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Jack Smith turns over material ‘that may be favorable’ to Trump defense team

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Special Counsel Jack Smith has dedicated nearly a year to prosecuting former President Donald Trump. However, an observer believes that Smith’s recent court filing in Trump’s classified documents case may inadvertently aid Trump’s defense. Newsweek senior writer Katherine Fung highlighted this development.

Filing references material which “may be favorable to either defendant”

“The Government is providing information or material known to the United States that may be favorable to either defendant on the issues of guilt or punishment,” Fung quoted the filing as reading.

Smith also acknowledged that “the government is aware of its continuing duty to disclose newly discovered additional information required by the Standing Discovery Order.”

Fung observed that Smith was adhering to the Brady rule, which originated from the significant Supreme Court case Brady v. Maryland in 1963.

This rule mandates that prosecutors must disclose any advantageous information to the defendants.

Neglecting to do so may lead to a mistrial or the exclusion of incriminating evidence by the prosecution. Smith provided a copy of the warrant application and interview memo.

Michael McAuliffe, who previously worked as a federal prosecutor and now serves as state attorney for Palm Beach County in Florida, informed Fung that Smith’s submission is a routine supplementary discovery filing.

Fung noted that Smith’s team has provided a complete copy of a warrant application for Trump aide and co-defendant Walt Nauta, as well as a memorandum from an interview conducted on February 9.

While legal experts believe that the new evidence is unlikely to clear Trump of wrongdoing, former federal prosecutor Neama Rahmani warned against viewing the filing as a definite path to Trump’s exoneration.

“It doesn’t necessarily mean the evidence is exculpatory,” Rahmani stated before pointing out that “there are certain categories of documents the government has to produce.”

These categories include “evidence subject to the Rules of Criminal Procedure, evidence that may be exculpatory (Brady), potential impeachment evidence (Giglio), and prior statements of witnesses (Jencks).”

For his part, McAuliffe offered a similar assessment, remarking, “I don’t read the filing as classifying the new interview as exculpatory.”

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Joe Messina

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