted that Trump’s actions and subsequent negotiations with the National Archives contradict his assertion of personal ownership.

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Smith further refuted Trump’s comparison between the retained documents and former President Clinton’s audiotaped interviews, emphasizing the critical national security implications of Trump’s actions.

Following Smith’s submissions, Judge Cannon announced plans for a hearing on Trump’s motion to dismiss the case next Thursday. The hearing will address concerns related to the Presidential Records Act and the clarity of the charges against him.

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