Jack Smith Resists News Media Attempt to Intervene in Trump Classified Documents Case

Credits: The Epoch Times

On February 5, special prosecutor Jack Smith’s office opposed a motion filed by a coalition comprising local and national news media, including The Associated Press, The New York Times, and NBC News. The coalition sought to intervene in the classified documents case involving former President Donald Trump in Florida.

The prosecutors contended that the Press Coalition lacked standing, asserting that their request to unseal specific court records, which could potentially benefit Trump’s defense, was already addressed by a previous motion from the defense. The Press Coalition submitted a request on January 22, seeking the court’s permission to participate in the ongoing legal proceedings.

Jack Smith (Credits: Bloomberg.com)

In response, Smith’s office, in its motion on February 5, formally opposed the Press Coalition’s request, stating that they failed to identify any statutory right to intervene in the case.

Prosecutors argued that the Press Coalition’s interest in the case was “ancillary to the main proceedings.” While acknowledging their pursuit of transparency and access to information, the prosecutors contended that this interest did not meet the standard for permissive intervention.

They further stated that such intervention was unnecessary as the court was already positioned to determine what information should remain sealed based on submissions from the parties and prevailing law.

President Trump had previously advocated for the unsealing of records in a motion filed on January 16, which Smith’s office had already responded to, supporting the unsealing with certain restrictions.

In their motion on January 18, prosecutors backed unsealing specific records with redactions. They proposed redacting identifying information and any details constituting Jencks Act material for any potential government witness mentioned in the defense’s motion.

The Press Coalition also urged the court to conduct an independent review of the proposed redactions to foster public confidence in the administration of justice.

Specifically, the coalition aimed to ensure that Smith’s office met its burden of demonstrating that the proposed redactions were narrowly tailored to serve the government’s legitimate interest in the integrity of the ongoing case and represented the least onerous alternative to sealing the entire set of records.

In response to this argument, prosecutors emphasized that they had already expressed in their response to Trump’s motion their full support for transparency in the record, consistent with considerations of witness safety, national security, and the court’s protective order.

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