Sat. Apr 13th, 2024

Trump lawyers, special counsel split over how much political thinking potential jurors should have to disclose

By 37ci3 Mar1,2024

WASHINGTON – Former President Donald Trumpattorneys and special counsel Jack Smith’s team are at odds over how much potential jurors should reveal about their personal politics in a request for classified documents.

The juror questionnaire, jointly proposed by both sides, agreed on most questions but noted differences on some questions, including political affiliation.

The defense proposed questions about the potential juror’s registration to vote, political party registration, and whether the potential juror should vote in the 2020 election. The special counsel’s team objected to questions in Wednesday’s presentation.

This image from the indictment against former President Donald Trump, taken on Nov. 12, 2021, shows boxes in a storage room at Trump's Mar-a-Lago mansion in Palm Beach.  Trump, 37, faces felony charges of mishandling classified documents on Friday, June 9, 2023, according to an unsealed indictment.
This photo taken on Nov. 12, 2021, of the indictment against former President Donald Trump shows boxes of records in a storage room at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago mansion in Palm Beach, Florida.Department of Justice via AP file

The special counsel suggested asking potential jurors whether they believe the 2020 presidential election was rigged. Trump’s team objected to the question.

Trump’s team is trying to add a question about whether potential jurors view politicians negatively. The survey also asks about attitudes toward federal prosecutors, law enforcement agencies, criminal defense attorneys, and judges.

Suggested questions can give attorneys an idea of ​​the political affiliation or bias of a potential juror, which can affect how the parties try to fill the jury. The trial, which revolves around allegations of Trump’s mishandling of classified documents, is scheduled to begin on May 20.

The two sides disagreed on how to characterize the length of the trial for potential jurors. The special counsel has said the trial will last about four to six weeks, while Trump’s team is arguing for a longer trial of eight to 10 weeks.

Although the choice of questions was controversial, the two sides agreed on most of the 31-page questionnaire.

The special counsel and Trump’s team have agreed to ask potential jurors whether they have displayed a bumper sticker or magnet on their vehicle in the past five years. Car magnets are often used to show support for a politician or issue.

The parties also agreed to questions asking potential jurors to name three people they most and least admired, along with explanations.

Trump’s defense and special counsel’s team asked, “What are your main sources of news and commentary?” agreed with the question. However, the special counsel wants potential jurors to vet all referral sources, while Trump’s team wants potential jurors to rank the referral sources. News outlets may select jurors, including local and national publications and publications across the political spectrum.

Later in the questionnaire, Smith’s team asked potential jurors a question asking them to “describe the amount of media coverage you have seen or heard about this case.” Trump’s team objected to this language.

On Thursday, Smith and Trump’s legal teams made a new offer trial dates for classified documents case scheduled for May. Trump’s lawyers proposed an August start date, while Smith’s team proposed a July trial.

Charges have been brought against the former president last June with allegations of alleged mishandling of classified documents. It was in July hit With additional charges alleging that Trump was part of a plan to obstruct the investigation. Trump and his two co-defendants have pleaded not guilty.

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By 37ci3

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