Special Counsel Jack Smith has filed court documents seeking additional protections for jurors in the election interference case against former President Donald Trump.
According to a report by HuffPost on Tuesday, October 10, 2023, citing concerns over Trump’s “intimidating” behavior on social media, Smith proposes measures to safeguard jurors’ identities and limit the extent of research conducted by legal teams during the jury selection process.
The 11-page filing, submitted on Tuesday, October 10, requests U.S. District Court Judge Tanya Chutkan to consider implementing a written questionnaire for potential jurors before the in-person selection process.
If approved, this would grant both legal teams access to jurors’ identities ahead of time, with restrictions on the extent of research allowed.
Smith highlights the sensitivity of the case, fueled by heightened public interest and Trump’s history of using social media as a tool for intimidation.
He specifically points to a recent incident where Trump named a law clerk involved in a separate trial against him, spreading false rumors about her on Truth Social, resulting in a gag order issued by the judge.
Moreover, the special counsel draws attention to threats made by Trump’s supporters against grand jurors who returned an indictment against him in Fulton County, Georgia.
These instances contribute to Smith’s argument for the necessity of enhanced protections.
The proposed limitations include preventing any contact between legal teams and potential jurors, as well as restricting attempts to “friend” or “follow” them on social media to gain access to non-public information.
Smith also aims to prohibit any form of investigation, online or otherwise, that could be perceived as vexatious or harassing.
Emphasizing the need for privacy, Smith urges the court to keep all potential jurors’ identities and personal information confidential.
These measures, if approved, seek to balance the public’s interest with the imperative of protecting jurors from potential intimidation or harassment.
The election interference case is one of four in which Trump has recently been indicted.
Scheduled to begin on March 4, Trump faces four felony charges, including conspiracy to defraud the U.S. government.
The filing by Special Counsel Jack Smith underscores the challenges posed by the former president’s social media presence and aims to establish a framework that safeguards the integrity of the jury selection process and subsequent trial.