Judge Rejects Trump’s Request To Hold Jack Smith In Contempt, But Requires Prior Approval For ‘substantive’ Motions

Aiexpress – Special Counsel Jack Smith can be seen addressing the media regarding the indictment of former President Donald Trump on August 1, 2023. The photo captures the seriousness of the situation as Smith engages with reporters. On the right, we see former President Donald Trump delivering a speech at the South Dakota Republican Party Monumental Leaders rally on September 8, 2023, in Rapid City, S.D. Trump appears confident and charismatic as he addresses the crowd, exuding his trademark energy. These contrasting images encapsulate the ongoing political landscape and the continued influence of Donald Trump.

The federal judge presiding over the trial on the alleged election subversion by former President Donald Trump in Washington, D.C. has ruled that special prosecutor Jack Smith did not violate the stay order. As the case is being heard on appeal, Smith will not be held in contempt. However, he will be required to seek permission before filing any “substantive” motions.

Law&Crime reported earlier that lawyers representing the former president have taken action against Smith. On January 4, they filed a motion requesting U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan to hold Smith in contempt of court. This motion was made in response to Smith’s production of discovery and filing of a pretrial motion. The criminal case, which alleges that Trump conspired to obstruct the certification of Joe Biden’s 2020 electoral victory on January 6, was put on hold pending Trump’s appeal of Chutkan’s rejection of his “absolute immunity” defense.

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Attorneys John Lauro and Todd Blanche argued that Smith’s filing and discovery production constituted “outrageous conduct” deserving of contempt and sanctions.


Chutkan mostly refused the lawyers’ request, stating that Smith’s actions, which involved providing discovery and filing a pretrial motion, did not clearly violate the stay order.

According to the explanation provided, the extension of a deadline does not automatically prohibit the filing. Rather, it simply removes the time limit for submission. In this case, the Stay Order did not explicitly prevent the Government from voluntarily complying with the Pretrial Order’s deadlines, which are now on hold.

According to Chutkan, it was determined that giving Trump access to the requested information did not violate the stay order. Chutkan also noted that Smith’s submissions and filings were generally aligned with the purpose of the stay order, which aimed to alleviate the defendant from the responsibilities associated with trial preparation and pretrial litigation.

According to Judge Chutkan, simply receiving discovery or an exhibit list does not impose a significant burden. She emphasized that there is no need for review or response when it comes to the receipt of such documents.

Dr. Chutkan concurred with the defense lawyers’ contention that the motion put forth by Smith necessitated a thorough review by the attorneys in order to ascertain its relevance to the appeal. Furthermore, they would need to determine if and how they should respond to it.

The judge emphasized the importance of thorough review by defense counsel for each substantive motion filed by the Government, in order to determine if any further action is necessary. Recognizing that this task may impose some burden, the court has decided to accept the defendant’s proposal to restrict the parties from filing additional substantive pretrial motions without first obtaining permission from the court.

Chutkan informed the parties that if they disagreed with the request, they would need to submit a response.

The order stated that any motion for leave to file should indicate whether the proposed motion is related to the pending appeal and therefore requires a timely response or action before the mandate is returned.

The judge made it clear that her ruling does not indicate any violation of the government’s terms or any wrongdoing on their part.

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