An attorney for former President Donald Trump is criticizing special counsel Jack Smith’s sudden urgency for a “speedy trial” before the 2024 presidential election. Jack Lauro said Smith’s rush is unconstitutional and yet another example of the weaponization of President Joe Biden’s Justice Department for political purposes.
“He had 3 ½ years; why don’t we make it equal?” said Lauro to NBC’s “Today” Wednesday morning after Smith indicted the former president on four federal counts, one for deprivation of rights and three for conspiracy stemming from the challenge of the 2020 presidential election.
“The bottom line is that they have 60 federal agents working on this, 60 lawyers, all kinds of governmental personnel, and we get this indictment, and they want to go to trial in 90 days. Does that sound like justice to you?”
While Smith, who led the Biden DOJ prosecution, said, “My office will seek a speedy trial so that our evidence can be tested in court and judged by a jury of citizens,” Lauro condemned Smith’s misinterpretation of the Sixth Amendment constitutional right to a “speedy trial.”
After hearing Smith’s statement, Lauro noted that it is a constitutional right provided to the accused, not the Justice Department of the federal government, a fact Lauro claimed is lost on Smith.
“We’re entitled to understand what the charges are,” said Lauro to NBC News. “We’re entitled to do our own investigation. To take President Trump to trial in 90 days, of course, is absurd.”
Lauro continued, “The question is, why do they want to do that? If you want to seek justice, then you need to offer President Trump an opportunity to get a hold of all the evidence and understand what the facts are.”
Lauro: Biden’s DOJ is using investigations, indictments to deflect
Ultimately, according to Lauro, President Joe Biden’s DOJ is using indictments, prosecutions, and investigations of Trump to deflect.
“The election’s going on,” said Lauro. “Right now, they want to go to trial so that instead of debating the issues against Joe Biden, that President Trump is sitting in a courtroom — how is that justice?”
“The American people want to talk about the issues. What they don’t want to do is relitigate the 2020 election,” continued Lauro, emphasizing that is precisely what Smith’s 45-page, 4-count indictment did. “This is the first time that the First Amendment has been criminalized. It’s the first time that a sitting president is attacking a political opponent on First Amendment grounds and basically making it criminal to state your position and to engage in political activity.”
Regarding Smith’s legal argument that alternate electors are a conspiracy for a crime, Alan Dershowitz, constitutional law expert, disagrees, saying that was “completely lawful” and taken after advice from legal counsel.
“You’re entitled to believe and trust advice of counsel,” said Lauro. “You have one of the leading constitutional scholars in the United States, John Eastman, say to President Trump, ‘This is a protocol that you can follow. It’s legal.’ That eliminates criminal intent.”