Trump’s Legal Team Baits Special Counsel Jack Smith into ‘Foolish’ Decisions,” Former Prosecutor Claims

 Trump’s Legal Team Baits Special Counsel Jack Smith into ‘Foolish’ Decisions,” Former Prosecutor Claims

Photo: Robin Van Lonkhuijsen/AFP via Getty Images

Special counsel Jack Smith keeps getting prodded into making “foolish” decisions by Donald Trump’s legal team, argued former federal prosecutor Bill Shipley on Monday. In his “Shipwrecked Crew” blog, Shipley, who has represented dozens of January 6 defendants, claimed that Smith continually takes the bait set out by Trump attorneys, enabling the former president’s defenders to spin a media narrative about the Mar-a-Lago documents case, as reported by Newsweek.

“Some efforts being made by the Trump legal team as part of its defense to the indictment in federal court in Florida are far more significant as part of a political strategy than they are as part of the legal defense strategy,” Shipley wrote. “The Trump defense team knows this even if some of FPOTUS Trump’s most ardent defenders in the press can’t seem to tell the difference.”

“More importantly, however, it seems that SC Smith can’t tell the difference as he continues to be put in a position to step on a rake — and then he does exactly that,” he added. Shipley described how Trump’s lawyers were “pumping up the outrage meter” over the August 8, 2022, search for classified materials at Mar-a-Lago. Trump and his allies then created a narrative based on the FBI’s standard declaration about the use of deadly force.

“Trump’s [New York criminal] trial was still underway when this reporting hit social media, with conservative commentators, so-called ‘journalists,’ and elected officials all spinning out the narrative that the ‘authorization to use deadly force’ against Trump, his family, and the Secret Service if they resisted — was in reality an ‘assassination plan,'” Shipley wrote.

According to Shipley, Smith could have ignored this media sideshow but instead took the bait and filed a motion seeking to modify Trump’s conditions for pretrial release and impose a gag order limiting his claims about FBI conduct. This action handed Trump a political win.

“This is the ‘Briar Patch’ that Trump’s Defense was happy to have been thrown into by SC Smith’s motion because it provides an opportunity for a different political narrative that can be hammered home by the campaign arising out of the legal arena, i.e., Trump’s First Amendment rights were being taken away,” Shipley wrote.

This maneuver allowed Trump to claim that Smith was doing the bidding of President Joe Biden, the former prosecutor argued. “Smith meets garden rake — garden rake, meet Smith,” Shipley concluded.

Shipley’s insights highlight the complex interplay between legal strategies and political narratives, suggesting that Trump’s legal team is adept at leveraging media coverage to their advantage, often at the expense of Smith’s legal maneuvers.

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