Trump Wants Special Counsel Held in Contempt

Donald Trump | Image by aaronschwartzphoto/Shutterstock

Donald Trump’s legal team asked a judge on Thursday to hold special counsel Jack Smith and his team in contempt due to alleged violations of a stay of the case that was issued in response to an appeal by the former president.

U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan ruled last month that an appeal filed by Trump’s team “automatically stays any further proceedings that would move this case towards trial or impose additional burdens of litigation,” according to PBS.

Now, attorneys from Trump’s team have alleged that Smith’s team has continued to file court papers in violation of Chutkan’s stay order.

In a filing, John F. Lauro, an attorney on Trump’s team, wrote, “The stay order is clear, straightforward, and unambiguous.”

“All substantive proceedings in this court are halted. Despite this clarity, the prosecutors began violating the stay almost immediately,” he claimed, as reported by Axios.

The filing alleges the special counsel has been filing these court papers in an attempt to “weaponize the Stay to spread political propaganda” since Trump’s team may not fully respond due to Chutkan’s ruling.

“Worse, the prosecutors have announced their intention to continue this partisan-driven misconduct indefinitely, effectively converting this Court’s docket into an arm of the Biden Campaign,” alleged the attorneys, per PBS.

The filing also included multiple requests from Trump’s team should Chutkan choose not to hold the special counsel in contempt.

“To remedy this outrageous conduct, the Court should issue an order to show cause why the prosecutors should not be: (1) held in contempt; (2) required to immediately withdraw their MIL and improper productions; (3) forbidden from submitting any further filing or production absent the Court’s express permission while the Stay Order is in effect; and (4) assessed monetary sanctions in the amount of President Trump’s reasonable attorneys’ fees and expenses incurred in responding to the prosecutors’ improper productions and filings,” reads the filing, per ABC News.

The case revolves around Trump’s indictment on four charges relating to his dispute of the 2020 election.

Trump claims that the indictments should be dismissed under the premise of presidential immunity, which would allegedly shield him from potential crimes committed while he was still in office.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit is currently scheduled to hear oral arguments for Trump’s appeal on January 9. Depending on the ruling issued by the D.C. Court of Appeals, the U.S. Supreme Court could then take up the case.

A previous petition submitted by the special counsel requested that SCOTUS hear the appeal before the Court of Appeals, but this petition was denied without comment from the court.

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