Trump Insists Jan. 6 Irrelevant To Election-InterferenceCase

By Phillip Bantz

Law360 (November 16, 2023, 4:20 PM EST) — Donald Trump’s lawyers argued Wednesday that
“inflammatory allegations” of his involvement in the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol building lack a
“shred of evidence” and are irrelevant to his Washington, D.C., criminal election-interference case.
The government has urged U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan to reject Trump’s efforts to strike the
riot-related allegations from his indictment. The government argued that the ex-president publicly
“promoted and extolled the events” on the day of the riots before seeking to “distance himself” from
those same events in his federal election-interference case.

In response, Trump’s legal team contended Wednesday that the government has yet to offer a “shred
of evidence” to show that he incited chaos at the Capitol in the wake of his loss to Joe Biden in the
2020 presidential election. Trump’s 17-page reply expanded on a six-page motion to strike he filed in

Trump’s team argued in the latest filing that the Jan. 6 allegations in Trump’s indictment are
irrelevant because they do not directly involve Trump or “relate to elements of any charges” against
him. Trump is charged with conspiring to block the counting and certification of votes in an effort to
overturn Biden’s election win.

Trump’s response to the government’s opposition to his motion to strike stresses that he has not
been charged with “insurrection, incitement, or any other charge relating to the actions at the Capitol
on January 6.”

“The prosecution admits this fact,” the filing states.

Trump’s team further asserts that the Jan. 6 allegations are “inflammatory and prejudicial because
their purpose is to attack [his] character through false allegations that will require a mini-trial and are
collateral to the charges the prosecution filed.”

Trump also is poised to file a pretrial motion to keep Jan. 6 evidence out of his case, according to his
response to the government.

Trump campaign spokesman Steven Cheung asserted Thursday in a statement to Law360 that
Trump’s “actions in this case were conducted as part of his duty as President of the United States, to
faithfully take care of the laws and ensure election integrity.”

Special counsel Jack Smith and prosecutors from his office have contended that the Jan. 6 allegations
in the indictment are “relevant and probative evidence of [Trump’s] conduct and intent, and they are
neither prejudicial nor inflammatory.”

A spokesperson for Smith’s office declined to comment on Trump’s latest court filings.
Trump also responded Wednesday to the government’s opposition to his motion to stay the D.C. case
until he has a “final resolution” on his argument that the matter should be dismissed based on his
claims of presidential immunity.

In claiming immunity, Trump acknowledged in his earlier motion that no court had ever decided
whether “presidential immunity includes immunity from criminal prosecution for the president’s
official act. The question remains a ‘serious and unsettled question’ of law.”

The government contended in October that Trump was “not above the law” and that his claim of
“absolute immunity” from criminal prosecution was baseless.

“None of the sources the defendant points to in his motion — the Constitution’s text and structure,
history and tradition, or Supreme Court precedent — supports the absolute immunity he asks the
court to create for him,” the government argued in its opposition.

In response, Trump’s lawyers asserted that government officials, from police officers and state and
federal prosecutors and judges to members of Congress, “routinely obtain stays of discovery and
other pretrial proceedings when they assert official immunity, pending a final resolution of those
asserted claims of immunity.”

“The prosecution contends that President Trump should be the only official in America who is not
entitled to such consideration,” Trump’s filing states. “That position is meritless.”
Trump’s trial in D.C. is slated to begin in March.

He also faces state charges in an election-interference case in Georgia and a hush-money payments
prosecution in New York, along with federal charges in Florida, where he’s accused of hoarding
classified documents after exiting the White House. And he’s in the midst of a civil fraud trial in
New York.

Trump has denied wrongdoing in all cases.

The federal government is represented in the D.C. case by Thomas Windom and Molly Gulland Gaston
of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Special Counsel Office.

Trump is represented by John F. Lauro, Gregory M. Singer and Filzah I. Pavalon of Lauro & Singer and
by Todd Blanche of Blanche Law.

The case is USA v. Trump, case number 1:23-cr-00257, in the U.S. District Court for the District of

–Additional reporting by Hailey Konnath. Editing by Nick Petruncio