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Special counsel Jack Smith and his team were forced to inform a federal court late last week that they did not turn over all evidence to former President Donald Trump’s legal team, though they previously claimed they had done so.
According to Newsweek, in a court filing on July 31, Smith’s team acknowledged that they had not uploaded video footage taken from the FBI’s raid a year ago at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate to an online platform, as required by law, for Trump’s defense team to review.
The Justice Department ordered the raid to recover classified documents that Trump has said he declassified before leaving the White House.
“On July 27, as part of the preparation for the superseding indictment coming later that day and the discovery production for Defendant De Oliveira, the Government learned that this footage had not been processed and uploaded to the platform established for the defense to view the subpoenaed footage,” read the filing.
“The Government’s representation at the July 18 hearing that all surveillance footage the Government had obtained pre-indictment had been produced was therefore incorrect,” the filing continued.
Under a legal doctrine known as the Brady Rule, prosecutors are required to provide defense lawyers with any exculpatory evidence they find that can be used in court.
The rule stems from a 1963 Supreme Court ruling in Brady v. Maryland and says, “Suppression by the prosecution of evidence favorable to an accused who has requested it violates due process where the evidence is material either to guilt or to punishment, irrespective of the good faith or bad faith of the prosecution
Smith’s team acknowledged as much in its filing last week. “The Government is aware of its continuing duty to disclose such newly discovered additional information,” it said.
Prosecutors discovered that video used as evidence “had not been processed and uploaded to the platform established for the defense to view” when they were getting ready to indict Mar-a-Lago property manager Carlos De Oliveira last week for allegedly conspiring with Trump to delete surveillance footage from the estate, Smith’s team wrote in a filing.
“All CCTV footage obtained by the government has now been given to the defendants, according to Smith’s team. The so-called Brady rule requires prosecutors to disclose all evidence and information favorable to the defendant,” Just The News reported.
Smith has filed a total of 40 counts against Trump in the documents case alone, alleging that he unlawfully kept them after leaving office and provided false information to the government regarding the submission of all documents.
On July 27, Smith’s team filed a “superseding indictment,” which included additional allegations against Trump, further charging him with allegedly instructing his security staff to delete tapes from his Mar-a-Lago resort a few months before the FBI conducted a raid on the Florida residence.
Trump has flat-out denied all of the allegations and has pleaded not guilty in federal court.
Following his third arrest and court arraignment in four months, Trump entered a not-guilty plea on Thursday to allegations that he attempted to rig the 2020 election.
At around 4 p.m., a glum-faced Trump appeared in court to be arraigned while dressed in a navy blue suit, a red tie, and a white shirt. He sat between his attorneys, Todd Blanche and John Lauro, with his hands folded on the table in front of him and his head bowed.
After the proceeding, and before boarding his Boeing 757, Trump told reporters the legal process is grossly unfair.
“This is a very sad day for America,” he said before leaving Reagan National Airport for New Jersey. Trump called the case the “persecution of a political opponent. This was never supposed to happen in America.”