Special counsel Jack Smith’s office has begun to turn over evidence of former President Donald Trump’s legal team, according to a Wednesday court filing that suggested the Justice Department has multiple recordings of Trump.
Prosecutors revealed in the 37-count indictment unsealed earlier this month that they obtained a recording of Trump telling former chief of staff Mark Meadows’ autobiography ghostwriters that he had a secret plan for a potential invasion of Iran that he could not show to others because it was classified. Trump is heard waving papers around in the recording, according to the indictment.
Wednesday’s filing said that prosecutors obtained multiple “interviews” of Trump “conducted by non-government entities.”
It’s unclear what those recordings may be or how relevant they are to the case against him.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if the recordings of Trump produced as evidence by Jack Smith include Trump’s TV interviews,” predicted former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti, who noted that his office sent former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich his own interviews in discovery during his prosecution.
Legal experts have warned that Trump’s statements in his interview with Fox News earlier this week could be admissible in court.
“There is no Fox News interview exception… Trump’s comments will be admissible,” former acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal told MSNBC.
Former Trump attorney Tim Parlatore, who resigned from the Mar-a-Lago case, told CNN that “prosecutors can absolutely use that.”
“This is one of the reasons why we always advise our clients, don’t talk about the case. You have the right to remain silent, use it. Let your attorneys talk about it,” he said.
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., a former U.S. attorney, told MSNBC that Smith turning over evidence early in the process suggests he “thinks he’s got a very solid case.”
“It tells me that there’s gonna be bad Christmas for the Trump lawyers as they open the different files of evidence and find out how awful the evidence is against their client,” Whitehouse said. “It tells me that they want to stay ahead of Judge Cannon and make sure that there can be no complaint about their early disclosure. And it tells me that they want to get Trump’s attention early, by getting his lawyers the evidence that they need to be able to go to their client and say, ‘Hey, you are in real trouble here.'”
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The evidence turned over by Smith also includes “includes the grand jury testimony of witnesses who will testify for the government at the trial of this case,” according to the filing, as well as transcripts of grand jury testimony and materials collected via subpoenas and search warrants.
“Defense counsel can contact the government to arrange for inspection of unclassified items seized at Mar-a-Lago on August 8, 2022,” the filing added.
Mariotti said that prosecutors are “required” to turn over grand jury testimony from witnesses.
“They often do so near the end of the discovery process, not the beginning,” he tweeted.
The filing comes amid growing worries in TrumpWorld that former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows is cooperating with prosecutors.
“I guess we’ll know soon if Meadows is a witness,” predicted national security attorney Bradley Moss.
A judge earlier this week issued a protective order barring Trump from discussing evidence turned over by prosecutors.
“The Discovery Materials, along with any information derived therefrom, shall not be disclosed to the public or the news media, or disseminated on any news or social media platform, without prior notice to and consent of the United States or approval of the Court,” Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart said in the order.
But Trump has repeatedly spouted off about the case on Truth Social.
“I would not expect Trump to obey the magistrates order to not talk about the case,” predicted former FBI official Frank Figliuzzi.
Read the full filing below:
Jack Smith evidence filing by Igor Derysh on Scribd
about the Trump indictment